Thursday, 18 September 2008

Red Wine Elixir

An Italian pharmacist thinks he has found the secret to the Elixir of Life - has been eluding mankind for millennia (see Nick's Blog Is Red Wine the Elixir of Life?) Giovanni De Munari discovered the 18th century recipe dating back to 1715 in the shelves of Italy's oldest Tuscany pharmacy in Asciano near Sienna.

"My ancestors left several manuscripts with formulas for digestive drinks, but this one struck me because of its ingredients. I knew it had strong scientific basis," Discovery quoted pharmacist Giovanni De Munari, who found the old recipe.

The recipe's ingredients include Italy's famous Chianti wine infused with a concoction of honey, cherries and secret herbs. De Munari has replicated the recipe and come up with a "low-calorie, highly digestive alcoholic infusion, which tasted delicious."
The key ingredient in the elixir is the Sangiovese grape, which is the soul of Chianti wine. The elixir's formula echoes recent studies that credit resveratrol, a compound found in the skins of red grapes and helps in protecting against heart disease and other age-related illnesses.
"My ancestors may not have known the names of the chemicals, but they knew that red wine, and Chianti in particular, had therapeutic properties," De Munari added.

Apparently wines made from Pinot Noir, St. Laurent ( from the same family as Pinot Noir ) and Muscadine grapes have higher levels of resveratrol though no wine or region can yet be said to produce wines with significantly higher resveratrol concentrations than any other wine or region. Given the rush on anything resveratrol going on at the moment I wonder if any other ancient recipes for the secret of longevity from other lands will spring to light?

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