Vine (Vitis vinifera)
Vine, the remedy for dominant people who tend to bully others, is made by the sun method.
The name vine comes from the Latin viere to twist, referring to the plant’s twining behaviour. Vines can live for 600 years and the stems of old specimens can reach diameters of over 30cm, when they are useful as timber. The fruit, or grapes, can be eaten raw, dehydrated to form sultanas, currants or raisins, or the juice drunk or fermented to produce wine.
Grape sugar contains D-glucose (dextrose) which doesn’t require to be acted on by enzymes in saliva and so reaches the bloodstream quickly. Grapes are traditionally eaten during convalescence.
The leaves are astringent as they contain tannins and were used to staunch bleeding and for haemorrhages. The sap of the vine was used to treat weak eyes. Grapes were taken to increase flow of urine, to treat anaemia and small-pox and in cases of neuralgia and sleeplessness. Grapes have an adverse effect on the kidneys of dogs and even small amounts can cause kidney failure.
The so-called ‘grape cure’ involved eating large quantities of grapes (approx. 1.3–2.6 kg/day). Unripe grapes were taken for liver disease and ripe, sweet grapes for those needing to support tissue waste. In the 1920’s, the Brandt Grape Cure was popularised by Johanna Brandt as a cure for certain types of cancer. Many variations of the diet have been suggested but all involve a mixture of fasting, drinking only water and eating grapes. The controversial treatment is not recommended by the American Cancer Society but some people claim it has improved or cured their condition.
Some chemical compounds from grapes have shown potential for cancer treatment. These include the related compounds resveratrol and picetannol, which has an additional hydroxy (-OH) group. Both also have a range of other potential medicinal benefits including as anti-oxidants and anti-inflammatory agents. They occur in grape skins and also in their seeds.
Resveratrol is produced by the plant in response to injury and protects the plant against fungi, bacteria and UV radiation. It occurs in larger quantities in red wine than in white as red grapes are fermented with their skins. Grape seed extract is sometimes taken as a food supplement to treat cardiovascular disease, poor circulation, diabetes-related eye conditions and high cholesterol.
The Ancient Egyptians claimed wine was the tears of the god Horus and wine has been consumed for at least 6,000 years. The Greek god of wine was Dionysus, or Bacchus in Roman mythology. Most wine is made using varieties of Vitis vinfera. It was initially probably made by accident – grapes contain sugar and juice and readily start to ferment in the presence of wild yeast, which is sometimes found on the skin of grapes themselves.
When wine began to be produced on purpose, grapes were crushed by trampling with bare feet to yield the juice – this made use of any fungi on the feet to instigate the fermentation process. Today, the health benefits of wine are still promoted but these are tempered with the potential damage of excessive alcohol consumption. Claimed benefits of moderate consumption include to help prevent breast and colon cancers, reduce the effects of ageing and reduce the incidence of depression.