All about enoliths or medicinal wines

Today we will talk about enoliths. Also known as medicinal wines, they consist of hydroalcoholic solutions obtained from active ingredients macerated in wine. In this short guide we will discover some examples and what they can be used for.

What are enoliths

Also called medicated wines, medicinal wines or vinous tinctures, enoliths are pharmaceutical preparations in which drugs, or their active ingredients, are macerated in wine. With this process, a hydroalcoholic solution with potential therapeutic applications is obtained.

The wines to be preferred to make enoliths are the white ones, possibly with a high alcohol content, or the liqueur ones. Both old and young wines are good. The most suitable are Barolo, Marsala, Vernaccia di Oristano and Barbaresco.

Enoliths, meaning

The use of medicinal wines has very ancient origins. At the time, when the only medicines available were often wild herbs and plants, the simplest way to take the active ingredients was the decoction.

Compared to the decoction, however, the preparation of medicinal wines had the advantage of making these preparations storable over time, thus extending their useful life.

Furthermore, the combination of herbs and wine had the advantage of associating the beneficial effects of plant essences with those of wine, a food considered by all to be healthy if taken in moderation.

It should not be forgotten that water, especially in the past, could have been unsafe. Therefore, taking advantage of wine, beer and vinegar protected from possible poisoning.

Enoliths and wine

For the preparation of enoliths, the choice of wine is very important. White wines with a high alcohol content (at least 15 °) are preferred. This is to avoid any subsequent acetic fermentation.

Also indicated are liqueur wines such as Porto, Vermouth and Marsala.

The use of red wines, on the other hand, is not recommended because, as they contain tannins, they could cause the precipitation of the active ingredients of drugs.

How enoliths are prepared

The process is pretty straightforward. The drug is finely crushed and left to macerate in a good wine for a period of time ranging from 7 to 15 days. Several times a day, remember to shake the container vigorously.
Once the maceration period has elapsed, it is poured, the herbs are pressed, and then filtered.

In this phase it is possible to add pure alcohol to increase the alcohol content and possibly a few tablespoons of sugar to sweeten.

Before using, wait about a month for the flavors to blend.

Enoliths, examples

Let’s now see some examples of this preparation. Among the most famous enoliths we can mention the barolo chinato which, containing bitter plants, is an excellent digestive. The gentian enolith has the same function.

For a purifying action on the liver and kidneys, it is possible to choose enoliths based on artichoke and / or dandelion, known for their purifying properties. It will be enough to drink 2 tablespoons before meals in the change of seasons.

Enoliths with a relaxing function often contain chamomilelemon balm and hawthorn.

Enoliths, recipes

Let’s now pass to the practical act and see some practical examples.

Lemon balm medicinal wine is a sedative tonic. It is prepared with lime blossom, chamomile, lemon balm leaves, lemon peel and juice, red wine at 15 °.
Everything is deposited in the dark for 33 days. Then it is filtered by squeezing the herbs well and adding 200 grams of lime honey. Take 2 teaspoons before main meals.

Medicinal cinchona wine has recognized ‘restorative’ properties since it stimulates the appetite. It is simply prepared with cinchona root powder and red wine at 15 °.
It is left to settle in the dark for a week, then it is filtered and 50 grams of sugar or honey molasses are added. Take a spoonful before meals.

In case of bad breath and aerophagia, peppermint wine prepared with 20 grams of dried peppermint leaves and 1 liter of dry white wine can be useful. Leave to macerate for 10 days, shaking often, and then filter. Drink a small glass after meals.

Thyme wine is useful in case of phlegm. Just macerate 30 grams of dried thyme flower tops in 1 liter of dry white wine. Wait a week while shaking and filter.
Drink 2/3 small glasses a day between meals.

An excellent digestive bitterness is obtained by macerating small gentian roots (20 g), crumbled cinchona bark (20 g), flowering tops of wormwood (2 g), aniseed (10 g), cinnamon (5 g), a vanilla pod, 100 g of sugar and 1 liter of Marsala wine.
Macerate everything in 50 g of alcohol for liqueurs at 95 ° for a week, shaking often.
Filter and add the sugar.
Drink after meals.

To relieve insomnia, chamomile wine may be helpful. To prepare it you need 60 g of dried chamomile flower heads and 1 liter of white wine. Leave to macerate for a week, shaking once a day. Take a shot before dinner and before going to bed.

Thyme and eucalyptus wine is useful in case of cough. Here’s how to prepare it: macerate 20 g of dried eucalyptus leaves and 20 g of the flowering tops of thyme in 1 liter of Marsala or dry white wine.
Leave to macerate for 7 days, shaking and filter.
Drink 2/3 small glasses a day between meals.

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