It was the beginning of the 20th century. One pediatrician reduced the fatality rate among babies by means of a … soup.
A doctor by vocation
Ernst Moro is a doctor whose name doesn’t ring many bells. He was born in 1874 on the territory of Austria-Hungary. He completed his medical studies at the Graz University and went on to become a professor of pediatrics. After moving to Heidelberg he continued research on dramatically high fatality rate among new born children (even up to 25%). Babies would die from diarrhea and it was when penicillin hadn’t been invented yet.
A soup of three ingredients
Moro decided to find a way to save the children. He worked out a medication that indeed worked. It was… carrot soup. The dish consisted of three ingredients only: water, carrots and salt. The vegetables had to be boiled and rubbed through a sieve. The dish was a kind of puree and this is how it was served to the babies. The diet worked and the fatality rate dropped substantially.
The power of carrot
Carrot is a magical vegetable. It contains oligosaccharides (a kind of carbohydrates) which prevent bacteria from adhering to the walls of the liver and intestines. Moreover, carrot is a source of minerals, vitamins and water, with the last one really important due to diarrhea dehydration.
Doctor Ernst Moro’s list of achievements is in fact much longer:
• he proved that breastfed children are more immune to disease than bottle fed ones,
• he described the infantile reflex (also referred to as Moro reflex) which is a sudden reaction of babies to a change of position of their body or noises,
• he described the irritable bowel syndrome (children cases),
• he designed a special milk mixture (milk, flour, butter, sugar),
• he invented a very simple skin test diagnosing tuberculosis,
• he described in more detail the term ‘the first trimester’.