Wine medical remedies: history and traditions

Wine medical remedies: history and traditions


Wine is not only the best of beverages because it is pleasing to the eye, to the palate and to the nose.

For many centuries, in medical history, wine was considered an all-purpose remedy. Already in the 4th and 5th century BC, Hippocrates recommended it as a fever remedy because it was diuretic and suitable for convalescence.

The Egyptians used wine as a local anesthetic and the Etruscans for dislocations, swelling and colic. The Romans instead used it to wean children and it was combined with all therapeutic and herbal remedies.

Galen influenced the future of western medicine with his wine based recipes and therapies, whilst in the Middle Ages wine was the main ingredient when disinfecting and bandaging wounds.

Coming up to the recent fifties, mulled wine, as well as being a delicious hot drink, had a renowned invigorating effect.

Not to forget enolito (or medical wine): a solution obtained from macerating in cold wine dried parts of various medical plants. Kept in dark, cooled glass bottles, enolito can be used for several weeks in small daily doses. Today medicinal wines (birch, chamomile, cinnamon wine etc.) are hardly ever used any longer.

So can wine be a medical remedy?

Contemporary science recognizes wine therapeutic effects, thanks to its powerful antioxidant (especially in red wine) which prevent cellular aging and cardiovascular disease; it is also a vasodilator of small arteries.

We can therefore say that, if drunk regularly, in the right quantity, wine can benefit our health.