Healing benefits of tequila

This Week In The HSI Healthier Talk Community

Tequila? In a health forum?

For the millions of people who have crashed and burned after enjoying a little too much tequila, the appearance of a thread titled “Tequila” in the General Health Topics forum in the HSI Healthier Talk community might seem a little out of place. As so many have learned the hard way, the first rule of tequila is: Go easy.

A member named Naturalway starts off the thread: “I was encouraged enough by Dr. Douglass’ newsletter on benefits of hard liquor to post about tequila. Recently I had a drink with tequila in it and noticed some healing benefits. The Mexicans say that it is therapeutic and drink it for that reason. It comes from the agave plant so it makes sense to me that it is.”

Naturalway is referring to a recent issue of Daily Dose, the e-letter written by William Campbell Douglass II, M.D. In that issue, Dr. Douglass called alcohol “liquid medicine,” of which he’s sung the praises many times, “Whether it’s beer, wine, or 100-proof liquoryou’re getting some powerhouse health benefits every time you imbibe – as long as you don’t overdo it, naturally.”

Dr. Douglass cites research presented at the Association of Clinical Biochemists conference that revealed, “single-malt Scotches are actually richer in a powerful, cancer-fighting antioxidant called ellagic acid than red wine. Does this mean you should go on a whiskey bender? Of course not. What it does mean is that if you’ve been convinced that red wine is the only type of alcohol that’s good for you, you can switch it up with a glass of scotch or a full-bodied beer (the darker varieties are also rich in cancer-fighters) and stay just as healthy.”

Neither the biochemists conference nor Dr. Douglass specifically mention tequila, so a member named JMWHITT posts an abstract from a recent issue of the International Journal of Food Microbiology. Researchers in Mexico tested the toxin-inhibiting effects of two species of agave, the “blue cactus” plant from which tequila is distilled. The results: The agave extracts significantly reduced the growth and production of two highly toxic compounds produced by fungi.

On a more personal note, here’s a posting by a member named Leppert: “Naturalway, I’ll confess my secret, now that booze is acceptable. After my fall 16 1/2 years ago I took all the pain and other meds the DRs gave me the first few years to no avail. My body does not like drugs! So I have had many years with chronic pain and couldn’t even take NSAIDS! Just by chance we discovered that a frozen margarita helped my pain. My hubby and I played around with various alcohol types and brands but only the good quality Tequilas seemed to help.

“I limited myself to only three drinks a weekno matter how bad the pain. My hubby still keeps frozen Margaritas in the freezer for mealthough nowadays I have the Curcurmin & DLPA that works incredibly well. Yes, I agree that there is something about the Tequila that is healing. Probably because it comes from the agave, a close relation to aloe vera.”

A member named Howard agrees with Leppert about the quality of tequila: “Cheap brands of Tequila have very little agave in them. Mostly fillers because real blue agave is in short supply. There is only a small area in Mexico where these plants thrive. Kinda’ like true Champagne or Bourbon whiskey. The Mexicans I know say that they keep the good stuff for themselves and export the rest.

“If you are going to use Tequila (or any other hard liquor) for medicinal purposes, buy the top shelf brand. True blue agave Tequila costs $35-$50.00/bottle where I live. The difference in taste is remarkable compared to the cheap stuff. Until I was introduced to the good stuff during a business trip to Mexico many years ago, I couldn’t stomach the stuff. The top shelf is worth the investment for Tequila.”

A friend of mine who’s something of a tequila connoisseur recommends a fine (and expensive) tequila called Chinaco Anejo. I doubt if he’s ever put it to use for medicinal purposes, but he insists that the typical tequila found in most liquor stores is junk. He enjoys his Chinaco in very small servings, like a rare cognac. Which brings us back to Dr. Douglass’ note: “Don’t overdo it.”

Other topics being discussed this week in the Healthier Talk community forums include:

  • Diabetes: Got diabetes? The milk connection
  • Hormones: Growth hormone
  • Vision: Spots before eyes
  • Allergies: Allergy testing
  • General Health Topics: Arrhythmias
  • Food Questions: Raw milk