The Wine Guy: Resveratrol - Wonder of the natural world

Best of The Wine Guy

The Wine Guy
with Anthony Scarano

In China and Japan they use the healing herb known as kojokan to treat arteriosclerosis, inflammatory illnesses and fungal infections of the feet.

Kojo-kan, also known as Japanese knotweed, contains resveratrol, a chemical that is anticancer, antiviral, neuroprotective, antiaging, anti-inflammatory and lifeprolonging. Resveratrol is found in peanuts, the skin of red grapes, raspberries, blueberries, cranberries, bilberries and the berries of some pines including Scots pine and eastern white pine.

For many years the medicinal properties of resveratrol were known in Asia, but more recent research in the United States and Europe has made it known to the Western world. Resveratrol can protect against cardiovascular disease because it is an antioxidant that lowers LDL (bad) cholesterol and raises HDL (good) cholesterol, and counteracts the production of substances along arterial and veinal walls. It also has the ability to weaken the coagulative properties of the blood, effectively acting as a healthy, natural blood thinner that inhibits blood clots.

Much more research is needed on red wine to uncover its valuable secrets. When drunk in moderation red wine, because it contains resveratrol, is an excellent preventative of cardiovascular disease, heart attack and stroke, and improves circulation. It is a guardian of health and a truly miraculous drink. Red wine is such a powerful antibacterial agent that when added to water that contains cholera bacteria, the cholera can be killed off and the water may be rendered safe to drink. During the 18th century cholera outbreaks in Paris, persons who drank wine were spared from this horrible illness, which can cause the sickened person to lose up to 20 liters of bodily fluids through diarrhea in less than one day - if dehydration doesn't kill the victim first.

Red wine is also effective in preventing "traveler's diarrhea," which is caused by polluted water and foods in regions with unsanitary conditions. The locals in these places are immune to the bacteria present in their water because their bodies have dealt with it their entire lives, but travelers are susceptible and can suffer serious bouts of intestinal infection. Travelers to places such as Mexico and Central America should carry wine with them to keep from getting sick. It is not the alcohol in wine, so tequila or other alcoholic beverages will not work.

Anthony Scarano is not a doctor. He is an 88-year-old Evergreen Park resident, winemaker and certified naturopath. Suggestions in this space are solely the opinions of Mr. Scarano based on years of independent study and personal experience, and may not be beneficial to health. Wine should be consumed in moderation, as overindulgence may be harmful to health.