How a Traditional Hot Toddy May Help Combat a Winter Cold

By , Category : General Health

Disclaimer: Results are not guaranteed*** and may vary from person to person***.

Hot Toddy and winter coldI’ve got a winter cold, so understandably, I’m pretty frustrated—and given the time of year, you might be, too! Thankfully, there is a traditional home remedy my mother uses to treat winter colds: a hot toddy.

Now I know what you’re thinking: another remedy? Everyone and their mother has a bona fide cold remedy they swear by. And regardless of how much you love your family and friends, the chances of their solutions working are a little slim. And I know, because I’ve been trying them all lately.

But a classic winter hot toddy cocktail might help relieve cold symptoms in a hurry, while providing a little treat after a long day of suffering.

A Hot Toddy for Colds, Flus and Sore Throats

For almost a week I’ve been battling a sore throat, runny nose, all kinds of congestion, and a cough. And the symptoms are coming in waves, so every time there’s a little bit of daylight, a door seems to slam shut. I know you’ve felt the same way—and no matter what you try or how much sleep you get, it doesn’t seem to get much better.
When traditional cold remedies aren’t cutting it, sometimes you have to think outside the box. Because there’s no cure for the common cold, it can take a collaborative effort to treat it—which means it’s wise to approach treatment with an open mind. With that said, I learned a potential “hot toddy” treatment last night I’m kind of excited to try (and share with you).

Much like a hot tea or soup, the warm liquid—and whiskey—in a hot toddy can relieve nasal congestion. Alcohol acts as a vasodilator that can make things a little easier for infected mucus membranes, allowing a runny nose to subside. A hot toddy shortly before bed can help you warm up and relax, and relieve the symptoms when you’re tying to fall asleep—often when they are the most frustrating.

Of course, alcohol can also have a negative impact on sleep, and more than one hot toddy will cause more harm than good. Booze in any form is a diuretic—meaning it draws fluid out of the body—so it’s the exact opposite of what you want to do when you’ve got a cold. Remember, keeping your body’s fluid level high is essential, and one drink won’t cause much of a problem as long as you increase your water intake around it.

Hot Toddy Cold Remedy Recipe

To make a cold-fighting hot toddy, here’s what to do:

1. Boil some water and pour it into a mug, to heat it up.
2.While the water is standing (for about a minute) cut a twist of lemon and stud it with four to six cloves.
3. Dump the water from your mug and then fill it halfway with fresh, boiling hot water.
4. Add two spoonfuls of brown sugar and stir until dissolved.
5. Add the lemon and clove garnish and stir again.
6. Pour in 1/4 of an ounce of lemon juice and one ounce of whiskey.
7. Give it one final stir and you’re ready to go!

Try a hot toddy—just remember to have only one a day—to help keep your cold in check!

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Source for Today’s Article:
Bratskeir, K., “Drinking a little whiskey might actually help relieve cold symptoms,” Huffington Post web site, February 6, 2015;, last accessed February 8, 2016.

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Adrian Newman, B.A.

About the Author, Browse Adrian's Articles

Adrian has been working in the information publishing world since 1997. But when it comes to health information, he’s a self-admitted late bloomer. A couch potato since pre-school, Adrian was raised on TV, video games and a lifestyle that led to childhood obesity that followed him well into adulthood. But when he hit his forties, he decided enough was enough. He had a family to take care of and his days of overeating, under-exercising and inactivity were going to lead... Read Full Bio »