Physician Sir James Sawyer created a list in 1897 of rules for long-living, and he was convinced that his recipe got him to the age of 103 at a time when life expectancy was incredibly low by today’s standards.

According to research, it may be possible to reach 120 years old, but this list was created in 1897. Even back then accounts of exceptional old age were frequent according to the Irish Times, such as in 1860 with the news of the burial of 103-year-old John May. In 1864 the centenarian Patrick Maunsell was reported to die at the age of 107. In 1866 a woman named Roche was reported to die at the age of 110 “with perfect possession of her mental faculties.” Another 110-year-old longevity warrior named Margaret Holohan was reported to die in 1896 and was never sick. That same year John Hennue was reported to die at the age of 107 who was also never sick a day in his long life until the day he had his first headache and passed on.

The quest for anti-aging and longevity approaches was even around back then, and it prompted some radical research. In Paris during 1889 eminent scientist Dr. Brown Sequard claimed to have extended lifespan by “inoculating the aged and debilitated with the nerves of young and vigorous animals” His claims back then were not taken seriously and were met with notes in publications such as “will be observed at home with mingled feelings of curiosity, amusement and scepticism”.

In 1897 another article was published in IT that was more along the lines of recipes for a long life that were inspired by longevity warriors at the time such as: “One antique old soul, whose birth took place prior to Waterloo, sucks a lemon morning and night. Another gentleman, well nigh as old, takes a glass of salt and water upon rising.” The article also describes “very strange” habit of one “hale and hearty” octogenarian: “Every morning at breakfast she has a raw turnip cut into thin slices and placed between bread and butter. In promoting longevity, she believes the juices of turnips are unrivalled.”

The census in Ireland during 1881 may have provided hints of one of the contributors to long life reading: “it is in the mountainous districts, near the coasts of the Atlantic, that centenarians most abound”. This census showed 690 centenarians, Munster had the greatest number of 85 men and 205 women residing in the mentioned terrain.

This brings us to the renowned physician Sir James Sawyer who in 1897 confided his recipe for reaching 100 to a Birmingham audience, and it really is not that different than what is presented in the modern day by the physicians of the A4M inspired by their founders Dr. Ron Klatz and Dr. Bob Goldman who also endured many years of skepticism and unkind words for their efforts, which are now widely accepted.

Sawyer’s 19 Rules For Longevity:

  1. Eight hours of sleep
  2. Sleep on your right side
  3. Keep your bedroom window open all night
  4. Have a mat to your bedroom door
  5. Do not have your bedstead against the wall
  6. No cold tub in the morning, but a bath the temperature of the body
  7. Exercise before breakfast
  8. Eat little meat, and see that it is well cooked
  9. (For adults) Drink no milk
  10. Eat plenty of fat to feed the cells which destroy disease germs
  11. Avoid intoxicants, which destroy those cells
  12. Daily exercise in the open air
  13. Allow no pet animals in your living rooms; they are likely to carry about disease germs
  14. Live in the country if you can
  15. Watch the three Ds: drinking water, damp, drains
  16. Have a change of occupation
  17. Take frequent and short holidays
  18. Limit your ambition
  19. Keep your temper

As with anything you read on the internet, this article should not be construed as medical advice; please talk to your doctor or primary care provider before changing your wellness routine. This article is not intended to provide medical diagnosis, advice, treatment, or endorsement.

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