A wee drop of the ‘water of life’ good for us

Any liquor is small doses helps keep the doctor away

To the editor:

Water of life” or “whiska var” is what the great Kings of Ireland called it.

Everyone else calls it whiskey.

And since the aulde times, the Irish have known that whiskey has healing properties almost as great as the holy water, and certainly on a par with mother’s milk and genuine Guinness draft. (And I am not completely certain about the mother’s milk.)

For St. Patrick’s Day, it is time to review the healing power of whiskey and other spirituous liquors. And how the French helped prove it – by not dying enough!

Sitting around all day drinking, stuffing yer gob with fatty food, smoking, and not exercising is both the road to happiness in this life and an ensured early arrival in the next. The Irish are prime examples, but the French turned out to be even worse. Probably the rich sauces, stuffed fatty goose liver, smelly cigarettes and cheap red wine.

So what could have been called the “Irish screw-up” became known instead as the “French Paradox.” Statistics showed that Frenchmen – despite their dissipated lifestyle – weren’t dying nearly enough. All that alcohol was preserving them!

Several decades later, doctors agree regular low doses of any kind of alcohol are actually good for you! The Journal of the American Medical Association published the results of 34 scientific studies, involving over a million people and many different libations. It concluded, “Low levels of alcohol intake (1-2 drinks per day for women and 2-4 drinks per day for men) are inversely associated with total mortality in both men and women.”

In plain English, it means one or two drinks a day makes you less likely to die. A daily “drop of the pure” is healthier than total abstinence!

This is why in Ireland, people don’t say “cheers,” they say “Slainte,” which is Gaelic for “health.”

It turns out to be a happy scientific truth.

Happy St. Patrick’s Day.


Dr. Patrick Nesbitt

Former 100 Mile House physician


100 Mile House Free Press