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Posts Tagged ‘Wine as Food and Medicine’

I have a friend who says she knows when she’s really sick because she stops drinking coffee. This is how I feel about wine. If I’m not well enough for my daily glass, worry.

But when my last cold hit, I did wonder whether my moderate imbibing might be to blame for dragging the illness out. I don’t kid myself that Merlot is what my doctor means when she says to force fluids—so I turned instead to the late, great San Francisco-based epidemiologist Salvatore Lucia, aka “the wine doctor.” After all, in my favorite of his seven books on wine and health, Lucia proclaims wine “the most important medicinal agent in continuous use throughout the history of man.”

In Wine as Food and Medicine (The Blakiston Company, 1954), Lucia writes that “[a] glass of wine taken at bedtime will often forestall a cold by acting as a sudorific” (translation: thing that causes sweat.) He goes on to say that while alcohol is contraindicated during the acute phase of any illness, it is “highly recommended” during convalescence.

More than 50 years later, Your West Coast Oenophile is basically saying this same thing; he blogs at http://blog.sostevinobile.com and swears by a routine of “Sudafed and Ricola during the day, steam bath after my workout, overly generous glass of hot brandy with honey before bedtime, and within 7-10 days, I’m back with a vengeance.” From a quite different source—a blog called “Anglican, Plain” —comes the recommendation to try garlic wine, prepared as follows:

Get a bottle of not very expensive red wine and a head of garlic. Pour some wine in a cup, peel and bruise (slightly mash) a garlic clove or two, drop garlic into wine. Cover, let sit at least twenty minutes. Sip a little every hour or so for a day, then make a fresh batch the next day. Take for a couple of days at the first symptom – scratchy throat, hoarseness, sniffles. It will knock out the cold or lessen the severity a great deal.

Then there’s Joe Power of Another Wine Blog, whose cold-busting ritual includes Zicam, water, exercise, and a nightly glass of red wine. Power also writes that he was heartened to read this article discussing how researchers are examining whether the compounds used in winemaking may be able to “disable bacteria’s ability to sicken.”

Feeling better already…

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