For thousands of years, alcohol has been consumed for its recreational and medicinal properties. Ancient people of northern China began fermenting fruits and grains as far back as 7000 BC. Sure, people have always wanted to be able to kick back and relax with a drink, but did they also know the health benefits that came with drinking alcohol?
Fermentation is known to improve gut health and restore friendly bacteria in the GI Tract. Alcohol is an all-natural by-product that is a result of fermentation. For example, wine is made from fermented grapes and other fruits, beer is made from fermented grains, as is vodka and other high-proof spirits.
Gut health is not the only medicinal benefit of common household alcohol. In addition to having a little fun, booze is great for treating ailments and can really save you in a dire situation.
You can also use alcohol in tinctures, one that is at least 80 proof (40% alcohol). In this case, Vodka is the preferred alcohol to use, because it has no flavor; but rum, gin, brandy, and whisky will work as well. Tinctures have a very important attribute: they absorb into the body faster than any other means of using herbal medicines.
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It is important to note that none of these health benefits matter if alcoholism is an issue. Most estimations and studies show that 1-2 of these beverages per day is enough to see the health benefits. Any more than that puts yourself at risk. Moderation is key.
Here are 10 medicinal uses of alcohol that you can benefit from if you pour yourself a drink.
Wine is proven to have many health benefits. You can opt for red wine, since it is more beneficial than white wine, due to grape skins that contain powerful medicinal advantages. 2-7 glasses of red wine per week are believed to be enough to reap the reward.
Red wine inherently contains high amounts of powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants are good for you because they reduce oxidant stress in the body, which is medically linked to many diseases, such as heart disease and cancer. Having one glass of red wine per night can reduce your chances of developing such diseases.
2. Lowers Blood Pressure
One of the aforementioned antioxidants in red wine is called resveratrol, which is a component that is said to help lower blood pressure and increase good cholesterol. Compounds in red wine also are linked to healthy blood vessels and blood flow.
Did you know that your favorite hoppy, carbonated beverage actually has health benefits? These benefits are prominent when drunk in moderation, of course.
3. Heart Health
Like most alcohol, beer has a blood-thinning effect, which is believed to fight against blood clots and reduces the risk of coronary heart disease. It also reduces inflammation in the body. Beer promotes healthy cholesterol production, which prevents the buildup of plaque in your arteries.
4. Reduces Risk of Kidney Stones
In addition to enzymes and antioxidants, beer also contains high amounts of potassium and magnesium, which fight against the development of kidney stones. In addition, beer is made up of 90% water. Drinking lots of water is the most foolproof protection plan against kidney stones. In fact, researchers found that people who reported drinking 1 beer per day were forty percent less likely to develop kidney stones!
The mildness of vodka can be combined with any beverage for a tasty drink, but there are plenty of medicinal uses for vodka that do not involve drinking it.
Due to the high concentration of alcohol in vodka, it works as a way to wash your hands if you are not near running water. In addition to disinfecting, vodka can eliminate body odor when applied to armpits and can be used as a mouthwash. Keep your razor inside vodka to keep any bacteria away. You can also disinfect a cut or wound with high-proof, pure vodka.
It is very important to have no sugar content in the alcohol used in sanitizing cuts, as sugar will promote bacteria and yeast growth.
6. Natural Repellent
Vodka in a spray bottle will repel mosquitoes, flies, and other pests when applied to your skin. If you live near the coast, vodka can also be poured onto a jellyfish sting, which will soothe the sting in a minimum of 10 minutes.
The soothing qualities of whiskey are often enjoyed after a meal. It is known for its unique aroma and deep flavor, and will now be known for its health properties moving forward.
7. Reduces Stress
After consuming just 1 glass of whiskey, the drink brings on a calming effect on your nerves. It helps aid the mind in slowing down and relaxing.
8. Boosts Your Memory
The antioxidants in whiskey are proven to aid in memory retention and prevent the onset of dementia. It also reduces the plaque build-up that can cause Alzheimer’s later on in life.
Light rum has more use than darker rum in a desperate situation. Tannins in dark rum likely contain more sugar than light rum, and sugar is not our friend when using alcohol as a topical solution. If rum is all you have when SHTF, be sure to use the highest proof you can find.
9. Soothe Muscle Pain
Muscle pain and joint discomfort can be treated with rum. Having a small glass regularly can boost your bone mineral in your body, leading to stronger bones and less pain.
10. Remove Water From Your Fuel Tank
Fuel tanks can become contaminated with water. If that happens, strong rum can be poured into the gas tank. The water molecules will bond with the rum, which will then evaporate, leaving clean gas inside your tank.
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It is important to note that many medicinal qualities of alcohol span across multiple types of booze. For example, all alcohol can improve gut health. High-proof alcohol can disinfect wounds, cuts, and toothaches, as long as the alcohol is clear and sugar-free. Many types of booze can aid in heart health, as alcohol is a natural blood thinner. This allows blood to flow more easily, reducing the risk of blood clots and improving vascular health.
Enjoying alcohol responsibly is the best way to ingest booze and reap the medicinal benefits of them. Consuming about 1 drink per day of your choice is enough to utilize those powerful antioxidants and heart healthy uses.
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The article, “10 Medicinal Uses Of Alcohol You Can Benefit From Right Now” was really poorly written! Not only did the writer make errors in her information, she added a cute closing sentence that makes a completely false claim, I.e. a drink of your choice per day will give health and antioxidant benefits ( not true of vodka and many other distilled drinks).The rest of the writing has been copied from other sources and stuck together to make an article. Her rum section (#10) suggests pouring rum in the gas tank will lock with water which will then “evaporate”. Does she not realize that if the rum evaporates, it leaves the water behind along with all the sugars and other impurities that give rum its flavors? An article like this is a DISSERVICE to your readers.
bold claims on your part with no sources or proof. Comments like yours do a disservice to readers.
Also, when you distill alcohol, it removes the dead yeast and other substances that would help with GI health leaving only the alcohol which can irritate GI lining.
Claude: Disappointing article. The author continues to talk about “high proof” alcoholic drinks without mentioning the proof necessary to act as a disinfectant.
It is 120 proof or 60% alcohol or better. Most legitimate hand sanitizers being sold today run between 63% ethanol or higher up to 75% ethanol.
One of the reasons why whiskey was used in earlier days to wash out wounds was not because of its alcohol because bacteria and their effect on wounds was not understood by most people including doctors. It was used because water was so often contaminated with bacteria and typically due to the distillation process that produced the whiskey, it was clean and free of bacteria. It may have been of high enough ethanol content to actively kill bacteria but mainly it was the almost guaranteed effect of being clean that made it use as a wash important.
For the same reason when you are in a foreign country where various water born disease entities are common, it is recommended that you only drink from sealed containers of either soda or beer because due to the manufacturing process bacteria have been greatly reduced or eliminated. And, by the way, drink straight alcoholic beverages without ice cubes or diluted with water unless it is bottled water which is delivered sealed to you.
While it is true that red wine contains more resveratrol than white wine, it is also true that the amount of resveratrol in red wine is so de minimis that if you drank enough red wine to have the resveratrol make some kind of difference, you would have other problems from over consumption of the alcohol.
It is similar to what I have always said about the lead left on the lip of the bottle from lead wine seals. If you develop lead toxicity problems from the lead left on the mouth of the bottle and washed off by the wine flowing over that residual lead, your problem isn’t lead poisoning, it is acute alcoholism.
Some states do not allow the sale of alcoholic beverages over 110 proof. That does not qualify as a bactericide.
Just because vodka or gin are clear does not enhance their alcoholic content. Rum sometimes comes in at 160 proof which is 80% alcohol and Everclear which is not sold in every state come in at 190 proof which is 95% alcohol.
The PDRK does not allow such intoxicating beverages to be sold to the serfs, so for those of us trapped in the PDRK it is necessary to travel to the United States in order to stock up on multi-purpose alcoholic beverages and smuggle them across the border.
Alcohol is what it is. It is a central nervous system depressant. It can be used as an anesthesia because of its effect on the central nervous system. It will lessen sensitivity to pain. In my opinion, that is the most important use of alcohol in an EOTW situation. If you can distill or obtain 165% or better alcoholic content, then it is valuable as a disinfectant. Other than as a anesthetic or disinfectant or a clean wash and finally as a relaxant, alcohol has no real medicinal uses.
Did you notice that according to the author tinctures require 160 proof alcohol?
I suspect the reason why tinctures require 80% ethanol to be effective is that it serves to preserve the other ingredients in the tincture. Also, perhaps application of alcohol that strong has a slight numbing effect on the surface nerves. That is pure supposition on my part however and I know of no medical evidence to support it.
As for reducing heart disease and other internal organ pathology, it seems to me that is still open to considerable debate in the medical community. Many doctors, too, are confused by the plethora of contradictory “findings” that are breathlessly reported by the media in their voracious search for “breaking news.”
I even had a doctor recommend red wine over white wine because of the “resveratrol content” of the red wine. Apparently he hadn’t read the report that said that the resveratrol in red wine was so minuscule as to be of no effect whatsoever, that one would be just as well served drinking Welch’s grape juice — a study possibly financed by the Welch food company.
This is a very weak article full of unproven medical factoids which are still in the category of unproven medical myths other than it is better to use moonshine to clean a wound than water straight from the Los Angeles River.
I am no one’s authority on this, but during the early days of the COVID pandemic, I read that it was a myth that regular vodka would sterilize anything. (I saw vodka being used like this just last night on Netflix series, “To the Lake.” The Russian series deals with a deadly pandemic.)
Only alcohol over 130 proof was supposed to be able to sterilize, and many states ban the sale of alcohol in such extraordinarily high proofs–or so I read.
All of this must be true because I read it on the internet, and you can’t say things on the internet that aren’t true. 🙂
To paraphrase Ed McMahon, “You are RIGHT, Survivorman.”
While 120 proof is theoretically potent enough to kill bacteria, the problem is that if the alcohol is just at 120 proof/60%, it soon drops from that percentage down below the bare minimum. That is why Survivorman is correct in his statement that one need 130 proof liquor to kill bacteria and other pathogens.
The difference is between SANITIZE and STERILIZE. Mostly they are used interchangeably, and they should not be. It’s usually non-experts out there writing about stuff they shouldn’t (like this article).
Unfortunately it seems like many of the new articles on this site are being created by AI ‘article writer’ software. Utter garbage.
Some bio-active compounds in plants are only soluble in alcohol, alcohol is used to extract these ingredients. Other compounds are soluble in cold or hot water, others in oil.
Good scientific studies have shown that taking anti oxidants has no effect, good or bad, on a person’s health. Just another part of the vitamin and supplement racket.
In this modern world alcohol is mostly useful for fun, in pre-industrial times fermentation was an important way of preserving harvests and turning raw goods into trade items. Sauerkraut, corned beef, and beer, there’s a hearty post apocalyptic meal.
LCC – at least giver her her due on the tinctures. She did say 80 proof/40% alcohol, and, having done some tincturing, I can attest that 40% makes a fine tincture, and that the water content in 40% vodka actually improves most tincturing because of its ability to dissolve water-soluble aspects of the herb or material being tinctured that are not dissolved by the alcohol component.
RG: I thought I did. I commented that I thought 40% probably acted as a preservative for the other ingredients. I have some figs in vodka that have been in the fridge since I got off the Ark. They are still good although biting into one is like downing a shot of cheap vodka which is what they are in. I should have used a better brand of vodka. One of the middle eastern countries has a drink/fruit which is the fruit soaked for decades in alcohol. Saw a TV program on it, I think, on NHK. Can’t remember which middle eastern country or the fruit. I think it was figs in the local home-distilled beverage. Obviously not one of the hard-line Mohammadan countries.
LCC – if you have an extra covered glass jar or crock, you can make “Rumtopf” a seasonal treat to pour over ice cream, cake or anything to which one tops off with whipped cream! It is a mix of seasonally added sliced fruits layered and preserved in rum. Usually ready to serve and enjoy around Thanksgiving or Christmas time. Think of it as rum-raisin on steroids!
I looked up rumtopf on the internet. I made fig vodkatopf although I didn’t add all that sugar.
I wonder if my ceramic cookie jar would serve as a rumtopf crock? I looked them up on Amazon and they certainly are not giving them away. Cheapest one I saw was $70.
LCC – No need to use your cookie jar, A simple glass jar will do. Just keep it in a cool dark location.
ah hah, 1st proof there was a dinosaur on The Ark!
Actually, Mike, there was a pair of us so that we could reproduce. You can tell the dinosaurs. They are all wearing red KAGS hats.
Check out the red KAG ball cap on Amazon, definitely wins out over the JOE cap. I guess the red flag here is that neither man uses alcohol. As Bogart said, you shouldn’t trust a teetotaler or a virgin.
I didn’t realize that neither of those two yahoos drank alcohol. I guess Joe is just naturally brain dead. I worked with a private investigator for a while who said he never drank vodka because he wanted people to know that he was drunk, not stupid. Drunk was temporary; stupid was permanent.
Maybe Joe should take up alcohol, rum, not vodka.
This article is basically telling us to turn to a bottle of alcohol to solve many of our problems! I much rather reserve it for a special occasion so I don’t think about them!
Okay, so more research would have made a better article. However, I ha e never thought of alcohol as a prepper as anything other than bartering item, possible fuel, pain killer, wound cleaner or fire starter. I did not realize alcohol could have other Medici al benefits so while this article didn’t fully inform, for me, it started a whole new line of inquiry. So, thank you, Tracy.
GG: Other than as a mild anesthesia, from my readings, the medical field is divided on the question of the medicinal properties of alcohol. While it has been prescribed for centuries as a curative for various ailments, so have a lot of other “medicinals” such as bats’ parts, newt parts, frog parts, parts of cats, cadaver bones and other even more gross substances which are no longer considered “standard of care in the community” which is the standard for measuring whether a doc is guilty of malpractice or not in the PDRK.
A doc applying mercury to a syphilis lesion would not be meting the standard of care in the community these days but before the invention of penicillin it was considered to be the standard of care in the treatment of such lesions. I don’t know if they are still putting a silver compound in the eyes of newborns to prevent gonorrhea but I seriously doubt it, although it was standard practice 100 years ago.
While we continuously read breathless articles and hear the same from the six o’clock news about new “discoveries” in the medicinal use of alcohol, so far I haven’t yet seen a good peer-reviewed study that met the criteria used for testing the efficacy of drugs,
I am a Sherlock Holmes enthusiast and have done a great deal of reading about the use of mercury, arsenic and other wonderful natural substances for ailments in Victorian times so I guess I should be more skeptical. If I run across any well-researched material on medicinal uses of alcohol will be sure to share it.
I agree with the author about making tinctures. If you use more powerful booze, you typically have to do a bit more math to get the right alcohol/water balance, especially if you use fresh matter for the tinctures.
I use 100 proof vodka for those, but have also used Everclear when i lived in a state where I could buy it. No i need to go one state over, but that state only carries the 151 stuff, not the 190.
I’ve also used brandy to make things like brandied cherries, and those can last a really long time, much like LCC’s figs.
I did need to get some isopropyl alcohol during the worst of the C19 crazy buying, and none was to be had. I made judicious use of what i did have on hand and decided a bottle of not so great scotch was going to be my Plan B. In the end, i didn’t have to use the scotch.
We don’t imbibe often nor massive quantities when we do, and more than one can of stale beer was used as slug bait in the garden.
I have used brandy when we’ve had colds or sipped a hot rum toddy. I think the alcohol helps the patient to relax a bit which aids rest.
Other than that, we don’t really use it medicinally.
mbi: I have read and personally it seems to me to be true that while alcohol helps one fall asleep immediately (no, I am not talking about too much alcohol which made one pass out) the effect is temporary and within a fairly short period restlessness and poor sleep appear from the use of alcohol to obtain a night’s sleep. According to some studies — you know the famous anonymous “studies”— alcohol actually impairs one’s over night sleep although it may help one to sleep immediately upon retiring.
Scoring isopropyl alcohol during the “pandemic” did prove to be difficult and required some creativity. I mentioned early on this year that if one had a self-help printing supply store in their locale, it probably had IPA on hand.
I was able to obtain IPA all through the supposed crisis at my local self-help printing store, although I was only able to buy a half gallon at a time instead of the usual gallon or five gallons. The price was considerably higher than what I was used to paying and the brand was not one that I was familiar with. It comes at 98 or 99% strength, so it can be diluted a little bit. I dilute it to 75% because it is easy to figure. 75ml of IPA with 250 ml of H2O gives one 1 liter of approximately 75% IPA. A little stronger than necessary to kill bugs, but hey, a .375 H&H is a little more rifle than needed in North America but it does the job quite nicely on big game.
I’m not saying how I know, but if you are adjacent to Nevada, it carries 190 proof Everclear, Along with Native American tobacco shop cigarettes, I am confident that several thousands of gallons of Everclear somehow found its way across the Nevada-PDRK border this year, despite having a customs station located between Barstow and Needles on the road back from Sin City. But you know, what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
I got run over by a car many years ago while I was engaged in a silly game. It broke my ankle. Being involved in a silly game, I continued on and during the evening, before checking into the ER, consumed some quantity of wine. I can say from personal first hand experience that alcohol does lower the perception of pain. Before the end of the evening and before getting my diagnosis of broken ankle bone confirmed at the ER, I almost convinced myself with enough red wine and pizza, although I am sure the pizza had nothing to do with the perception, that I had not actually broken my ankle. It wasn’t until I stood up to walk out to the car that I realized that Demon Rum had lied to me (or in this case, cheap pizza parlor red wine) and I, indeed, had a fractured bone in my ankle. The x-ray tech confirmed my diagnosis. Still don’t know why I had to pay the radiologist. It was a plain as the great nose on my face.
It was at that point that I empirically proved the hypothesis that with enough alcohol consumed one is indeed “feeling no pain.”
Claude may post a report I gave on a shooting in our county wherein preliminarily the shootee was shot with four bean bags at close range and they had no noticeable effect on him, although the coroner was able to identify the marks on his torso from them. Had he not had a BAC of .27 I am confident he WOULD have noticed them. The 8 hits with a combo of 9 mm and .40S&W did make a fatal impression on him.
LCC, I didn’t say we used alcohol to help us sleep. But when under the weather, if we took a nip of brandy, we found it relaxed us. I do remember when Nyquil had a lot of alcohol in it and that stuff used to knock me out.
I was eventually able to get some isopropyl alcohol, and i did also get some 99% stuff that i can dilute as needed. We aren’t big users here, but I do like a bottle in each bathroom, one in the kitchen, and keep one for the camping first aid kit and boating first aid kit. At the end of each kit season, i use whatever is opened in the house and replace with fresh, unopened bottles for next season.
My alert to buy more typically occurs when I open the last unopened bottle or move it to one of the kits. We did have a situation where we needed to use more than usual (not C19 related),and of course, it occurred about the time that alcohol was as plentiful as hen’s teeth.
The two bottles the spouse assured me were in a certain spot turned out to be witch hazel. Another useful product, and like isopropyl alcohol, one I don’t buy often, but always have some on hand.
The state nearest me where I know I can get the 190 proof Everclear is far enough away that during the height of the pandemic, i couldn’t get there from here. Too many hot spot zones for people to feel comfortable selling to an out-of-state gal. I have friends who live close enough who said they’d get me a bottle or two, and some day, when we meet up, we can have a handoff.
The 151 stuff works for my needs, and the door has been pretty much open between my state and the state next door. Seeing as i had the bottle of the 190 stuff for 15 years, it’s not something I use in mass quantities.
Among the things this year has taught me one is to look at the stuff i don’t use often but am awfully glad to see it on the shelf when i need it and be sure i’ve got some close to hand.
The amount of ‘contraband’ going back and forth across the country through the USPS, UPS, and FEDEX is beyond imagining. The volume of material makes it impossible to even begin to check what is in all those packages. If you need a bottle of Everclear or a bag of dope or a 38 Special just have a friend wrap it up and ship it.