The eternal question strikes again… is wine (or other kinds of alcohol) actually healthy for you? The biddies cover the medicinal use of alcohol throughout the centuries, dive into some scientifically-backed benefits and include a special PSA. Also, please note we are not medical professionals. We are barely professionals of any kind.
Calla: White Claw
Kara: Gin & Tonic with Bloom Gin
- Mayo Clinic, Red Wine and Resveratrol: Good for Your Heart?
- Good Housekeeping, Is Red Wine Good for You?
- Wine Country Gift Baskets, 5 Major Health Benefits of White Wine
- BBC, Alcohol Therapy: Medicinal Drinking Through the Ages
- Ancient Origins, Alcohol as Medicine Through the Ages
Study Notes for Health Benefits of Wine:
*DISCLAIMER – THE BIDDIES ARE NOT DOCTORS. WE ARE BARELY WINE PROFESSIONALS & ALWAYS WE ENCOURAGE MODERATION*
- Used as medicine throughout history:
- A drop of gin was once advised to ward off the plague, a glug of wine to “defend the body from corruption” and a sip of absinthe to cure the body of roundworms.
- Phrase – “drink to health” or “drink to your health”
- In ancient cultures alcohol was seen as an important medicinal ingredient and as an essential part of the diet
- Mesopotamians and other ancient civilizations used to mix herbs with wine and other fermented beverages
- Pharaoh called Scorpion I – one of the first pharaohs, jug with wine residue and medicinal herbs found in tomb
- Widely used throughout ancient Rome
- One of the most famous practitioners of alcohol-based herbal remedies was the father of modern medicine, Hippocrates, whose own special recipe for intestinal worms was known as Hippocraticum Vinum. Hippocrates was making a crude form of vermouth in approximately 400BC
- 1095 -> alchemy and distillation techniques resulted in spirits – acqua vitae or “water of life”
- Throughout antiquity, available water was polluted with dangerous microbes, so drinking alcohol, which involved the liquid being boiled or subjected to similarly sterilising treatments, was seen as being healthier and safer.
- 1300s, Roger Bacon, philosopher and writer on alchemy and medicine: “Preserve the stomach, strengthen the natural heat, help digestion, defend the body from corruption, concoct the food till it be turned into very blood.”
- But he also recognises the dangers of consuming in excess: “If it be over-much guzzles, it will on the contrary do a great deal of harm: For it will darken the understanding, ill-affect the brain… beget shaking of the limbs and bleareyedness.”
- 15th and 16th centuries: colonization gave the apothecaries an abundance of exotic herbs, spices, barks, peels and berries to add to their medicine cabinets and from this point until relatively recently, a large percentage of medicines were made with an alcoholic base
- Yet it was not until the 19th Century that alcohol was regarded as a problem in a consistent way, says Dr Virginia Berridge of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine.
- As Britain became increasingly industrialised and urbanised it needed efficient and time-aware workers, making sobriety a virtue.
Plato wrote that wine should only be allowed in moderation between the ages of 18-30 but after you hit 40 it’s a free for all because he believed wine was rejuvenating in older people.
- Raises HDL or “good cholesterol”
- Reduces the formation of blood clots
- Helps prevent artery damage caused by high levels of LDL
- Improves function of the layer of cells that line the blood vessels
- Increases exercise
- Prevents kidney stones
- Improves sex and social life
- Balances blood sugar
- Antioxidants in red wine called polyphenols may help protect the lining of blood vessels in the heart, one especially called resveratrol
- Helps to reduce LDL or “bad cholesterol”, prevent blood clots and damage to blood vessels
- This could potentially lower risk of heart disease but scientists are mixed
- Comes from the skin of the grapes so since red wine is made with the skins intact
- May sharpen your mind – flavanols in wine may protect the body’s cells that support healthy blood vessels which is a key component in promoting and improving blood flow to the brain and preventing harmful plaque from developing
- Promoting Longevity – long term population studies have linked moderate alcohol drinking to a longer life
- Made Improve Mood – well duh
- Can help promote weight loss: contains antioxidants like epicatchin, quercetin, and obvi some resveratrol
- Improves Lungs – drinking white wine correlates to better long function because it contains nutrients that keep lung tissue healthy (more son than red)
- Easier on the hangover – congeners (a chemical byproduct responsible for the taste, aroma, and color of the beverage) and it has less than red wine
BUT HERE’S THE HARD NEWS & WHY MODERATION IS KEY
- Excessive consumption can lead to:
- Liver damage
- Certain types of cancer like breast
- Poor Decision Making
Instagram quote for post: Alcohol throughout the centuries has touted medicinal benefits and have been said to improve quality of life and health but can they be backed up or are we just looking for a reason to imbibe?