Doctors and scientists have done battle on whether wine (in moderation) is good or bad for one’s health. Risks of some diseases like cancer and the reduction of life expectancy by ten years for alcoholics is weighed against more positive benefits for health and wellbeing. Our forebears were more enthusiastic particularly in times when drinking water was far more a danger to health than wine. In 1873 Louis Pasteur wrote, “Wine may be considered the most beautiful and most hygienic of beverages.”
Today, the world’s oldest man, a Spaniard of 113 years says a secret to his long life is a diet of vegetables washed down with a glass of red wine. Wine has long been used as a form of medication. It was used as an antiseptic for treating wounds, a digestive aid and to cure everything from child birth pain to lethargy and diarrhoea. Documentation dating back to 2200 BC in Egypt describes wine’s role in medicine making it the world’s oldest man made medicine.
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