The Aztecs are credited with inventing tequila - (actually a cruder beverage called Pulque) which was restricted to royalty, the elderly, and sacrificial victims. The victims were often juiced up before having their hearts ripped out by obsidian knife wielding Aztec priests. You see - if blood wasn't offered to the sun god each day - the sun might just opt out and not rise the next day.
Anyone who has experienced the painful aftermath of a date with too many margaritas (on, say, May 6) has likely wondered, “What is in this stuff?” While many spirits are useful for activities beyond swilling (vodka, for example, is a great stain and odor remover), tequila holds some particularly magical powers. Not all of them bad. Here are seven of them.
1. TEQUILA SYNTHETIC DIAMONDS
In 2008, a team of scientists in Mexico discovered that when the heated vapor from an 80-proof tequila blanco was combined with a silicon or stainless steel substrate, it resulted in the formation of diamond films. These films can be used in commercial applications, such as electrical insulators, or to create one big fake diamond. Who knew that spending $50 on a bottle of Don Julio was such a wise investment?
2. TEQUILA (Really Agave) ALTERNATIVE ENERGY SOURCE
Keeping with the science theme: In 2011, researchers at England’s University of Oxford suggested that we may one day be gassing up our cars up with tequila. They identified agave, the plant from which tequila is produced, as a potential biofuel source—and a particularly attractive one, as the plant itself is not consumed by humans and can thrive in desert climates.
3. TEQUILA COLD REMEDY
“Plenty of liquids” is a well-known remedy for getting oneself out from under the weather. But expanding that definition to include a kicked-up shot of tequila makes a day laid out on the couch sound much more appealing. In the 1930s, doctors in Mexico recommended the following concoction to fight off a cold:
.5 ounce of tequila blanco
.5 ounce of agave nectar (to eliminate bacteria and soothe sore throats)
.5 ounce of fresh lime juice (for Vitamin C)
4. TEQUILA WEIGHT LOSS SUPPLEMENT
Scientists have long promoted the potential benefits of the agave plant for its ability to help dissolve fats and lower cholesterol. The bad news? These properties get a bit diluted when the plant is distilled into alcohol. Even more so when its whipped into a sugary margarita.
5. TEQUILA SLEEP AID
Take three or more shots of tequila and you’re bound to pass out. A single shot can have the same effect—just not in that drunken stupor kind of way. Relaxation is one of the positive side effects of tequila drinking; a small amount (1 to 1.5 ounces) before bedtime can help you fall asleep faster and sleep more soundly.
6. TEQUILA THE COLON CLEANSER
Too much of a good thing may not bring a welcome turn of events for your liver … but your colon will thank you! Researchers at Mexico’s University of Guadalajara have identified the blue agave as a potentially helpful source for delivering drugs to the colon in order to treat colitis, IBS, Crohn’s disease and even cancer.
7. TEQUILA AS A DIABETES PREVENTATIVE
If Ernest Hemingway had known about the healing properties of tequila, his signature drink might have been a margarita instead of a daiquiri. In 2010, experiments conducted at Mexico’s Polytechnic Institute of Guanajuato revealed that the agave plant (which is high in fructans, a fructose polymer) could stimulate the GLP-1 hormone, aiding in increased insulin production.