General Question

awomanscorned's avatar

Does brandy really do anything, medicinally?

Asked by awomanscorned (11261points) January 8th, 2011 from iPhone

I’m reading a book and everyone around the main character is sick so she is “taking her tea with a medicinal dollop of brandy.” when I was young, my great grandpa owned a liquor store and he would bring my dad blackberry brandy if he got sick. (and he would bring me sprite) is there any truth behind this? If there is, I’m going to run out and get some now because people have the flu in our house.

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

14 Answers

Coloma's avatar

It might induce feelings of well being, drowsiness, relaxation, but aside from using it topically as a disinfectant for a wound of some sort, no, not any real medicinal benefits.

NOW, Red Wine on the other hand, or a good dark beer does have some benefits for the heart. ;-)

Response moderated (Spam)
mrlaconic's avatar

The warmth you feel as you enjoy a snifter of smooth brandy can take the chill out of a bitter winter evening. However, contrary to what has been portrayed for years as a life saving beverage carried in neck barrels by St. Bernards, brandy could actually kill a person suffering from hypothermia. The body, reheated before it is ready, will severely damage the heart and brain. But brandy in moderation does offer some health benefits. High in antioxidants, brandy can provide you with a daily recommended dose of vitamin C. The better the brandy, the stronger the benefits.

SavoirFaire's avatar

Brandy can be used as a distraction that is halfway between anesthesia and placebo, but I am unaware of any curative powers that it might have.

Nullo's avatar

I heard once that alcohol may be ingested to kick around the miscreants responsible for sore throats (having antiseptic properties), but is not actually going to help much.
It will make your illness more bearable, though. :D

28lorelei's avatar

Alcohol is a depressant, so it slows the reaction time of the person and may make the subject feel better temporarily, but other than making people drunk, I don’t think it really does anything.

klutzaroo's avatar

A lot of people (especially college students) think that drinking some liquor when they start feeling ill kills germs. Other than the happier feelings its likely to produce, I don’t think it does much. But its fun to experiment with :D

Coloma's avatar


By all means, alcohol is popular because it WORKS for a lot of what ails you. hahaha

gasman's avatar

…and that warm feeling described by @mrlaconic is the heat leaving your body through vasodilated skin.Your body temperature drops more quickly after drinking alcohol.

lonelydragon's avatar

Some people mix it with honey to create a cough remedy. One time I was desperate enough to try it because I was coughing too much to get to sleep. It actually made the cough worse because alcohol is dehydrating and it dried out my throat.

Other than as a cough remedy, I have also heard of it being used as a sleep aid. But eventually, the body will develop a tolerance to the alcohol, eventually requiring more and more brandy to achieve the same sleep-inducing effects.

faye's avatar

A rum or whiskey toddy, or brandy, has great psychological value for me. It makes me feel better for that small amount of time before I sleep. And isn’t that the goal of most medicines?

Nullo's avatar

I understand that, along with good hot sauce, it’ll clear out your sinuses, at least temporarily.

AllAboutWaiting's avatar

The alcohol may dry your mouth and throat, maybe temporarily retarding snot. It may just make you relax and get needed sleep.

Answer this question




to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther