How does whiskey help with a sore throat/cold?

My Experience with Sore Throats

There are few people who go through life without catching the common cold or worse, the flu. One of the many symptoms associated with these illnesses is, of course, a sore throat. Like most people, I've had my fair share of coughs and colds over the years, and I've also had a sore throat plenty of times. However, in my early twenties, I started having problems with tonsillitis. This caused me some severe pain and discomfort and a few times caused me to be seriously ill. Over the course of about eight years, I had tonsillitis five times.

If I'd had this problem ten years earlier, chances are the doctors would simply have removed my tonsils. Nowadays, however, they are very reluctant to do that. So unless a patient is having frequent cases of the illness, they prescribe antibiotics to simply clear the issue.

After having had a very sore throat on numerous occasions, I accidentally stumbled across a solution. In my twenties, I also discovered quite a liking for single malt whisky. I've had a few friends who enjoy whisky, and over the years, I've become something of a connoisseur. I now enjoy a glass of whisky on occasion and have a nice little collection of whiskies in my kitchen. So, how does this tie in with my problems with a sore throat?

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Does Whiskey Help a Cough and Sore Throat?

In addition to its pain-killing abilities, whiskey can also help treat your sore throat in particular. One of your grandfather’s favorite remedies for conquering a sore throat may seem strange, but it actually works: gargling whiskey.

Mix whiskey with a bit of honey and warm water, then gargle to soothe and numb the soreness.

The whiskey does all of the numbing work, but the warm water and honey will help soothe the sore spots of your throat.  The water and honey also add some flavor and dilute the alcohol, ultimately reducing the uncomfortable whiskey burn.

If your throat doesn’t hurt too much to swallow, go ahead and drink the whiskey after (or instead of!) gargling.

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This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

Reader Success Stories

  • Reddie Hener

May 11, 2016

    Reddie Hener May 11, 2016

    “This article is very helpful. My throat feels a lot better. In my opinion the best thing to do when you have a sore throat is to drink lots of warm fluids and have lozenges or cough drops.” …” more

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