How ironic! Alcohol worsens the very problems it supposedly helps to cure. I’d never recommend it. The Lord warns: ‘Wine is a mocker, strong drink is raging: and whosoever is deceived thereby is not wise.’ (Proverbs 20:1)
1. Needing restful sleep?
Suggestions: Exercise early in the day. Also sip warm milk before bed time.
In small doses, alcohol brings drowsiness, but it reduces restful sleep. So the next day you may feel no better. After repeated use, the sedative effect diminishes, which may lead to increased dinking.
‘Alcohol Insomnia Connection – Discussion and Remedies’ http://www.all4naturalhealth.com/alcohol-insomnia.html
2. Needing pain relief?
Suggestions: Use ginger for joint and muscle pain. Use turmeric for arthritic pain. Many pain treatments are available.
Alcohol is unsuitable. Despite the analgesic effect of large doses, alcohol ultimately increases pain sensitivity and conflicts with pain medications.
‘Tolerance develops to alcohol’s analgesic effects so that it takes more alcohol to produce the same effects.’ ‘Withdrawal from chronic alcohol use often increases pain sensitivity which could motivate some people to continue drinking or even increase their drinking to reverse withdrawal-related increases in pain.’ ‘Mixing alcohol and acetaminophen can cause acute liver failure. Mixing alcohol and aspirin increases risk for gastric bleeding.’
‘Using Alcohol to Relieve Your Pain: What Are the Risks?’, NIAAA https://pubs.niaaa.nih.gov/publications/PainFactsheet/Pain_Alcohol.pdf
3. Needing to feel warm?
Alcohol brings blood to the surface of the skin, and takes warm blood away from vital organs. Thus, alcohol is dangerous to someone who has been caught in a blizzard. (Besides, reduced alertness helps nobody find safety.)
‘Instead, we’re letting more blood flow past the surface of the skin, where the cold outside air is able to steal a little bit more heat from our core. Thanks to the brandy, we’re actually getting colder, not warmer. Alcohol does nothing to warm us up and is a quick way to get hypothermia in a cold environment.’
Rod Brouhard, EMT – P, First Aid Expert, About.com Drinking Alcohol to Keep Warm – Why It’s Dangerous
4. Needing to sterilize your hands?
Suggestion: sometimes plain old soap and water are still helpful, because alcohol is not a universally effective sterilizer against all types of viruses and bacteria. For example: ‘…the genus Clostridium, responsible for such conditions as botulism, gas gangrene, and tetanus. Soaking bacteria that cause gas gangrene in 90 percent ethanol for an hour has almost no effect, and tetanus can survive ethanol exposure for up to 18 hours.’
Public over-confidence in alcohol-based hand sanitizers may even contribute to the spread of various infectious diseases. ‘During the winter of 2006-07, researchers determined that facilities in which staff used alcohol-based sanitizers were six times more likely to have an outbreak of norovirus compared to those in which staff cleaned their hands using soap and water.’
(Noroviruses are highly contagious and cause stomach flu. Recurrence is possible. But even a little grape seed extract helps sterilize noroviruses.)
5. Needing to sterilize water?
Ancient Roman soldiers added posca to water to avoid dysentery outbreaks. This was vinegar, not alcoholic wine. Moreover, some components found in grape juice do help to avoid certain infectious diseases.
Alcoholic wine contains these ingredients too – but is that helpful? Even in small doses, alcohol causes damage to the stomach lining! Of course this means someone who was drinking alcohol is more susceptible to future infections than someone who used grape juice. So the non-alcoholic treatment is the effective treatment. Ancient writer Athenaeus (280 A.D.) understood that a sweet wine – which does NOT cause drowsiness (i.e. not alcoholic) – was known to be helpful to treat stomach ailments.
Athenaeus, ‘Deipnosophistae’, 2.
‘Alcohol, even in relatively small amounts, can interfere with many stomach functions, i.e., altered gastric acid secretion, acute gastric mucosal injury, and interference with gastric and intestinal motility.’
‘Both acute and chronic alcohol consumption can interfere with stomach functioning in several ways. For example, alcohol—even in relatively small doses—can alter gastric acid secretion, induce acute gastric mucosal injury, and interfere with gastric and intestinal motility.’
Christiane Bode Ph.D., and J. Christian Bode, M.D., Alcohol’s Role in Gastrointestinal Tract Disorders, Alcohol Health & Research World, Vol. 21, No. 1, 1997, p. 78.
‘The 9-11 percent concentrations of ethyl alcohol in ordinary wines have very little effect on bacteria.’ ‘The antiseptic power of wine is no myth. Since it cannot depend on alcohol alone-in fact it persists when the alcohol is removed…’
Guido Majno 1975, ‘The Healing Hand: Man and Wound in the Ancient World’, p. 186-187.
(Note: during Biblical times, some wines were non-alcoholic and others alcoholic – but none with higher concentrations of alcohol than was possible without fortification by distilled alcohol.)
Note: Timothy had initially foregone even non-alcoholic [oinos] wine too (1 Tim. 5:23) – though it does not make the head heavy (see Athenaeus) – because he did not wish to give Jewish brethren a wrong impression that a little idolatry is tolerable (Rom. 14:20-21; 1 Cor. 10:28-29). See:
Tertullian said Timothy not drinking would help his stomach (160-220 AD)
1 Timothy 5:23 why non-alcoholic wine for Timothy’s stomach
6. For my heart?
The Cancer Council says: ‘In the past, researchers believed red wine might have had health benefits for heart disease, but this does not appear to be the case.’
‘Alcohol’s benefits debunked: Heart researchers review findings’, Cancer Council Australia. http://www.cancer.org.au/preventing-cancer/reduce-your-risk/limit-alcohol.html
Researchers from Canada, USA, and Australia have together produced a meta-analysis of 54 published studies, regarding drinking, and death from all causes and from coronary heart disease (CHD). The report found that many of the previous prospective studies have failed to distinguish between former drinkers and persons who never were drinkers. This systematic error was used to support the hypothesis that alcohol use (by older users) reduces CHD risk.
‘Alcohol’s benefits debunked: Heart researchers review findings’ http://www.nodrinking.com/alcohol-heart-benefits-debunked/
Again, researchers (after excluding certain confounding factors) have associated drinking with greater risk of future heart disease. ‘In conclusion, our findings add to the emerging evidence that binge drinking is associated with higher rates of cardiovascular disease…’ ‘Surprisingly, our findings also raise the possibility that even moderate alcohol consumption could have proatherogenic effects [harmful effects on arteries] among young adults.’
Mark J. Pletcher, Paul Varosy, Catarina I. Kiefe, Cora E. Lewis, Stephen Sidney, Stephen B. Hulley, 1 Mar. 2005, ‘Alcohol Consumption, Binge Drinking, and Early Coronary Calcification: Findings from the Coronary Artery Risk Development in Young Adults (CARDIA) Study’, American Journal of Epidemiology, Vol. 161, No. 5, pp. 423-433, http://aje.oxfordjournals.org/content/161/5/423.full
7. Does the ‘hair of the dog that bit you’ really help hangovers?
Very strangely, some claim the way to help hangovers is to drink again the next day! (Remember a supposed remedy for rabies: getting some hair from the mad dog that bit you!)
Serious recommendation: faith in the Son of Man’s return would avoid them in the first place! Jesus said: ‘And take heed to yourselves, lest at any time your hearts be overcharged with surfeiting [κραιπαλη (kraipalé) – headache from drinking], and drunkenness, and cares of this life, and so that day come upon you unawares.’ (Luke 21:34)
8. Anxious for nothing?
‘Findings indicate bi-directional relationships between alcohol and stress…
…using alcohol to cope with stress may actually make a person’s response to stress worse, and prolong recovery from a stressor. “Stress may also alter the way that alcohol makes us feel in a way that increases the likelihood of drinking more alcohol,” [researcher Dr. Emma Childs] said. “Stress responses are beneficial in that they help us to react to adverse events. By altering the way that our bodies deal with stress, we may be increasing the risks of developing stress-related diseases, not the least of which is alcohol addiction.”‘
Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “Stress and alcohol ‘feed’ each other.” ScienceDaily, 19 July 2011. https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/07/110715163216.htm
Childs, E., O’Connor, S. and de Wit, H. (2011), Bidirectional Interactions Between Acute Psychosocial Stress and Acute Intravenous Alcohol in Healthy Men. Alcoholism: Clinical and Experimental Research, 35: 1794–1803. doi: 10.1111/j.1530-0277.2011.01522.x
Emma Childs, PhD, Department of Psychiatry and Behavioral Neuroscience, The University of Chicago.