Poorly distilled moonshine or whiskey from moonshine stills could make one go blind specially if these mixtures utilized automotive radiators as condensers. Glycol, anti-freeze and other congeners such as acetone are usual products of poorly distilled liquor. Be aware that all these are lethal once ingested.
A good moonshine has properly discarded the foreshot (the first ounces of alcohol that drips off from the condenser). It is this foreshot that contains the most methanol. Moonshine that contains the most methanol is considered toxic and could result to death or blindness once consumed.
Actual case of blindness due to drinking
Believe it or not, a man in New Zealand literally drank himself blind because he consumed tons of vodka while he was on medication for his diabetes. Fortunately, his sight was saved by a doctor who recommended that the patient be tube-fed with a bottle of whiskey.
Denis Duthie is a chef in Taranaki (a region located in the west of New Zealand’s North Island) who heavily drank vodka at a party. His drinking nearly killed him that he had to be immediately admitted to the intensive care unit of the Taranaki Base Hospital.
Upon admission, he already lost his sight, his blood showed abnormally high acid levels and his pH level was way below normal.
NOTE: Death usually occurs in people who have pH levels below 6.8. Duthie’s pH level was reportedly extremely below this standard.
Immediately, Taranaki doctor Allister Williams administered Johnnie Walker whisky to Duthie by infusing it in his stomach. The result was a medical miracle.
According to Dr. Williams, the case is so rare he considers it memorable. Originally from Cape Town, South Africa, Dr. Williams is a kidney specialist who treated Duthie. It was he who saw the large amount of acid in the patient’s blood and feared that the patient will not survive due to the amount of alcohol in his body.
65-year old Duthie was admitted in the hospital due to methanol poisoning.
Dr. Williams works as a physician nephrologist consultant in the hospital. He claims that methanol poisoning is treated via infusing the patient with ethanol in order to counter the methanol inside the body. Doing so helps halt the build up of lethal toxins.
Unfortunately, there was no accessible medical alcohol in the hospital when Duthie arrived. A medical registrar resourcefully acquired the next best alternative – Johnnie Walker red label.
Actual case of getting one’s sight back thanks to whiskey!
The commercial whiskey was infused in Duthie’s stomach via a tube through his nose. This was done while Duthie was undergoing dialysis and he was connected to a ventilator to support his breathing.
Dr. Williams explains, Johnnie Walker red label need not be strictly used as anything that contains ethanol is just as helpful. He also adds that people need to be aware of the fact that most household products actually contain methanol. These products vary from windshield wiper fluid, cleaner, solvents and other industrial products.
Methanol ingestion could also be had from inhaling or consuming illicit moonshine still distillation.
However, the best solution is always preventative. Drinking moderately and wisely is also highly advisable.