Hot Toddy Remedy for Head Colds

Updated on June 23, 2017
foodaceuticals profile image

This recipe is based on a long-established folk remedy, but I've added some extra ingredients to make it even more effective.

What is a Head Cold?

A 'head cold' is a colloquial term used to describe a cold or flu-like illness in which the primary symptoms are focused around the head and face area of the body. These include:

  • Blocked nose
  • Runny nose
  • Blocked / painful sinuses
  • Headache
  • 'Brain fog'

They may also include other common cold or flu symptoms such as:

  • Sore throat
  • Cough
  • Nausea
  • Aches and pains
  • Lethargy
  • Raised temperature

About this recipe

The recipe I'm sharing here is for a natural, herbal, home remedy that can be used for any type of cold, but which has a special emphasis on combating the symptoms usually associated with a head cold. It is based on the famous 'hot toddy,' which is really just hot brandy or whisky, but which is often served with lemon and honey. Hot lemon, honey and brandy is a long-established folk remedy, but in this version I've added some extra ingredients to make it even more effective. This will knock out that virus and return you to your normal self in no time.

Although the primary purpose of this drink is to help you heal, I've also paid a lot of attention to making sure that it tastes great, as well.

Cook Time

Prep time: 6 min
Cook time: 4 min
Ready in: 10 min
Yields: 1 Mug

Gather the ingredients

  • 1/2 Juiced Lemon, or Lime
  • 1-2 teaspoons Honey, Manuka honey has the best effect, but can be very expensive
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons Fresh Ginger, Finely chopped
  • 1/2 Fresh Chili, Medium strength, include seeds but not too many
  • 1 level teaspoon Ground Tumeric
  • 1 generous teaspoon Dried Licorice Root
  • 1 generous teaspoon Ground Fennel Seeds
  • 1-2 teaspoons English Mustard, American mustard is weaker and may already include tumeric.
  • 1 shot Brandy, or Whisky (add alcohol for the grown-ups only, please!)
  • 1 small knob Butter, Note: Do not under any circumstances use margarine! Real, unsalted butter or nothing at all, please.

Sore Throat Warning

If you have a bad sore throat you may wish to reduce the amounts of chili and ginger. They won't do you any harm, but the hot sensation of these spices may be unpleasant on sensitive areas. Instead, try adding extra licorice root which can have a numbing effect in larger doses.

Chuck everything in a mug!

  1. Add everything except the brandy to a mug
  2. Three quarter fill the mug with boiling water
  3. Stir well until the honey and butter are thoroughly melted into the liquid
  4. Leave to brew for 4 minutes
  5. Optional: Strain to remove the bits. Personally I like to leave the bits in to chew on towards the end, but most people will probably enjoy this drink more if it has been strained
  6. Add the brandy and stir again
  7. Drink!

Why it works:

  • Honey is one of nature's best anti-septic and antibiotic ingredients and may even have anti-viral properties. It also sticks to the throat and soothes irritation.
  • Chili may be a surprise inclusion for some people, but it is probably the most important for a head cold. Studies have shown that it effectively reduces symptoms of sinusitis including nasal congestion, rhinorrhea, sneezing, coughing, and mucous production. Other studies have shown that it reduces the pain of headaches. In fresh form (rather than powder) it is also a great source of Vitamin A, which can help heal damaged mucous membranes in the lungs and throat.
  • Licorice Root helps to soothe mucous membranes and reduces any potential irritation to sore throats from the chili and ginger. It is also a great natural expectorant, meaning it can combat chesty coughs
  • Mustard is a 'nasal spice', meaning that the effect is felt more in the nose rather than the mouth and throat. This effect can be great for clearing blocked noses. It is also a good anti-inflammatory, which reduces headaches which are often caused by inflamed sinuses, and has anti-microbial properties.
  • Alcohol dilutes blood vessels making it easier for your body to fight the infection through the mucous membranes. In small quantities it can also help you to relax and even to get to sleep - which is just what you need to fight off a cold.
  • Ginger is a potent anti-inflammatory to reduce swelling in the face and ease headaches. It may also act as a natural painkiller and is packed with nutrients.
  • Fennel is another expectorant which helps clear lodged phlegm from your body. Great for coughs and blocked noses.
  • Tumeric has anti-viral and anti-bacterial qualities, may help to reduce inflammation, and is great for giving your immune system a boost.
  • Butter mellows the heat sensation from the chili and ginger, provides fat as a carrier to increase the bio-availability of the tumeric, and is a great source of Vitamin A and Vitamin D3 which has been shown in some studies to reduce the length of colds by an average of 1 day.
  • Lemon is used in most folk cures for the common cold, although its efficacy is arguable. It is a very good source of Vitamin C which boosts the immune system, but some studies have shown that once you start feeling the effects of a cold its already too late for Vitamin C to have an effect. Its included here mostly for taste and tradition.

Dosage

Some of the active ingredients in this drink are well below the effective level in a single drink. For the best effect consume 3-4 hot toddy drinks per day and get plenty of rest.

Ratings

Cast your vote for Hot Toddy Head Cold Remedy

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.

Questions & Answers

    Comments

      0 of 8192 characters used
      Post Comment
      • profile image

        Anjal 

        15 months ago

        Can we give this to 7 month baby

      • profile image

        Cheri 

        2 years ago

        Vitamin C is a powerful antihistamine do including a gram of it will reduce symptoms. Nice recipe.

      • ChitrangadaSharan profile image

        Chitrangada Sharan 

        3 years ago from New Delhi, India

        Very useful information to cure head cold!

        I am aware about the usefulness of ginger, honey, black pepper and turmeric to cure sore throat or that irritating cold. But your other ingredients also sound effective.

        Thanks for sharing the details!

      working

      This website uses cookies

      As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, remedygrove.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

      For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: https://remedygrove.com/privacy-policy#gdpr

      Show Details
      Necessary
      HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
      LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
      Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
      AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
      HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
      Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
      CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
      Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
      Features
      Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
      Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
      Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
      PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
      MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
      Marketing
      Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
      Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
      Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
      Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
      Statistics
      Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
      ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
      Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
      ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)