Legend has it that the gin and tonic was created by British soldiers stationed in India, who continually suffered outbreaks of malaria among their ranks. The tonic or “tonic water” was originally a chitin-based treatment that fought the effects of malaria, unfortunately it had a horrible taste, so the soldiers began to mix it with gin to make it pass better. In this article, we will explain some of the main properties of gin that you probably did not know.
Gin, like other alcoholic beverages, has medicinal properties. This is because these types of drinks were used in ancient times as medicine. It is something similar to what happens with red wine or whiskey. Over time, these distilled natural remedies eventually became socialized and were used as leisure drinks, just like beer or wine.
Although it is true that alcohol consumption can be harmful to health, the truth is that it is a question of quantities and a bottle of gin a day is not the same as a glass from time to time.
Gin, due to the botanical ingredients used in its preparation, provides certain health benefits, as long as it is consumed in moderation. The Queen of England herself drank gin for its anti-inflammatory properties and, therefore, it has always been taken to relieve cramps and menstrual pain. Prime Minister Winston Churchill himself said of her that he had saved more lives than all the doctors in the empire.
The medicinal properties of gin are derived especially from juniper, a berry used as a base for gin, dark purple in color and slightly citrus flavor. Juniper has analgesic, expectorant, antiseptic properties and is a natural remedy against cystitis, since it favors the elimination of toxic substances through the urine. But, let’s not rush it, what properties does gin have?
As we have just explained, it is used to prevent and cure cystitis as it is a diuretic. Juniper has properties that protect kidney functions and promote the elimination of toxins from the body. In addition, the best gin usually contains other cereals such as barley or wheat that make it a digestive and laxative drink, thanks to the contribution of fiber. It also helps lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels. As if that were not enough, it has protease inhibitors that help fight certain cancers of the digestive tract.
In England, gin is taken as an aperitif, as if it were a vermouth, or right at the end of meals. This is due to its digestive and analgesic properties, which help relieve stomach pain after a heavy meal, while making the feeling of heaviness and bloating disappear.
By having coriander among its essential ingredients, it also provides vitamins of group A, C and K, in addition to folic acid, which prevents insomnia and anxiety. Coriander also provides fiber and protects the digestive and urinary tract.
Gin, thanks to juniper, has anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties, making it a good home remedy to relieve low back pain, sciatica, arthritis and other muscle or joint ailments. In certain parts of the world, a remedy for these pains is raisins soaked in gin.
Since ancient times, women have drunk a glass of gin to relieve menstrual pain and cramps, as it has relaxing and antispasmodic properties.
If necessary, gin would be perfect for cleaning a wound, since it has a volume of alcohol greater than 40% and, in addition, due to its preparation it has antiseptic properties that eliminate bacteria. For this same reason, it is a perfect drink to fight colds and to improve the health of the respiratory system in general.
Beyond the social component of alcohol and that going out with friends helps to clear the mind, feel better and forget about worries for a while, gin has beneficial properties for psychology. As long as it is taken in moderation, as alcohol in excess is a strong depressant, it improves mental health and character, while relieving stress and tension.
The tonic was the only remedy known to man to combat the effects of malaria and to provide energy to the body, thanks to its quinine content. British soldiers stationed in India and the African continent began adding gin to the tonic to improve its flavor. In this way the gin and tonic became a proven and effective remedy to save lives.
In addition, many of these soldiers and sailors suffered from scurvy, a disease caused by a serious lack of vitamin C. To also combat scurvy, they began to add lemon to gin and tonic, accidentally creating the most famous combination of all.
Gin has 263 calories per 100g, but it contains little or no sugar and helps prevent the formation of cholesterol, while lowering blood sugar. It is a perfect drink for those who are thinking of going on a diet, since it does not provide few calories, even if it is mixed with tonic, which only has 34 calories per 100 g.
As we have already explained throughout this article, gin has medicinal properties as long as you take it in moderation. Alcohol abuse is harmful and can cause serious damage to health, especially the liver, heart and kidneys. It can also cause short- and long-term memory problems, so remember, drinking every now and then is fine, but always in moderation.