The Medicinal Uses of Scotch

For as long as Scotch Whisky has existed it has been renowned for its medicinal and restorative uses. Uisge beatha, as it was known, is the Gaelic equivent to aqua vitae’ “water of life” and first appeared on record in the late 15th century. The word “Whisky” actually comes from an anglicized mispronunciation of uisge and we’ve been using it ever since. In his “Chronicles of England, Scotland and Ireland” published in 1577, Raphael Holinshed describes as follows the incomparable virtues of Uisge Beatha : “Being moderately taken, it slows the age, it cuts phlegm, it lightens the mind, it quickens the spirit, it cures the dropsy, it heals the strangulation, it pounces the stone, its repels gravel, it pulls away ventositie, it keeps and preserves the head from whirling, the eyes from dazzling, the tongue from lisping, the mouth from snuffling, the teeth from chattering, the throat from rattling, the weasan from stiffing, the stomach from womblying, the heart from swelling, the belly from wincing, the guts from rumbling, the hands from shivering, the sinews from shrinking, the veins from crumpling, the bones from aching, the marrow from soaking, and truly it is a sovereign liquor if it be orderly taken.” In addition to these virtues, whisky was considered the only known antidote for grief. That meant there were huge amounts being consumed at funerals and there are many reports of pallbearers dropping the coffin because they were too drunk to walk.

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