Still Magic

Are there any health benefits associated with gin?

By October 17, 2018 One Comment

Interestingly, gin has a history of use ‘for medicinal purposes’. For example, in the late thirteenth century, a Dutch publication described juniper-based health-related tonics.

The Royal Navy mixed gin with lime cordial to stop scurvy, and angostura settled the stomach at sea. In life, there is the age-old adage that refuses to go away; everything in moderation.

There was also a firmly held belief in mid to late seventeenth century Europe that juniper berries had positive medicinal impacts. History suggests that a Dutch scientist – Franciscus Sylvius de Bouve –had an interest in all manner of tinctures, one of which was a juniper base. His interest helped to reinforce the view that juniper berries did have some form of medicinal benefit for those who consumed them as part of a mixture of alcohol.

The more modern equivalent of this may be drawn from the malaria prevention steps that nineteenth century British soldiers took during postings to India via gin and tonic.

Whether their view is maintained in today’s modern society is a moot point, but the best position to take is one that maintains that anything in moderation will have some form of benefit to it. Issues may arise however when over-use becomes abuse and dependency if left unattended.

Finally, the most recent assertion concerning gin’s health benefits came to light in Sarah Young’s June 2017 article entitled ‘Drinking Gin and Tonics could soothe hay fever symptoms, study finds’

The article compares histamine levels with various alcoholic beverages. Research reveals that there are lower amounts of histamine in white spirits – including gin – than in other alcoholic beverages. According to Asthma UK, this means that consuming white spirits is the best option to pursue if you are a hay fever sufferer. This advice may need tempering insofar as consuming gin is not a ‘magic bullet’ cure-all for the symptoms hay fever sufferers experience.


Gin and most alcoholic products, act as depressants. Unfortunately, it does deaden your senses. That’s the way alcohol operates. However, having said that, it does it in a cycle. Quite often, and this could be purely a function of the environment or the company that you’re with, alcohol can give you a bit of a high to start with. In particular, if there’s lots of people engaged, and there’s a happy vibe where you are.

Ultimately however, over the longer period of time alcohol will begin to subdue the excitement or exhilaration that may associate with your first few sips. Gin follows a similar pattern, insofar as it’s uplifting to start with, but then the effects of that uplift will drop off over a period of time.

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