5 Alcoholic Spirits to Keep You Healthy

The medicinal properties of alcohol have been hyped for almost as long as alcohol has been around. Before prohibition, doctors would prescribe various alcoholic beverages for differing aliments. Even today, there are reputable medical doctors who recommend a drink before writing a prescription. You may not find an FDA daily recommended allowance label on these beverages, so take that as the disclaimer, but the main forms of alcohol have a long history of health benefits (when consumed in moderation, of course.


The British navy of the 1500s was concerned with scurvy, a disease that caused fatigue, tooth loss and eventual death. Scurvy is caused by a lack of Vitamin C in the body. Since seamen generally did not have fresh fruits and vegetables (the natural source of Vitamin C) on board, they had to find other ways of ingesting it. They would make a mixture of rum, lime juice and sugar, which would make a delicious drink and prevent scurvy. This became so common that it made it into contemporary pirate lore. “Yo ho ho and a bottle of rum.”


According to legend, a group of 16th Century Carthusian monks were given the task of creating an elixir based on an alchemist’s manuscript delivered by one of King Henry IV’s marshals. They succeeded in creating the “elixir of life,” but the recipe was lost for almost a century until the monks of the Chartreuse Mountains were able to replicate it. The strong, sweet liqueur that was distilled from 130 different herbs is still only made by that group of non-seculars. As the elixir of life, chartreuse is reputed to be a general well-being enhancer. Its syrupy, sharp taste and clean buzz will definitely warm you to your soul.


Probably one of the oldest of the alcoholic beverages, beer has a long history as a helpful drink. It is one of the only alcoholic drinks that has a nutritional value. When the Vikings came home from a long day of pillaging and fighting, they needed some raw calories and something to calm the nerves. A drink made from fermented grains did the trick. Even in America during the Prohibition Era, doctors lobbied the government to allow for prescription beer for those with nerve conditions and malnutrition. Medicinal beer didn’t get too far in the 1900s, but it still make for a good excuse to have a few cold ones today.


It is hard to think about the American Old West without evoking images of a saloon and whiskey. This hard spirit has an antiseptic property, so it was often used to sterilize a wound or sore. If enough is drank, whiskey has an anesthetic effect, knocking the gunslinger out in times that the fight didn’t go quite right and a bullet needed to be removed. The high volume of alcohol in whiskey also accounts for its demonization during the Prohibition Era, since it was known to relax people and lower their inhibitions.

Red Wine

Unlike the other spirits that use words like reputed and believed, wine has some solid science behind its health benefits. Studies show that red wine in moderation can reduce the risk of heart disease, increasing average lifespans. There is even some research that indicates wine can help prevent some forms of cancer and regulate blood sugar in diabetics.

Armin Brott

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Armin Brott is the proud father of three, a former U.S. Marine, a best-selling author, radio host, speaker, and one of the country’s leading experts on fatherhood. He writes frequently about fatherhood, families, and men's health. Read more about Armin or visit his website, mrdad.com. You can also connect via social media: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest,  and Linkedin.
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