BIT Blog

Can Tequila Cure What Ails You?

The consumption of fermented drinks has generally been intended for more reasons than getting tipsy and forgetting all of one’s woes.  Though, I suppose that this desired result of such drafts is an ideal side effect and has not at all been unwelcome in nature.

As with all manner of food and drink, they have a long tradition of bringing folks together; to socialize, to celebrate, to discuss and gossip about our friends and families, to resolve political
fissures and even to treat mysterious ailments.

But, many folks these days don’t think of tequila as a medicine.  However, here, in Mexico, it has often been a cure-all.  A snake medicine if you will… but is there something to it?

Here, In Mexico, I cannot count the times that I have heard: “Ayii… tienes la gripa?  Toma un poco de tequila con limon!” (you have the flu? Oh, you must have a little tequila with lime...) “Ayiiii, tienes un dolor de cabeza?  Toma tequila con limon!”  (you have a headache? Take a little tequila with lime…)  

Now, I’m not sure that tequila can actually cure anything other than to give you satisfactory diversion from what ails you, but I suppose, in the past (before western medical treatment was available to all) it never hurt anyone to drink a little tequila and hope for the best.  And it has often given people a preferable side effect of the forgetful persuasion… “I’m sick?  I don’t really remember…” 

In 1918, during the outbreak of the Spanish influenza, many Mexican doctors gave patients tequila, with a little lime and salt, and believed it hastened their recovery to this particularly virulent ailment.  I suppose if it didn’t cure the flu, they were eased from this life to the next with less pain and a warm fuzzy buzz.  Tequila, the cure-all.  

But really, can tequila actually cure sickness?

Because tequila is made from the pulp of the piña hearts of the blue agave plant, it makes sense that there would be genuine medicinal properties of the plant itself.  The more we understand the wonders of plant medicine and the science of natural healing, the more some of these folk remedies begin to look less like “snake oil” cures and more like natural medications.  After-all penicillin was originally just a mold that grew on a piece of stale bread.  Many medicines come from natural sources, so what might tequila be capable of curing?

Blue Agave, being a close relative of the aloe vera plant, may have similar alkaline, healing, properties (so long as you do not over do it and  put your liver to the test.)  And, it’s suggested that if you are going to use tequila medicinally you want the True Blue kind.  And, the purer the better.

We know that a glass of wine per day can help lower cholesterol and blood pressure etc, but we know less about the medicinal qualities of tequila.  Let’s look now, at a few of those claims and learn how we may use tequila in a medicinal fashion, not just the old gringo style of: holy mole, I drank way too much last night and can’t remember the majority of what happened.  There are actually responsible ways to indulge in your tequila cure.

Tequila can dissolve fat in the body (unless of course you counteract that cure with adding sugary mixers to your tequila drink). So, if you’re looking for health, stay pure and avoid sugary margarita mixes that water down the pure, complex and masterful taste of your blue agave tequila.  And, of course, be moderate in your usage.

For a sleep time aid, 1-1.5 ounces of tequila can be consumed to inspire a state of relaxation that helps some people fall to sleep, if taken right before bedtime.

Eyemask and pillowcases by San Miguel Designs

Eyemask and pillowcases by San Miguel Designs

Blue agave, has been found to be a high source of fructans (a fructose polymer) has been noted to stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, which helps to increase the production of insulin, reducing a person’s reaction to the sugars in alcohol as well as preventing diabetic responses.  Blue agave, the possible cure for type 2 diabetes?  

And the age-old tradition: if you have la gripa (a cold) Mexican doctors have been known to prescribe:
.5 ounces of tequila
.5 ounces of agave nectar
.5 ounces of fresh limejuice.  .  

It is also suggested that small amounts of tequila help medications reach the colon, thereby making them more effective.

And, speaking of intestines: small amounts of tequila act as both a prebiotic and probiotic.  Clearly, large doses of tequila would kill off the good bugs, but small amounts can actually charm them into proliferation.  So, small amounts of tequila can actually help keep the flora of your intestines in a very healthy state.

One last remedy, and one that I heard many years ago, the nectar of the blue agave can actually prevent arthritis and is good for those suffering from it.  Not only is it a gentle pain reliever, but it also helps to fight osteoporosis by aiding the absorption of calcium!  The first time that I heard this, I was less than enthusiastic, and highly doubtful that an alcohol could do anything positive for a person suffering from arthritis.  Other forms of alcohol had actually inflamed my arthritis, and left me in more pain than I’d been in before the drink.  

However, after an elderly Mexican woman encouraged me to give it a shot, I did.  I gave it a shot, and I did not wake in the morning with that bone aching pain that other alcohols had given me.  So, I’m not making promises, but there does seem to be something different about blue agaves and their purity that actually function with the body to create healing properties.

Now, before you go running out and taking shot after shot of high grade blue agave tequilas, I must remind you that these remedies all come in the form of moderation.....not a drunkin’ stuper.  As they say in mexico, “poco a poco”!