Alcohol in the form of brandy, whisky, or other spirit, if not very much diluted, acts as a stimulant both when externally applied and internally administered. The immediate effect of alcohol on entering the blood is to increase the heart's contractions in both number and force, and subsequently to reduce temperature, as elsewhere explained. In cases of fever and prostration, suitable doses of alcohol, whether as wine, spirit, or beer, are found to steady the pulse and reduce the number of respirations; but there are exceptions to be met with among horses as among men. An idiosyncrasy sometimes exists by which individuals are unable to benefit by alcohol, and other stimulants must take its place. The effect of this agent should be carefully watched, as the dose is often excessive and loss of appetite results in consequence. In approaching convalescence the amount should be gradually diminished and not abruptly discontinued. In pulmonary congestion alcohol is a valuable remedy, and in its popular forms readily obtainable. Considerable doses are given, and often with the greatest benefit in the early stages of the affection.
In the form of malt liquors, with gruel, it is given with advantage in convalescence from gastric and intestinal inflammations.