After a long and
stressful and tiring day, I often find myself sitting with a glass of beer or
wine
.

 

Things like this
indicate that the day’s work is over and now it’s time for fun and relaxation
.

 

The problem is that over
time, that is likely to change
.

 

Because regular (and
excessive) drinking can lead to depression and poor sleep
.

And research shows that
it can also increase the level of long-term anxiety
.

 

In spite of all this, to
say that alcohol is a refreshing and soothing thing can be a great myth
.

 

There is evidence that
many people started drinking more in an attempt to calm down during the Code 19
epidemic
.

 

A study of the history
of alcohol sheds light on why this myth finally gained popularity
.

 

Throughout human
history, alcohol has often been used as a medicine and is thought to have many
beneficial properties, including its antiseptic and anesthetic properties
.

 

I have studied how
tourists in the 19th and early 20th centuries used this drink
.

 

Observing the behavior
of travelers sheds light on the scientific and medical understanding of alcohol
.

 

Because in the
pre-clinical trials, medical authors resorted to tourist stories to gather
evidence of the health effects of various foods and beverages
.

 

So his writings can help
us understand the past perspective on alcohol and health
.

 

Wines

,
Image source GETTY
IMAGES

In fact, many Victorians
drank a glass of rum to ‘keep warm’ at the end of a long day of Arctic (North
Pole) explorer sliding
.

 

He says it helps them
sleep, relax and relieve stress
.

 

In addition, British
tourists in East Africa often drank small amounts of alcohol at the end of a
day trip
.

 

He described it as a
useful “medicine” that he believed would help him deal with both the
effects of fever and the emotional stress of traveling
.

 

In a travel advice guide
published in 1883, George Dobson, a British military surgeon, suggested that in
hot weather, “without the help of occasional and prudent use of alcohol
for hard-working people such as athletes and travelers” It can’t be done
for long
.

 

Campaign at the end of
your work

,
Photo source GETTY /
SCOTT POLAR RESEARCH INSTITUTE

Health and balance

Initially and in small
amounts, alcohol acts as a stimulant, as it speeds up the heartbeat, and gives
more energy
.

 

However, it soon acts as
a depressant, inhibiting the central nervous system, thus slowing down thinking
and reaction
.

 

These health effects
were particularly important in medicine in the early 19th century because some
medical theorists viewed the body as a system that should be kept in balance
.

 

And triggers or
depression were seen as an important way to restore balance, especially when one
is feeling sick
.

 

Drinking

,
Image source GETTY
IMAGES

Over time, these
theories became increasingly unpopular with scientists and physicians, and were
replaced by disease theories that sought to determine more specific causes of
infection
.

 

For example, the ‘crime
theory’ first proposed in 1861 showed that many diseases are caused by germs
and not by weather
.

 

Similarly, British
doctors were increasingly interested in the role of mosquitoes in the spread of
malaria
.

 

Similar advances have
led to new medical approaches and new efforts to prevent and treat common
diseases in warmer climates
.

 

And it is said that
alcohol can be used in combination with other medicines
.

 

Wines

,
Image source GETTY
IMAGES

Criticism of alcoholism

But changing medical
attitudes about the disease alone did not lead to a reduction in alcohol
consumption during the campaigns
.

 

The growing criticism of
campaigners’ alcoholism was also the result of a change in medical and social
attitudes toward alcohol
.

 

This change was largely
due to the tolerance movement, a movement linked to evangelical Christianity
that sought to discourage (and sometimes ban) the sale of alcohol
.

 

Even moderates who
considered the use of alcohol acceptable began to worry that it could be more
dangerous in really severe weather conditions
.

 

Alcoholism

,
Image source GETTY
IMAGES

For example, during the
National Arctic Expedition (1875-1876), rum was criticized for distributing
rations as rations and was said to be the cause of the spread of scurvy (a
disease) because it was first reported. Appeared in heavy drinkers
.

 

Such criticism meant
that explorers were increasingly emphasizing that they were drinking in
moderation and as a ‘medicine
‘.

 

He often drank only
certain types of alcoholic beverages, which he said had more medicinal
properties
.

 

This usually means
brandy, champagne, or some other type of wine
.

But there was
disagreement among the doctors Which drinks are healthier?

 

In fact, many of these
drinks were considered medicinal for no apparent reason because they were
expensive.

 

Today, such drinks are
rarely considered a drug, but the medical effects of alcohol have not yet been
ruled out.

 

And many contemporary
doctors, like their Victorian counterparts, suggest that certain types of
beverages are healthier than others.

 

Is the stimulus alcohol
or caffeine?

As my colleague Kim
Walker and our recent research shows, stimulants (including alcohol) remained a
popular medicine for European tourists in Africa until the late 19th and early
20th centuries.

 

This was partly because
they were relatively inexpensive, easy to manage, and had a significant effect
on the drinker’s mind and body.

 

Alcoholism

, Image source GETTY
IMAGES

They were also thought
to be a kind of cure because they believed that hot climates were physically
harmful and psychologically depressing.

 

In the same 1883 travel
guide, Dobson complained about the “depressing effects of the
weather” in support of his prescription for alcohol.

 

As a result, some
travelers saw alcoholic beverages as a useful stimulant to help combat these
effects.

 

Even those who are
against drinking in adventures consider stimulant drinks important, but suggest
‘a cup of coffee’ instead of alcohol.

 

The medical
understanding of beverages has changed significantly over the last 150 years.

 

But studying how
Victorian and Edwardian tourists drank alcohol shows its continuity.

 

However, as in the past,
alcoholism today is determined not only by knowledge of its medical benefits,
but also by the cultural attitudes towards the various beverages and the
settings associated with them where we drink.

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2022-01-31

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