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. Synthetic bauble
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. 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 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. 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. 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. 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. (But maybe don't make a habit of it.)
6. 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. 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.
More from Mental Floss...
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- 7 grammar rules you really should pay attention to
- The real reason conservatives should be outraged that police killed a white youth
- What would a U.S.-Russia war look like?
- The secret to handling pressure like astronauts, Navy SEALs, and samurai
- Why you should stop believing in evolution
- After Ferguson, we don't need another dialogue on race
- Your literary playlist: A guide to the music of Haruki Murakami
- 11 scientific studies that will restore your faith in humanity
- The world is on fire and neither Democrats or Republicans have a clue
- When it comes to ISIS, our Congress is full of cowards
Subscribe to the Week