At this moment you may be getting cosy on your sofa, possibly chatting to loved ones, or bing-watching your favourite tv show or even getting lost in a good book with a glass of your favourite red wine, gin or beer. But have you ever gazed upon the beverage that you are holding and thought to yourself what other purpose did alcohol have apart from giving you that relaxing sensation, or, during certain occasions, getting yourself drunk with?
Well, guess what? There was another use for alcohol, medical use that is.
Red wine has been mankind’s go-to remedy for certain ailments for many, many centuries. For example, in ancient Egypt there has been evidence found amongst the Ebers Papyrus (1500BC) that suggests red wine and other medicinal ingredients helped with medical conditions that include asthma, constipation and could help improve digestion.
The leading physician of ancient Greece, Hippocrates, believed the use of red wine had healing properties to stop the growth of infections in open wounds and could reduce fever. And during the Biblical Times (2000BC - 1000AD), red wine would’ve been used as an antiseptic and sedative.
Red wine has not only been the alcoholic beverage that’s been by civilisations side over the ages. Gin has also played its role in the medical world too.
Known as ‘mothers ruin’, gin has made a positive impact on mankind due to its original use for curing fever and tropical disease that would’ve plagued the Dutch settlers in the West Indies during the 17th century.
The key ingredient for this cure to work came from a berry that gave gin its distinctive flavour and texture - Juniper berries.
Juniper berries contain high levels of vitamin C which can help reduce fever, lower blood pressure and fight colds. So with every (sensible) sip you take could help with such ailments.
An added bonus too is gin is also a low-calorie spirit.
Moving onto the 20th century, we finally come to beer. This golden nectar beverage has been around as long as wine itself and has its own medical properties. There have been recent studies to show that beer can lower the risk of cardiovascular problems, lower blood pressure and is high in vitamin B.
Please note: This is all in moderation, so don’t go and start guzzling down pint after pint, glass after glass. Be sensible and have fun!