The use of medicinal wines it has very ancient and easily understandable origins. When the only medicines available were often wild herbs and plants, the simplest way to take the active ingredients was certainly the decoction: the herbs were boiled in water and the final liquid was drunk after filtering it.
Another system for extracting active substances from herbs and plants involved the use of substances other than water, for example wine and vinegar. The preparation of these medicinal wines it was certainly a minor practice compared to that of decoctions, but it had the advantage of making the preparations storable over time by extending their useful life.
The combination of herbs and wine also had, and still has, the advantage of associating the beneficial effects of plant essences with those of a food, wine, which is considered by all to be healthy if taken in moderation (and equally harmful when abuse). Here are three easy recipes for the preparation of medicinal wines.
Rhubarb medicinal wine
It's a medicinal wine which aids digestion to be taken in a dose of one teaspoon before meals. It is prepared with the following ingredients:
- 200 grams of rhubarb root powder;
- 40 grams of sweet orange peel;
- 10 grams of cardamom seeds;
- 1800 grams of red wine at 15 °.
The ingredients are combined and left to deposit in the dark for 6 days. Then filter well and add 200 grams of chestnut honey.
Medicinal wine of lemon balm
This instead is a medicinal wine tonic and sedative that is prepared with:
- linden flowers
- chamomile flowers;
- lemon balm leaves;
- lemon peel;
- lemon juice;
- red wine at 15 °.
It is left to settle in the dark for 33 days, then filtered by squeezing the herbs well and adding 200 grams of natural lime honey. Two teaspoons are taken before main meals.
Medicinal cinchona wine
It is a medicinal wine which is attributed the property of 'tonic' (a term actually unknown in medicine) perhaps because it promotes appetite. It is simply prepared with:
- cinchona root powder
- red wine at 15 °.
It is left to settle in the dark for a week, then filtered by squeezing the cinchona powder and add 50 grams of sugar molasses or natural honey. Recommended dose: one tablespoon before main meals.
To deepen the knowledge of medicinal wines, and to increase the number of recipes, I recommend this collector's volume published for the first time in 1981: Medicinal Wines