Better known as an Usher song (Hot Tottie), Hot Toddy’s, have been around for years as an at home treatment for the common cold and flu. I’ve always been a little skeptical about trying this method, but this week I was/am desperate.
I hardly ever get sick, but of all weeks, of course, last would be the one. Sunday I felt fine, just like any other day. I’ve always had bouts of not feeling well, especially with my stomach aches that occur almost daily. However, after I finished the maternity photos I was scheduled to shoot that afternoon and ran a few errands with my husband, I started having a sore throat, sore and watery eyes, and my nose was really stuffy. My husband attributed it to my being overly tired since I’d been running myself ragged all last week, but it didn’t just feel like exhaustion.
Monday, I woke up and felt absolutely horrible! I could barely breathe at all and the nasal dripping has caused my throat to feel thick and scratchy. I was determined to try everything because I HAVE to be better by Wednesday; I’m picking a friend up from the airport and a 2 hour drive there and back might just kill me if I don’t get some kind of relief. So I looked online at all the different remedies for colds… Of course, I ran across the usual chicken noodle soup, juice, tea, sauna/humidifier..etc and was naturally going to do ALL of those. But then, I came to a recipe for a Hot Toddy.
As I read about it’s ingredients and the soothing power of the drink, I decided to give it a try. I make a big mug full, drank it in a nice hot bath, and crawled right into bed for a nap. Two hours later I felt like a new person. I wasn’t 100% and I’m still not today (which is why I intend to do the same thing today) but it greatly improved my symptoms. After that, I went to the sauna to “sweat out” my cold, took a mucinex and climbed in bed. Today I feel 70% improved from yesterday and I’m hoping that by following the same routine this afternoon, tomorrow I will be back to normal. Just thought I’d share the recipe :)
- 1 oversized mug
- 8 ounces of boiling water
- 1/4 teaspoon of ground ginger
- 3 whole cloves
- Cinnamon stick
- 2 green tea or orange pekoe tea bags
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice and/or a splash of apple cider vinegar
- 1 to 2 ounces of Jack Daniels whiskey
- Slice of lemon
Boil the water, stir in the ginger, cloves and cinnamon stick; add the tea bags and steep for 5 minutes. Remove the bags. Zap in the microwave for 1 minute to get it back real hot, then stir in the honey, lemon juice and last, the whiskey. Drop in lemon slice. Drink it while it is still very hot, take a warm bath with some essential oils and crawl up in the bed.
If you’re not really accustomed to the liquor taste, you can add extra honey, or even sugar to help sweeten it more and mask it a bit, but don’t skip the honey. Taste before adding the sugar, then add a little, taste, etc.
Can substitute other alcohol in a pinch such as Wild Turkey, rum, scotch, or brandy. Can also omit the water and use hot apple cider.
Lemon is high in Vitamin C, and may help to fight infection, and bring down fever. Lemon is soothing to the throat, may help sooth symptoms of tonsillitis and may help to cut mucus and phlegm.It also acts as a tonic to the liver.
Honey is soothing for the throat, helps sooth the sinuses and may calm coughs.
The hot steam and the whiskey helps to open up airways and seems to create a rise in body heat, allegedly helping to “sweat out” the cold/flu symptoms.
Green tea is rich in natural antioxidants called polyphenols that appear to have more antioxidant affects than even Vitamin C. Green tea has the highest polyphenol content of all the teas, and chemicals found in green tea may be effective in treating symptoms of colds and the flu.
Cinnamon is an antioxidant powerhouse, having one of the highest antioxidant levels of any spice – and even more than many foods. You’ll find as many antioxidants in 1 teaspoon of cinnamon as a full cup of pomegranate juice or 1/2 cup of blueberries. It is also rich in polyphenols. These compounds appear to act like insulin in our body and may help regulate blood sugar levels.
Ginger has as many antioxidants as a cup of spinach, as has a long history of other comforting properties. For centuries, ginger was used as a natural remedy for a variety of conditions, especially soothing distressed stomachs. The potential benefits appear to be due to the anti-inflammatory properties of gingerol – one of the active ingredients in ginger. Some studies suggest gingerol may work like certain anti-inflammatory drugs (such as aspirin and ibuprofen) by inhibiting an enzyme that causes inflammation. Research indicates that ginger may offer pain relief for everything from arthritis to nausea and migraines.
Cloves are a mild anesthetic and anti-bacterial agent. High levels of eugenol act as an anti-inflammatory which may help with sore throats and it may also help the digestive system. They are also an excellent source of manganese, and a good source of vitamin C, omega-3 fatty acids, calcium, magnesium and dietary fiber.