Rượu thuốc (literally "medicinal liquor") or rượu dân tộc (literally "traditional liquor") is a kind of Vietnamese distilled liquor (rượu) with herbs and medical animals, considered by traditional medicine as good for health. This drink is a mixture of alcohol mixed with herbs or animals which are used as drink and medicine in Vietnam. In Vietnam, rượu thuốc is widely believed to help drinkers improve their health and virility.
Raw herbs like ginseng, jujube, or raw animals like seahorses, snakes, or termites are placed into a large earthenware jar of alcohol and kept for days to let the expected medical substances in these herbs or animals to dissolve in liquor before the mixture is served. Distilled liquor must be strong enough, with alcoholic concentration of 45% or more.
Rượu thuốc is typically drunk before a meal. It's believed among Vietnamese that drinking rượu thuốc may treat several diseases (not diseases caused by viruses or bacteria).
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- "The Last Days of the Mekong Snake Hunters". 9 August 2016.