Cider Health and Wellness

Writings from "Our Wonderful Bodies" 1894
The Health Concerns of Cider
19th century reflections on the apple drink of choice

In the spirit of wellness, diet, nutrition, holistic medicine, and the zest to find the new healthy spirt, we came across an excerpt from the following book, “Our Wonderful Bodies,” Second Book, 1894

It was written for grammar school-aged children in the nineteenth century to teach physiology and hygiene fundamentals. It is an exciting reflection of how young children were educated about health and wellness in the nineteenth century.

This paraphrased excerpt discusses the dangers of cider and alcohol. This text has been edited and modified the original version to make it a little bit easier to read — This original book in its original content is for sale on our website through the link above. Titles such as this and other old medical books or rare books are available for sale through our collection of books here. 

In the spirit of conflicting options on health, nutrition, science, and wellness, we also found an amusing recent article on cider’s newfound health benefits, which we will share as a link below. It just goes to show how medicine and opinions change. Its also interesting to see how young children were educated about health and wellness.  

We do not endorse this article as medical advice and neither approve or deny the health benefits or effects. Actually, at All The Decor, our staff all enjoy a warm cup of cider on a chilly fall day who doesn’t! Please keep in mind this article was written over one hundred years ago. This article is for entertainment purposes only-Enjoy!

"Our Wonderful Bodies"-Second Book 1894
Cider and Alchohol
"Our Wonderful Bodies" Second Book 1894

1. Apples.—It has been suggested that if a family keeps a large barrel of apples in their basement year-round and allows their children to eat them whenever they wish to do so, that family doctor’s bills will be significantly smaller than if they have not done so.

While such attitudes prevail regarding the consumption of apples, there has never been a similar statement regarding that of a family keeping a large barrel of cider in their basement for the children to enjoy. As such, we are aware that there is a reason for this, and as we are reasonable, we can understand why.

2. Through the natural course of seasonal agriculture, fruits can be in and out of season. In the spring months, strawberries may be in season, and slightly later, blackberries, and later still, cherries.

In the summer months, apples and peaches, and then we have pears, plums, and later on grapes. From the time apples are ripe, they are continually ripening until the fall season has arrived.

The fruit that ripens early is not best suited to cold weather, and that fruit is not kept in the winter. Greening apples and red apples can be maintained throughout the entire winter and spring if they are well stored.

3. The body requires a lot of water, and as fruits contain a lot of water, they are exceptionally healthy for us as part of our diet regime. When not turned into cider, apples are a healthy and nutrient choice.

4. Ferments.—When you look about a room, you may not see any specks of dust floating about unless you allow a single ray of sunlight to enter, only then are you can see many of these specks of dust in the sunshine.

5. A component of this dust contains tiny plants, too small to be seen without a microscope, and some of these little plants are called ferments. They are the same kind that tiny plants that live on some parts of the juice of fruits.

As long as their skins protect apples, ferments cannot go through the skin, and no harm can come to them by these ferments.

However, when apples are sent to a mill, and the juice is pressed out, the ferments quickly find their way back into cider.

6. If there was a way to prevent ferments from contaminating the cider, we might have a chance to drink it without being poisoned. “Poisoned?” “Does cider poison people?” “Why do people drink it, then?”

7. There are many kinds of poison. Some types of poison kill people quickly, and some types of poison that take a long time, and then, again, some types of venom that when taken in large doses will destroy life immediately, while the same kinds of poison taken in small doses over more extended periods will take much longer to sho their ill-effects. Cider contains a toxin, which is like the last mentioned.

8. The effects of ferments. As a result of the sugar in the apple juice, the presence of ferments causes the formation of alcohol.

9. Alcohol is a colorless liquid. If ingested at 100% proof, it would burn the mouth and throat.

10. Alcohol begins to form in cider almost immediately after cider is made. Cider that has been stored for an extended period may be referred to as a hard cider and may contain approximately 1/10 alcohol.

At this consistency, the sweetness in the cider may, in most cases, have disappeared. If the cider continues to age, it will lose its sweet taste altogether and become apple cider vinegar.

However, before this transformation occurs, another change must first take place in the cider. This change is caused by the acid that naturally occurs in the cider. This acid removes the alcohol in the liquid.

11. WATER AND ALCOHOL. As you may recall, the body needs a great deal of water, and while you think that alcohol is a liquid and that it may be good for your body, it is not. It is dangerous and toxic in more ways than one.

12. Water is healthy for us because it helps to maintain the strength of our bones and muscles, and it helps dissolve the food in our stomachs. It replaces the fluid lost during perspiration.

Alcohol weakens our bones and muscles, it hardens the food in the stomach making digestion more difficult, and alcohol, when ingested, dries up the water in our bodies.

13. You can understand as a result of this chemical interaction, why it is that alcohol is dangerous for our health and for our bodies.

As it dries up the water in our bodies, people who have drunk a large quantity of alcohol are always thirsty as they have become dehydrated. In the example of cider, sometimes people say, “I cannot understand why I am so thirsty even after I have had so much cider to drink.”

14. One of the most serious health concerns in connection with the consumption of cider or any liquid containing alcohol is the increasing appetite and desire for it. People consume it at first, thinking it will taste good and quench their thirst.

As their thirst increases, they continue to drink more and more cider, or alcohol-related beverage, thinking if they drink a sufficient quantity. It will surely quench their thirst.

15. A DANGEROUS HABIT.—This is always dangerous when large quantities of alcohol consumed, senses are lost, the brain loses the ability to think, the legs lose their ability to support the body, and the drinker falls to the ground. There he must lie until he wakes.

16. Aside from making the consumer of alcohol very thirsty, alcohol has a very singular effect on some people.

In time many persons, even those who know all about the impact of alcohol, become in the habit of drinking it until they are unable to break themselves from the addiction of it.

17. Although we may become miserable on account of the misfortune of those that become addicted to alcohol, we have no right to judge them. While we are not responsible for their condition unless we have encouraged them to drink.

As such, there is little can do for their happiness, and we can rest assured that no one shall suffer on account of our having encouraged such a habit. If we never take the first glass of cider, any other liquid containing alcohol, we shall be safe.

18. Cider is especially damaging to the liver. Whatever injuries, the liver hurts the digestion, and whatever hurts digestion makes people unwell. We must acknowledge then, and facts prove that cider, even in small amounts, is not a healthy choice. “

More Information

As promised, you can find the most recent article on the health benefits of cider here, which provides an article on all the health wonders that cider provides. We hope you enjoyed this article. 

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