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Your lifestyle, your quirk
There are studies that proclaim the health benefits of red wine or of drinking any alcohol in moderation, but there are a whole lot more health-related facts about alcohol that you probably don’t know. From dangers to busted myths to first aid uses, here are some strange health facts about alcohol.
Alcohol is medicinal according to A Handbook of Useful Drugs by State Medical Examining and Licensing Boards. While it can be a depressant in large doses, small doses can “produce euphoria, stimulate respiration, moderately dilate the cutaneous and splanchnic vessels, and modify the circulation… Alcohol is deployed as a stimulant, diuretic, diaphoretic and hypnotic.” In most cases, the ill effects outweigh the benefits, but the key really is the small amount part. The Mayo Clinic says that it is possible that moderate alcohol consumption can reduce your risk of heart disease, heart attack, stroke, gallstones, and diabetes.
You may believe that alcohol warms you up, but it just makes you feel warm. Alcohol actually lowers your body temperature. When your body is cold, blood leaves your skin and extremities to keep your core warm. Alcohol causes the blood to return to your skin and extremities, which will make them feel warmer, but it will also chill the blood on its way through your arteries and veins. The cooler blood will cool your core temperature in turn, lowering your overall body temperature.
Methanol, a byproduct of making liquor, is very poisonous. These days, most reputable distilleries remove all methanol during the distilling process. According to Gizmodo, many people died during Prohibition because bootleggers and moonshiners left the methanol in the homemade liquor.
Now that you know those fun facts, how about some odd health uses?
Life Hackery claims that you can use vodka to treat an earache by putting a few drops into your infected ear, giving it a few minutes to sit and destroy the bacteria, then draining. If you have an ear infection, it is probably best to consult your doctor, but I guess if you’re really in a pinch…
Got a fever? Life Hackery says that you can rub vodka on your chest and back using a washcloth. Every time you take a sick day, someone will assume that you were out partying the night before, so maybe it would be best to not smell like you bathed in alcohol when well-wishers come to check on you. Maybe you should stick to Vick’s Vapor Rub when you’re fighting the flu.
The combination of antiseptic and anesthetic properties in booze is great for applying to popped blisters or cuts, much like you would use the rubbing alcohol in a first aid kit. You can also swish vodka over a sore tooth to allow your gums to absorb some of the alcohol.
Ice packs are always developing a leak or getting lost right before you get injured. Luckily, you can make your own using booze! Most alcohol has a freezing point so low that it won’t freeze in most home freezers, so mixing a half cup of vodka and a half cup of water in a Ziploc bag and putting it in the freezer will leave you with a bagged slush that you can apply to injuries.
If you’ve already been sick (possibly from drinking too much alcohol), you can clean up the vomit with vodka. Spray the vodka on the stain (yes, you’ll need a spray bottle of booze), then scrub and blot dry.
The important thing to keep in mind is that alcohol can be harmful in large doses and it should not be a substitute for medical care. In addition, you probably don’t want to reek of alcohol after a sick day or just some experimentation.