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Drinking A Little Whiskey Might Actually Help Relieve Cold Symptoms

whiskey and colds, whiskey helps colds
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Got a cold?

I may have a solution for you!

The truth is that the common cold doesn’t have a real cure. It takes its natural course and gets better in not time. (1)

However, that doesn’t mean that you can’t use some natural remedies to get some relief or get better quicker.

You may be surprised when I tell you about this completely natural remedy for the common cold.

It’s whiskey! Or bourbon. Whichever you prefer. They both offer some fantastic relief for your cold (I assume you are over 21!).

Drinking A Little Whiskey Might Actually Help Relieve Cold Symptoms

It may not be surprising. You might’ve even heard your grandfather jokingly suggesting a shot of whiskey for any ailment. He was right though. It can help.

A Hot Toddy Can Help Sniffles And Congestion

The relief comes in the form of the classic hot toddy, which is normally made of whiskey, honey, lemon juice, and hot water. It can relieve nasal congestion and other symptoms of a common cold, just like your mom’s nice bowl of chicken noodle soup. (2)

And when you are considering all the honey and lemon juice, you can truly think of it as a natural medicine, not just you enjoying some alcohol.

Whiskey can also help with sniffles. The alcohol in the whiskey or bourbon helps the blood vessels to dilate, making it easier for the mucus to deal with the infection and get out of your system. (3)

How To Drink A Hot Toddy

Now, I am definitely not suggesting that you go out to your local bar and order a half-dozen Manhattans. There is too much of the good thing. Too much alcohol can and likely will make you way worse. As a diuretic, alcohol can pull too much fluid from your body, leaving you dehydrated. This leads to serious thirst, awful headaches, nausea, and other symptoms of a hangover. When you have a cold, the last thing you need is a hangover to top that.

To improve your cold symptom, drink only one (I repeat: ONE!) hot toddy. Also make sure to drink plenty of water and other non-alcoholic fluids, such as lemon water, hot herbal tea, chicken or vegetable soups, vitamin C-rich fresh orange juice and green juices.

How To Make A Hot Toddy

Hot Toddy


  • 1 oz (2 tablespoons) whiskey
  • 1 or 2 tablespoon mild honey (or maple syrup for vegans)
  • 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
  • 1/4 cup boiling-hot water


  1. Put whiskey, honey, and lemon juice in a 6-ounce cup. Mix it with hot water and stir until honey is dissolved.

Alternative Options

If you don’t drink alcohol, don’t like whiskey, or are looking for something for your under-age teen, trying a fire cider vinegar is a fantastic non-alcoholic alternative option.

Fire Cider Recipe


  • 1 cup coarsely grated peeled horseradish (about 4 ounces)
  • 1 small onion, coarsely chopped
  • 9 large garlic cloves, smashed
  • 1/2 cup peeled and coarsely grated or chopped ginger (about 3 ounces)
  • 1.5 tablespoon ground turmeric
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 3 rosemary sprigs
  • 1 whole clove
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 cups (or more) unfiltered apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons (or more) honey (or maple syrup)


  1. Put the horseradish, onion, garlic, ginger, turmeric, peppercorn, rosemary, and clove in a quart jar.
  2. Squeeze in the lemons.
  3. Pour vinegar over everything and close tightly for 1 month.
  4. After a month, strain it through a cheesecloth and squeeze out as much liquid as you can.
  5. Add the honey or maple syrup and shake it well.
  6. Transfer it into smaller bottles to store.

Do you have any other natural cold remedies to share? We would love to hear them.

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