You know how everyone laughs when they hear Slavs praising rakia or rakija as the wondrous drink which can solve all problems? Well, there is some truth to that – at least when it comes to illnesses. There are many things you can cure with rakia – bad mood being one of them. But there’s so much more to this Slavic alcoholic beverage than using it as a way to toast celebrations with friends and relatives.
In fact, below you’ll find a list of the top 5 most common things you can cure with rakia by using it instead of relying on store-bought medicine. All of these applications are tried and tested by our babushkas, dedos and distant Slavic ancestors in various parts of the Balkans – and they actually do work in magical ways.
1. Sore throat
Regardless of whichever method your own ancestors were most fond of, Slavs know numerous ways to cure a nasty sore throat problem with rakia. The most popular one is to fill your mouth with pure honey or with caramelized sugar and to drink homemade rakia. By heating up and then killing off the bacteria in your throat (drawn by the sugars in the honey), the alcohol will significantly ease the pain in your troublesome throat.
Another way to cure a sore throat with rakia is to wrap a rakia-soaked cloth around your throat and sleep on it, leaving the compress on your neck overnight. It’s an old-school Slavic remedy that works better than any Mentos and you’ll definitely feel the differences when you wake up.
Maintaining a good dental hygiene is an intrinsic aspect of your health care. But did you know you can cope with mild dental problems with rakia?
Due to the alcoholic contents in this beverage you can ease toothaches and disinfect other health complications such as mouth ulcers, canker sores, and so forth. Gurgling with some rakia instead of mouth wash can decrease your pains (just don’t swallow the gurgled alcohol!). This, however, doesn’t mean that rakia can solve your dental problems and rid you of diseases. It can simply numb down the painful sensations and disinfect any wounded spots.
3. Infected wounds
As you well know, any true alcohol has excellent disinfecting properties – and there’s no truer alcohol than rakia (and vodka too, but that’s another story). Even rakia with low alcohol percentage (think around 40%) has strong anti-inflammatory properties when it comes to treating any wounds and skin infections. Simply dabbing the problematic spot with a rakia-soaked pad is way more sufficient than washing it with water and soap. It does sting more than soapy water, though, so be mindful of that.
Aaaah, now here’s something many older Slavs might remember from their distant childhood years – their parents or grandparents treating their colds and fevers with rakia.
How you may ask? Well, that depends on the region. For example, in Bulgaria people use a blend of wild chestnut-infused rakia as a massaging oil to bring the fever down. Meanwhile in some parts of Serbia mothers wrap komovica compresses around the fevered child to bring down its body temperature (komovica is a type of rakia that’s made from grapes). Whether you use it for compresses or as massaging oil, the rakia will fight off your fever. Only problem is, you’ll wake up suffocating to the overwhelming scent of your own sweat and the alcohol’s piercing stench.
Wait, what? Rakia can get rid of toxins and act as a natural disinfectant, but curing a hangover – is that even possible having in mind alcohol is the culprit of experiencing this exact horror the morning after? Yes, rakia can indeed cure hangover. Just keep drinking it and soon enough you’ll fall back into the blissful state of drunkenness and neither you, nor any of your drinking buddies will remember what the word hangover even means. It’s as simple as that.
Okay, so that last part wasn’t exactly a miraculous medical application of this popular Slavic beverage, but the rest is completely true. Just ask born-and-bred Slavs about their childhood – many of them remember how their family used to cure different illnesses with rakia. Cheers!