Health Tonics, Edible not Credible

Another article I wrote for WUWO magazine – 

There have always been different types of health remedies, be it medicinal or herbal. There’s always a new craze going round that everyone must try. Drinking vinegar cures hiccups, eating faeces cures cancer (yes, that was actually in a newspaper), but what about baby mice wine?

Drinks containing animals are fairly commonplace, such as the tequila worm (fact: not actually suspended in tequila, but in distilled alcohol called Mescal), which has to be eaten to ‘build your strength.’ If you’re raised around food such as fried seahorse, bats on a stick, scorpions on a stick and fertilised eggs, I’m sure you’ll be more than willing to try anything.

However, in the UK we see anything that isn’t ‘normal’ as taboo. Baby mice wine is said to be a traditional Chinese and Korean health tonic and allegedly cures any health issue, from asthma to liver disease. So, for those of you who love a health tonic, baby mice wine could be for you. Some say the wine is used as a last resort, but if it cures anything up to liver disease, why wait? Made by taking two to three day old mice and placing them in a bottle of rice wine, the mice are then left in the liquid for over a year to ferment and then, voilà! Your wine is served.

mouse-in-a-bottle_sq

It’s said to taste like “road kill mixed with gasoline,” and the mice must be consumed with the wine in order for the tonic to take full effect. It doesn’t end there though as seagulls, snakes, geckos and other assorted lizards are being put into rice wine to make medicinal tonics. Tonics like these have been made for centuries such as ant tonics. This has been proven to be powerfully anti-inflammatory and useful as a pain killer, plus they allegedly increase life expectancy!

Some Chinese citizens of Guangzhou even eat tiger penis to boost sexual performance and stamina. Is it horrendously cruel or the next best thing since penicillin? And does the mouse wine really cure illnesses like the ant tonic, or are you just too drunk to care?

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