"favorable to health, wholesome," 1540s, from Latin salubris "promoting health, healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "welfare, health" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). Originally of foods, medicine; in reference to air, climate, etc., by 1610s. Related: Salubriously; salubriousness.
"wholesome, healthful, healing," late 15c. (Caxton), from Old French salutaire "beneficial," or directly from Latin salutaris "healthful," from salus (genitive salutis) "good health" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept"). By 19c. also in a general sense, "contributing to some beneficial purpose." Earlier as a noun, salutari, "a remedy," (early 15c.), from Latin salutaris (n.).
1892, from crunch (n.) + -y (2). Student slang sense of "annoyingly intense about health or environmental issues" is by 1990, short for crunchy granola (considered a natural and wholesome food) used as an adjective. It could be neutral or positive at first, but later often was dismissive. Related: Crunchiness.
It is wrong to say that certain articles of food are healthy or unhealthy. Wholesome and unwholesome are the right words. A pig may be healthy or unhealthy while alive; but after he is killed and becomes pork, he can enjoy no health, and suffer no sickness. [Eliza Leslie, "Miss Leslie's Behaviour Book," Philadelphia, 1839]
Healthsome is from 1530s in the sense "bestowing health."
It is clear that none of the unfortunate people, perhaps at this moment on board, can stand upright, but that they must sit down, and contract their limbs within the limits of little more than three square feet, during the whole of the middle passage. I cannot compare the scene on board this vessel, to any other than that of a pen of sheep; with this difference only, that the one have the advantages of a wholesome air, while that, which the others breathe, is putrid. [Thomas Clarkson, "An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species," 1788]
late Old English horsian "to provide with a horse or horses," from horse (n.). Related: Horsed; horsing. Sense of "to play excessive jokes on" is by 1893, mostly in formation horse around (1928), perhaps from horse-play, or from earlier nautical jargon use of the verb in reference to men, "drive or urge to work unfairly and tyrannically" (1867). But also consider the vulgar expressions arsing about (1660s), arsing around (1922).
[A] favorite pastime for many men is to "horse" or guy a friend who has shown himself susceptible to ridicule or fun making. "Horsing" is extremely wholesome mental discipline for over sensitive or super-conceited young men. "Horsing" always implies a joke at another's expense. As to how it came into use there is no satisfactory theory to offer. [Yale Literary Magazine, December 1893]
As a verb, horse also meant "to mount on horseback" (early 14c., horsen), "to spank" as one does a horse to get it to go (1825), also "to copulate, mount" (as a stallion does a mare), hence figuratively, of men, "copulate with" a woman (mid-15c.).