• Ashutosh Saxena

ORIGIN OF ALCOHOL- medicine/poison

Updated: Oct 7, 2020

Alcohol is formed when yeast ferments (breaks down without oxygen) the sugars in different food. when yeast or bacteria react with the sugars in food - the by-products are ethanol (alcohol) and carbon dioxide.

Alcohol & Indus valley

Alcohol is believed to be originated in Indus valley civilization as early as 2000 BCE.

The people of India used to drink an alcoholic drink called Sura made from fermented rice, barley, jaggery, and flowers of the Madhyamika tree.

While the alcoholic drinks have been produced and used from the very ancient times in India its usage can also be found in the two great Hindu epics, Ramayana and Mahabharata, and many other historian records.

Alcohol abstinence was promoted as a moral value in India by Mahavira, the founder of Jainism, and Adi Shankaracharya. Early Vedic literature also suggests the use of alcohol by priestly classes.

While Hindu Ayurvedic texts mention beneficent uses of alcoholic beverages as well as the consequences of intoxication and alcoholic diseases.

The Ayurvedic texts concluded that alcohol is a medicine if you consume it in moderate amount, but it is a poison if you consume it in excess. Most of the people in India have continued, throughout, to ferment a portion of their crops and nourish themselves with the alcoholic product.

Although it’s true that as long as absorbed in moderate value it can really help you develop better health and can act as medicine for you.

But how much amount of alcohol consumption exactly comes under the moderate category :

As per the health experts, moderate drinking is defined as up to a drink per day for women and up to two per day for men

in general, that too with two days as drink-free days in a week.

Alcohol is classed as a ‘sedative hypnotic’ drug, which means it acts to depress the central nervous system at high doses. At lower doses, alcohol can act as a stimulant, inducing feelings of euphoria and talkativeness, but drinking too much alcohol at one session can lead to drowsiness, respiratory depression (where breathing becomes slow, shallow, or stops entirely), coma, or even death.

As long as you drink it moderately it can give you the following benefits.

# It can reduce the risk of heart failure and heart disease.

# You might have a reduced risk of type 2 diabetes.

# Drinking in moderation can help prevent the common cold.

# You might decrease your chances of dementia.

# You might also be less likely to develop rheumatoid arthritis.

# you can reap the nutritional benefits offered by wine and beer By drinking it moderately.

However, a healthy diet plan doesn’t include alcohol as it's component as much.

Generally eating a healthy diet and being physically active have much greater health benefits than that of alcohol.

Just Keep in mind that even moderate alcohol use isn't risk-free even light drinkers (those who have no more than one drink a day) have a tiny, but real increased risk of some cancers.

Conclusion: if you are a non-drinker don’t start drinking just because of some potential health benefits of it; however, if you drink a light to moderate amount of alcohol being healthy, you can probably continue as long as you drink responsibly.

Be sure to take regular health check-up with your doctor for better health assessment.
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