A whiskey a day, keeps the Coronavirus away? A British man living in China says he beat the coronavirus, and he has whiskey to thank.
Connor Reed, 25, who taught English in Wuhan, China, was diagnosed with the coronavirus about two months ago. After struggling to breath and dealing with a bad cough, doctors confirmed he had contracted the pneumonia-like illness.
But rather than take an antibiotic that was prescribed to him, Reed went the old fashioned route: he downed glass after glass of hot whiskey and honey. “I was stunned when the doctors told me I was suffering from the virus. I thought I was going to die but I managed to beat it,” he told The Sun.
Reed was hospitalized at Zhongnan University Hospital for two weeks after hearing the news. But he refused traditional antibiotics “because [he] didn’t want to take any medicines.”
So he used the inhaler they gave him to control the cough and relied on a hot whiskey with honey until the bottle ran out.
“It’s an old fashioned remedy but it seemed to do the trick,” he added.
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For years science has backed Reed’s discovery by confirming that drinking in moderation—as in two cocktails a day—can boost the body’s immune system.
In fact, whiskey affects immunity by expanding blood vessels, which is helpful for increased motion within mucous membranes. The expansion and motion can serve to reduce congestion and rid the body of infection, as well as support the healing process with antioxidants.
Dr. William Shaffner, a scientist from the Vanderbilt University Medical Center, agrees. "It would not have an effect on the virus itself, but its effect on the body can possibly give you some modest symptom relief. The alcohol dilates blood vessels a little bit, and that makes it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection," he says.
But before you decide that liquor shots are the new flu shots, hold on.
In Reed’s case, it’s entirely possible that the honey—a natural cough suppressant and decongestant—was doing the heavy lifting, but the pain-relieving properties of whiskey won’t make you feel any worse. As in all discussions with health, it really depends on the individual.
While we’re not telling you to forget everything you’ve ever known about modern medicine and dump all your pill bottles down the toilet, we are saying that whiskey could be the new flu-fighter in town.
Just be sure to stick to one drink or cocktail a day and make sure you’re keeping plenty of other liquids down as alcohol will dehydrate your body and can lengthen the duration of any flu or virus. Which is not what anyone needs as the coronavirus’s spread continues at its current pace.
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