Why is Alcohol in medicines, dietary supplements, herbal liquids not a good idea?

Why is Alcohol in medicines, dietary supplements, herbal liquids not a good idea?

Posted by Bio-First Team on

The truth is that many liquid medicines, health tonics and herbal mixtures contain alcohol in the form of ethanol, some at levels equal to neat Vodka! 80% of paediatric medicines are liquid and the ethanol is used as a solvent or preservative. Common non-prescription cough and cold brands contain ethanol, so do many dietary tonics and herbal syrups. 

Is this a problem?

Alcohol is classified by the WHO as Carcinogenic to Humans. No safe level of consumption has been established. 

Cancer risks associated with it can affect:

  • Liver, oral cavity, pharynx, larynx, oesophagus, colorectum, breast.

More common general risks of frequent alcohol consumption are damage to:

  •  foetus, liver, kidneys, central nervous system, digestive tract, pancreas, reproductive system and cardiovascular system.

Physiological changes can include:

  • fat accumulation; inflammation; necrosis and fibrosis.

Alcohol is something we’re all intolerant to, more so than gluten or lactose.    

Frequency and amount consumed is really important – here are the guidelines:

  • USA – 1 drink or less in a day for women, 2 drinks or less for men
  • In the US a standard drink is a 12oz beer, or a 5oz wine, or 1.5 oz spirits
  • Australia – 10 standard drinks a week, maximum of 4 drinks on any day
  • A standard drink in Australia has 10g alcohol

By the way, one standard drink decreases sleep quality by 20%, with regular drinkers waking up unrefreshed then drinking coffee to stimulate the system.

What does all this have to do with you or more to the point with Bio-First? Simply this: 

Although amounts of alcohol consumed via medicines or health products are generally small and occasional, anything used routinely and especially by children should not contain alcohol. 

None of our remedies do, not even our skin care products. 

Nor do they contain artificial colours, fragrances, flavours or sweeteners. 

We recommend checking the labels of liquid health products whether mainstream or ‘natural’, and if ethanol amounts aren’t specified contact the brand to get full information.

Meantime have a soothing tea to relax after reading this!!


Written by Dr Jude Lenart, PhD in Natural Medicine and Co-Founder of Bio-First.

*Please note this is not medical advice and you should always seek such advice from medical professionals. Dr Jude Lenart has a Ph.D. in Natural Medicine, she is not a medical practitioner.



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