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A hot toddy isn"t actually medicine, but it can feel choose it is. Dinah Pena/Flickr

It’s National hot Toddy Day, and also not a minute too soon.

As January drags on and even the hardiest the us start to ponder the grim truth that the season will certainly drag on till March, we’d like to take it a moment to talk about one potential winter helper: the warm toddy.

You are watching: Do hot toddies work for colds

In its classic form, to write Barbara Rowlands because that The Telegraph, the drink is offered in a glass. The contains, she writes: “a shoot of whisky (preferably malt), a teaspoon of honey and a dash of fresh lemon, topped up with boiling water poured end a silver spoon to protect against the glass indigenous cracking.”

Spices have the right to be included to personal preference: fresh ginger, nutmeg, cloves, cinamon sticks, though, she writes, “purists would argue this transforrms toddy right into punch.”

Though one story about the toddy is that it was invented by 18th-century Scottish medical professionals as a medicament, she writes, in reality the drink was invented to disguise the flavor of life Scotch. “Sugar, dates, saffron, mace, nuts and cinamon to be piled on to hide the foul taste,” she writes.

Still, a hot, spicy drink prefer the toddy may help if you sick. The flavors stimulate saliva, helping a sore throat, and the lemon and honey will certainly stimulate mucus, she writes, citing Ron Eccles, manager of the typical Cold center at Cardiff University. The mei Clinic adds that warm liquids deserve to be soothing and aid ease congestion, when lemon water with honey have the right to "loosen jam and assist prevent dehydration." One caveat, though: walk light top top the Scotch, which isn"t good for a cold in huge doses (obviously).

More importantly, though, the psychological result of having a comforting warmth drink is important, she writes—especially if you’re coming down v something beyond the usual seasonal post-nasal drip. “Stress and anxiety will have an influence on her immune system and lower your resistance,” Eccles called her. “So if you are worried and stressed, you could take a hot toddy in the way you could take a gentle sedative or tranquilizer.”

Hot toddies no the only drinks we treat this way: honey and lemon (sans the various other ingredients), tea and even at once Dr. Pepper (yes, people used to drink that hot) space all standard winter comforts.

Even william Faulkner cure ailments through a hot toddy, writes Caroline Hallemann for Town & Country. His niece, she writes, recounted this story: “Pappy alone made decision when a warm Toddy to be needed, and he administered it to his patient through the finest bedside path of a nation doctor.” He always served that on a silver tray, “admonishing the patience to drink it quickly, before it cooled off. It never failed,” she said.

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Today, you can have a warm toddy in countless novel forms: chamomile, apple cider, even cranberry (we’re not entirely sure around the critical one.) yet consider difficult to the original: after ~ all, if the was good enough because that generations of winter warriors, that probably good enough for you.