History of Alcohol

An Alcohol History
A Social History Of Alcohol

The History Of Alcohol
Throughout history alcohol has been something of a double-edged sword, reviled and revered in equal measure

history of alcohol

Alcohol was almost certainly discovered by chance. Maybe rotting and fermenting fruit was eaten by ancient man, perhaps some honey turned 'bad'. Who knows?

What we do know is that beer mugs have been found that date back to Neolithic times. That is 10,000 BC. That is a long time ago. The Stone Age to be precise.

A quote on the history of alcohol and its legacy:

"...alcohol has existed longer than all human memory. It has outlived generations, nations, epochs and ages. It is a part of us, and that is fortunate indeed. For although alcohol will always be the master of some, for most of us it will continue to be the servant of man."

Morris Chaftez, Founding director, National Institute on Alcohol Abuse and Alcoholism.

From the moment of its discovery to the present day, alcohol has played a major role in many cultures and been of great benefit.........

Alcohol History and Religion

  • Remember the story of Jesus turning water into wine. Although the Christian church frowns on excessive drinking, drinking in moderation plays a major role in Christian worship.
  • It is thought that Mohamed forbade his followers to drink alcohol so that they could be distinguished from other religion's followers.
  • In Holy Communion red wine represents the blood of Christ.
  • In Ancient Egypt, Osiris (the god of wine) was the only God worshiped throughout the empire. Alcohol was left in tombs- to be used in the after life.
  • Moses planted a vineyard on Mt. Ararat (Genesis 9:20).

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The History of Alcohol and Medicine

  • It was and is used as a painkiller (analgesic). Ever seen one of those films where an amputation is carried out and the only anesthetic is a swig from a whiskey bottle?
  • Recent research states that the moderate consumption of alcohol is beneficial to health. More so than abstinence.
  • The ancient Chinese used it to reduce fatigue (funny, I was always knocked out by alcohol but then I wasn't really following the instructions).

Alcohol History and Nutrition

  • It has been said that beer was the staple food in some cultures. In Ancient Egypt the phrase "bread and beer' was used to represent all food.
  • Clean drinking water is a relatively new phenomenon. In the past alcohol was drunk as it was far safer than water which was generally very dirty and a major source of disease.
  • The fermentation process greatly increases the level of amino acids and vitamins.

The Social History of Alcohol

  • It is used in social situations to encourage conversation (a social lubricant).
  • It can enhance the flavors of food (e.g. wine with cheese).
  • It can help people to relax.

History and the Negative Effects of Alcohol

YES, alcohol has been of great benefit to society throughout history.

However, alcohol causes alcoholism and, at least in my opinion, the damage caused by alcohol and alcohol dependency on society far outweigh the benefits.

The story of alcoholism began with the discovery of alcohol.

The pain and misery alcohol has caused countless individuals, families,communities and peoples is immeasurable.

A statistic for you to think about: the treatment of alcoholism and its consequences costs more than the treatment of cancer.


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If you or someone close to you wants help and advice on quitting drinking then take a look at the following pages:

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