Many people adore vodka for it’s clean, crisp, unadulterated taste. It’s a neutral spirit, which basically makes it the swiss army knife of alcohols. But what you may not know is that these characteristics also make it surprisingly effective in ways that can greatly benefit your health.
Going as far back as 8th or 9th Century Eastern Europe, vodka found its origins in the medicinal side of things. Depending on the distillation method and alcohol level, it was revered for its antiseptic and anti-inflammatory properties, and also made a great foundation for a dizzying array of tinctures and tonics (not that kind of tonic).
So let’s take a look at just of a few of the ways that bottle of vodka is as at home in your medicine cabinet as it is in your liquor cabinet.
1. It’s Essentially A Cure-All
Vodka is a natural disinfectant and antiseptic. It can be used to treat toothaches, clean wounds, and clean your house. In fact, take a look through your medicine cabinet and cleaning supplies: you’ll be amazed by how many items have alcohol as an ingredient.
2. It’s Heart-Healthy
Vodka can increase blood-flow and circulation in your body which can prevent clots, strokes, and other heart diseases. Vodka can also help lower your cholesterol to increasing your level of HDL, or ‘good’ cholesterol. Because of it’s purity and simplicity, it also happens to be one of the lowest-calorie drink options out there. Just make sure you’re ordering it neat or with club soda, since sugary mixes like OJ and energy drinks largely throw those health gains out the window*.
3. It Promotes Oral Health
We already mentioned how vodka can soothe toothaches, but swishing a shot of it can help combat bad breath as well. This is reason why so many mouthwashes contain alcohol, it’s largely unmatched when it comes to promoting oral health.
4. It Reduces The Risk Of Diabetes
Unlike beer or wine, a shot of vodka can actually reduce blood sugar levels. This is most effective when taken straight, so order it neat or on the rocks.
5. It Promotes Hair & Skin Health
Out of your go-to facial cleanser? Vodka acts as a natural astringent or toner, and due to its disinfectant properties, can deep-clean your pores. (Just be sure to dilute it with equal parts water first.) It’ll also tighten the skin on your face and can treat acne breakouts with it’s drying and detoxifying properties. Just note that the evaporation of the alcohol on your skin will have dehydrating effects, so have a good moisturizer on-hand for afterwards.
*Note: if you’re thinking about swapping diet products in for your mix, you should know that their artificial sweeteners just end up mimicking the spike in your glycemic index like real sugar. You may not be getting the calories, but your body things it is, so it starts storing fat and spiking insulin.