Alcohol for a cold: can you drink it, does vodka or beer help with a cold?

Unfortunately, the climate in which most of us live is far from ideal. Severe cold and snowy winter, windy spring, rainy autumn and such a short summer. Therefore, colds, or more precisely, acute respiratory infections or acute respiratory viral infections, are the most frequent companions of our body during the change of season.

From year to year, people are looking for the most effective medicine for colds, which can quickly cure the patient. In addition, I want the drug to be inexpensive and not contain any chemical impurities. Sometimes, in search of a panacea, humanity goes so far that the money spent on treatment with such means is only the least of the problems. The main threat that unapproved treatments pose is primarily to the body.

People without medical education, completely unaware of the nuances of the structure of the human body and the processes occurring in it, attribute healing powers to completely inexplicable drugs, which often only have a placebo effect. But cases often occur when, due to their ignorance when treating with non-standard methods, people can harm the body, and in the most critical cases, even lead to death.

Are alcohol and colds compatible?

Indeed, alcohol is used as a disinfectant. If you rinse the mouth and larynx, pathogenic microorganisms will be neutralized and there is a possibility that the infection will not develop further.

That is, a few sips of alcohol can neutralize pathogenic bacteria in the throat. But this does not mean that cognac or vodka can be used as a medicine for the flu if a person is already sick. Doctors also confirm this. In fact, alcohol can prevent a cold to a certain extent, but it does not cure it.

In other words, it can be used as a preventive measure. Although the feasibility of this is also questioned. Alcohol during a cold will further irritate the inflamed mucous membrane and increase its swelling. This, in turn, will prolong the inflammatory process.

For example, if you drink cognac when you have the flu, it will act as a diuretic. As a result, dehydration of the body and drying out of the mucous membranes will accelerate. Such an environment is favorable for the active proliferation of bacteria.

It is important to consider that alcohol is especially contraindicated for influenza accompanied by high fever. In the body of a sick person, the virus causes the release of toxins, and drinking alcohol will also intensify this process and aggravate the patient’s condition.

If you have the following symptoms of flu and ARVI, drinking alcohol when you have a cold is unacceptable:

  • temperature above 37 degrees;
  • general weakness and loss of strength;
  • lack of free nasal breathing;
  • severe migraine;
  • fever;
  • painful cough.

Treating colds with alcohol has absolutely no benefit. Moreover, at the stage of active inflammatory process, alcohol will aggravate the condition of the patient taking alcohol. Drinking strong drinks while sick will cause microbes to multiply more actively, thereby increasing the release of toxins.

In addition, drinking alcohol during a cold will suppress the immune system. The same effect will occur if you drink beer, although many people mistakenly consider it harmless alcohol. Beer also does not kill the virus or destroy germs. There are categories of patients who are at risk of getting dangerous complications when drinking alcohol during a cold. This applies to patients with:

  • liver pathologies;
  • diseases of the gastrointestinal tract.

If you have liver pathologies, drinking alcohol during a cold can lead to coma. This complication is due to the fact that during the illness the patient takes antipyretic drugs. They have the ability to negatively affect the condition of the liver, and additional load in the form of alcohol can cause such a serious complication.

There is also an opinion that alcoholic drinks during a cold have a negative effect on the condition of the prostate gland. Patients with severe colds are often prescribed antibiotics.

If they are combined with the consumption of alcoholic beverages, the antibacterial effect of the drugs is completely neutralized. As a result, the patient’s condition does not improve; moreover, he faces new complications. It is also risky to drink vodka if you have a cold in the cold, even if the cold is just beginning to manifest itself.

Alcohol can greatly dull the feeling of cold. Then the person stops caring about keeping warm and warm. Therefore, for those wondering whether vodka helps with colds - no. As for beer when you have a cold, there is no benefit from it in a state of illness.

Features of bronchitis treatment

For bronchitis, the following types of medications are prescribed:

  • Medicines with anti-inflammatory activity. The main goal is to prevent the spread of infection and stop existing inflammation in the bronchi. Often such drugs have a local analgesic effect and have an antipyretic effect.
  • Expectorants. They make the cough worse. It seems to be a paradox, but strengthening the cough reflex promotes the discharge of sputum. This clears the airways.
  • Mucolytic drugs. Their action is aimed at thinning thick sputum. This kind of medicine is prescribed for wet cough.
  • Herbal medicines. The therapeutic effect is to alleviate the disease and reduce symptoms.

It is important for the sick person to stay at home and strictly follow the doctor’s orders. Bronchitis is not a harmless disease and, if treated incorrectly, leads to complications: pneumonia, chronic lung disease or bronchial asthma.

Allowed strong drinks for prevention

Drinking alcohol in any state of a person is, in principle, not a healthy activity. But traditional medicine offers and is actively used by some during the period of colds, medicinal recipes based on alcoholic beverages. They believe that they help prevent people from getting sick.

So, the following recipe with the following ingredients is popular:

  • vodka;
  • honey;
  • lemon;
  • ginger.

Peel a large lemon and chop finely. Grind 300 g of ginger using a meat grinder or grater. Combine with lemon. Add 200 g of honey and mix well.

Folk anti-cold recipes

Our people simply could not help but come up with an effective alcoholic remedy for treating a person who was unfortunate enough to catch a cold. The recipe for its preparation is extremely simple: you only need vodka, honey, ginger, lemon. To prepare the necessary potion, you need to take a large lemon, peel it and cut it into fine slices.

We invite you to read: Stages of alcoholism: a new revision.

After this, mince or grate 300 g of ginger, together with lemon. Add 200 g of honey here, mix everything thoroughly and place this mass in a jar with a lid. After this, add 300 ml of vodka. It is possible to use the product in its pure form - 100 g three times a day, or diluted with boiling water.

Many people believe that the use of traditional anti-cold treatment methods that involve the use of alcohol in recipes is unacceptable if the patient has problems with the prostate. However, this is pure myth, since alcohol has excellent “compatibility” with all inflammatory processes, and relieves not only cold symptoms, but also other problems that arise due to pathogenic microbes.

Vodka and pepper

This recipe is best consumed at a body temperature of 37.2, 37.3 and even 37.5 C, and pepper goes well with antibiotics and other treatments. Contrary to popular belief, drinking alcohol in such cases is completely harmless, but soft drinks will never bring such an effect.

An excellent hot strong alcoholic drink, the effect of which helps to cope perfectly with a low temperature, is English grog (for greater effectiveness, it is worth doing a vodka rubdown after taking the drug).

Recipe for making classic grog:

  1. It is necessary to brew tea and let it brew (for grog, the amount of tea brewed is several times higher than what is needed for regular tea drinking).
  2. Sugar must be dissolved in the resulting infusion.
  3. Heat, but do not bring to a boil, the rum, and then mix it with the infusion of tea and sugar.
  4. The drink is ready. You should drink it in small sips; the recommended dose per person is about 200-250 ml

Spicy mulled wine is a very healthy drink for colds, which should be taken primarily by patients with low immunity. It's very easy to prepare. To do this, you need to add the following components to 0.7 dry red wine, preheated but not brought to a boil: thyme - 1 tbsp.

Hot punch

An excellent remedy for the flu, which in the cold winter season is drunk not warm, but hot, is rum punch. It is prepared as follows:

  1. Mix the ingredients: lime juice 15 ml, black tea 120 ml, honey syrup 20 ml, sugar syrup 15 ml, Tawny port 40 ml and dark rum 40 ml;
  2. The resulting mixture is brought to a boil;
  3. Take 200 g per person, 3-4 times a day.

Great benefits for runny nose and colds will come from using rum tea in combination with rubbing. To prepare this drink, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 2 tsp. tea;
  • 1/2 tbsp. water;
  • 1 tbsp. l. sugar syrup;
  • 1/2 tbsp. cherry juice;
  • 20 ml. Cuban rum;
  • 4 apples.

It is prepared as follows: dry tea leaves are filled with water, then sugar syrup is added to it and it is brought to a boil. The composition should be cooled somewhat, add heated cherry juice and Cuban rum. Place the peeled and finely chopped apples into glasses and pour the resulting mixture over them. You can consume it in unlimited quantities - it will only do you good.

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Does alcohol help with a cold?

Everyone knows that alcohol was originally used by ancient Arab doctors to disinfect objects. It affects most living organisms as a strong poison, so many believe that in case of a cold or flu, this is the first remedy for destroying pathogenic microbes that have entered the body.

But before you follow this popular advice, you need to know what effect alcohol has on colds.

The effect of alcohol on the body

Alcohol, in particular vodka, is most often used to warm up the body and sweat. It is believed that drinking 50-100 ml helps activate the immune system and destroy harmful microorganisms.

The temperature actually rises, and the person may break out in a cold sweat. But in fact, this effect occurs on the skin due to the expansion of subcutaneous vessels. But at the same time, less blood flows to the internal organs, especially to the intestines, throat and bronchi. And these are the main places where the infection spreads.

When less blood flows to the affected tissues, and as a result there are fewer white blood cells. Their other name is white blood cells, and their main function is to protect the body from foreign agents that have penetrated inside. These are the ones that cause colds.

Therefore, during a cold, alcohol is undesirable, as it redirects blood from the affected areas to the surface of the skin. This can lead to both the spread of the infection and its transition to a chronic state due to the fact that the immune system does not have enough strength to cope with pathogenic agents. Drug interactions

Does alcohol help with colds? There is an opinion that yes, and you can drink it when taking any medications, the main thing is that there are no antibiotics among them. This misconception arose due to the fact that when taking some antibiotics, the body becomes more poisoned by alcohol, which is what people noticed as a worsening of the condition.

In fact, most of these drugs do not have such an effect, but on the contrary, they almost cease to be absorbed in the intestines and are eliminated from the body naturally. The same thing happens for most other drugs if they are taken at the same time or slightly earlier than vodka. This situation is equivalent to the fact that a person does not treat the disease at all.

What other studies support the antibacterial effect of alcohol?

A 1988 study by the Medical College of Wisconsin found that salmonella and E. coli were worst in red wine. Beer also had an antibacterial effect—after 48 hours, only a small number of bacteria survived.

It is believed that the bactericidal effect of red wine is due to its high acidity and alcohol concentration. In 1998, an article was published in the Journal of Clinical Gastroenterology that partially refuted this hypothesis. A laboratory study compared the effects of red wine and a solution containing the same alcohol concentration and pH level on Salmonella. It turned out that wine was more active in suppressing infection, which proved that its antibacterial effect is due not only to the acidic pH and the presence of alcohol.

Meanwhile, the concentration of alcohol matters when affecting microbes. In particular, the South Australian Department of Health fact sheet provides information that hand washing with an alcohol solution with an alcohol concentration in the range of 60-80% is more effective at removing microorganisms from hands than soap. In addition, a dental research group from New Zealand found that 40% ethanol had a bactericidal effect on groups of microorganisms in the mouth within 1-2 minutes, while 10% ethanol had virtually no effect.

Question answer

How long after drinking alcohol can you take medication?

Alcohol for colds: poison or medicine?

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An anecdote about drinking alcohol when you have a cold: “How do you protect your husband from harmful germs? Try vodka! 50 grams before meals will protect it from all known germs. And 100 grams – from all unknowns.”

And now jokes aside: C2H5OH is a slow-acting poison that destroys human health. According to the outstanding psychiatrist and neurologist Vladimir Bekhterev, “alcohol is a poison for every living creature - plants and animals. Even small doses of alcohol have, as research has shown, a harmful effect on a person’s mental abilities.” And not only mental ones.

[1], [2], [3], [4], [5], [6]

The benefits and harms of alcohol during a cold: “both are determined by the dose”

Getting into the blood, liver, cerebrospinal fluid and brain, alcohol leads to disruption of many body functions and the development of atrophic processes in almost all organs.

Even in people who drink strong drinks in “moderate quantities” and only “on occasion,” irreversible destructive processes occur in the cerebral cortex, insulin production by the pancreas decreases, the synthesis of structural and enzymatic proteins slows down, and tissue regeneration processes at the cellular level are suppressed. And this is far from a complete “track record” of the negative consequences of ethyl alcohol, in which we did not list the psychological and social problems of excessive drinking and obvious alcoholism...

But, according to the saying of the famous Swiss physician and alchemist Paracelsus, “everything is poison, and everything is medicine, both are determined by the dose.”

Eager for all sorts of experiments, Americans from the research center of Carnegie Mellon University, Pennsylvania, conducted an experiment in 1993 to determine the benefits and harms of alcohol during colds and its effect on the level of resistance of the human body to acute respiratory infections and acute respiratory viral infections. As a result of the experiment, carried out on two groups of volunteers with a total of 390 people, it turned out that the usual portion of whiskey (2 ounces or 57 ml) or a pint of beer (473 ml) did not help those who were already sick. But the healthy “test subjects” were not affected by the virus.

Complications: why do they develop?

The reason for the development of complications is the advanced stage of the disease. If a person begins treatment late, and the pathological process in the bronchi has reached impressive proportions, the infection can easily move lower and provoke pneumonia.

Self-medication and prescribing medications without the knowledge of a doctor can lead to complications; prescribed medications may be ineffective and even cause harm to the body.

Failure to comply with bed rest and physical activity is the third reason for the development of complications. This happens at a time when a weakened body is given a load that it cannot accept.

There are many reasons: concomitant diseases other than bronchitis, age, bad habits, lifestyle, climate characteristics of the place of residence.

Treatment of colds with alcohol, or what is the secret of “drink therapy”

Probably the whole point is that alcohol is a disinfectant, and drinking a glass of vodka neutralizes germs and viruses that have entered the throat mucosa. In this case, a couple of sips of strong alcohol is a prevention of possible disease. But this in no way means that treating a cold with alcohol is really possible.

No impossible! Doctors say that as a result of the effect of alcohol on the already inflamed mucous membrane of the pharynx, its swelling will increase, and this, on the contrary, will increase the inflammation. In addition, alcohol acts as a diuretic and dehydrates the body, and dry mucous membranes are much more susceptible to infection. At elevated temperatures, alcohol is strictly contraindicated, since if there is an infection in the body, most organs suffer from toxins produced by microbes that enter our blood.

But why can a glass of vodka still prevent a possible cold? We emphasize: not to cure, but to prevent the onset of the disease.

Maybe some other biochemical mechanism of the human body is triggered? For example, the ability of alcohol to change the acid-base balance of the blood towards acidity...

In a normal state, the acidity (pH) of human blood plasma is 7.37-7.43 pH. During illness, physical overload and exposure to many other unfavorable factors, the level of blood acidity shifts towards acidification. In particular, as a reaction to inflammation of any etiology, including a cold. This happens because the body’s production of interferon, which can neutralize viruses, is accelerated only in an acidic environment.

In addition, increasing blood pH promotes greater permeability of small capillaries and cell membranes, which stimulates the absorption of oxygen by the body and activates metabolism. That is, the body begins to intensively fight the disease. And when this struggle is over, the acidity of the blood returns to normal.

So it turns out that, by acidifying the blood, a glass of vodka, when there is a clear threat of catching a cold, can actually be useful for the prevention of this disease.

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