Anyone who’s into cocktail knows about vodka. It is a popular alcoholic drink made of ethanol and water.
Flavorless and colorless, vodka can blend seamlessly with other drinks without disturbing the flavor, which makes it a preferred choice in bars, parties, and social gatherings amongst other alcoholic beverages.
Apart from being the key ingredient in famous cocktails like Screwdriver and Bloody Mary, vodka possesses a number of health benefits. This spirit was actually invented as a source of medicine, meaning that it can be used to treat numerous health conditions.
Vodka is usually made by the distillation of any plant matter that contains sugar or starch, including corn, wheat, rye, potatoes, soybeans, and grapes.
The alcohol volume in vodka depends on the standards set by different countries.
Vodka produced in Russia, Poland, and Ukraine maintain 40% alcohol content by volume, the United States has a minimum 30% of alcohol, while European vodkas have a minimum alcoholic content of 37.5%. 
Continue reading to learn more about vodka, its origin, potential health benefits, side effects.
History of Vodka
There are controversies regarding the origin of vodka due to the lack of evidence. Some sources say that vodka was initially produced in Poland around the 8th century, while others advocate that it was first produced in Russia around the 9th century.
Used primarily as a medication, the alcohol content was limited to 14% due to its natural fermentation process.
The vodka we have today is far different than the earlier time with respect to its flavor, aroma, and appearance. Today, it’s mostly considered as a great hangout drink which can also have health benefits if consumed moderately.
Health Benefits of Vodka
Being a sugar-free drink, vodka provides less calorie when you drink it neat and without adding any other sugary drink. Besides, this alcohol is considered healthy as it does not contain any fats or harmful cholesterol. 
By drinking in moderation, you may get the following health benefits:
1. Vodka Can Reduce Stress.
While alcoholic drinks are quite famous for their relaxation effects, vodka may do better amongst them.
According to a scientific report published in the Journal of Psychopharmacology, vodka can reduce stress more effectively than red wine. 
In another clinical trial, participants received vodka tonic showed lower response to stressors compared to those who were given a placebo. 
Drinking vodka may also have a calming effect on your brain, thanks to its sleep-inducing properties.
2. It May Relieve Pain.
Since ancient time, alcohols have been used as an anesthetic for various purpose, and vodka is nothing different. 
It has been a popular remedy in the Russian folklore for headaches, pain, and even hangover. This spirit is a key ingredient in different pain relieving tinctures.
Besides, a moderate consumption of vodka may also help reduce the pain associated with arthritis. 
3. Vodka Can Improve Oral Health.
The antiseptic and disinfectant effects of vodka make it an excellent remedy when it comes to soothing toothache. 
You can take a shot or swish it around your mouth to disinfect and relieve pain in the affected area. It can also kill the bacteria in your mouth and eliminate bad breath.
4. It May Protect Heart Health.
The dilating effect of vodka on arteries can stimulate the blood flow and circulation, which may help prevent strokes, clots, and other cardiovascular diseases.
Ethanol in vodka can reduce oxidative stress in the myocardium, reducing the risk of heart diseases. 
Besides, vodka can also promote a healthy heart by improving the amount of HDL cholesterol in your body.
5. Vodka Can be Used as a Skin Care Product.
The alcohol content in vodka can help clean and disinfect your pores, reducing the effects of acne and other skin diseases.
It’s astringent properties help tighten your skin and reduce the signs of aging. You can also use vodka to clean your scalp and promote hair growth.
Besides, the antiseptic effects of vodka can help soothe any minor cut, insect bites, wound, and many types of skin infections. 
Uses of Vodka
Apart from being a famous hangout drink, vodka can be used for various other purposes, including:
- Use vodka while making a pie to make a flaky crust. The spirit can stop the dough from making excess gluten, making the pie healthier.
- Spray diluted vodka to your clothes to remove bad odor.
- You can also use vodka as a cleaning agent. The alcohol in it will disinfect everything while cleaning.
Does Vodka Have Any Side Effect?
Although vodka possesses numerous health benefits, excessive drinking can have adverse effects on your health and increase the risk of diseases associated with the liver, pancreas, as well as the brain.
The following side effects you may experience if you don’t drink this alcoholic drink moderately:
- Elevated blood pressure.
- Faster heartbeat.
- Tiredness and fatigue.
- Nausea and vomiting.
- Pregnant women should avoid vodka or any alcohol as it may cause fetal alcohol syndrome, a mental impairment that happens to babies. 
While no alcohol is considered as a healthy drink, vodka may aid with a number of health benefits if consumed sensibly.
Consuming one or two daily drink is associated with lower mortality, less acute hospitalization, reduced risk of heart disease, Alzheimer’s, enlarged prostate compared to those who don’t drink.
However, heavy drinking may have negative effects on your health, as well as your social life.
No matter how much benefit it has, you must not take vodka for medicinal purpose without consulting with a doctor. Try to drink neat instead of mixing it with a sugary drink it may nullify the low-calorie attribute of this famous spirit.
So, next time you’re ordering any cocktail of your choice, try something made with this extremely versatile beverage.