Drinking A Little Whiskey May Help Relieve Cold Symptoms

Life & Love | Gerren Keith Gaynor | 02/06/2015 | 02:45 PM EST

A Hot Toddy could be your BFF when under the weather

The next time you feel a cold coming on you may want to grab a bottle of whiskey.

While there is no exact cure for the common cold, experts say the alcoholic beverage can certainly bring some relief. Most in-the-know drinkers are well aware of whiskey’s ability to fight the cold, as the popularized concoction, the Hot Toddy, typically made with whiskey, honey, lemon and hot water, has often been used to subdue symptoms during the blistery winter cold.


Turns out whiskey, much like a hot bowl of chicken soup, can relieve nasal congestion.

“The alcohol dilates blood vessels a little bit, and that makes it easier for your mucus membranes to deal with the infection,” Dr. William Schaffner, chair of preventive medicine at Vanderbilt University Medical Center, told ABC News.

While women are usually believed to be the least common consumers of whiskey, which is traditionally considered a “manly” beverage, clubs for female whiskey enthusiasts have sprouted in recent years. In addition, some of the most well-known whiskeys today were either founded, owned, managed or saved by women, reports CBS News.

But don’t go ordering rounds of Jack Daniels just yet. While whiskey may have its benefits for the common cold, too much alcohol will do more harm than good. Alcohol is a diuretic, which means it pulls fluid from the body, also known as dehydration. That explains why after a night of taking it to the head, you’re often left feeling extremely thirsty (oh, and don’t forget the headache).

But if you want to over indulgence a little more on the whiskey--for the sake of a cold of course--just be sure to replenish the body with extra non-alcoholic fluids like water. Otherwise, it will defeat the purpose.

(Photo: David Michael Zimmerman/Corbis)

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