Gaelic for “water of life,” whiskey has been touted as a cure for everything from toothaches to swine flu. Even the common cold is said to be stymied by whiskey’s magical properties.
So does whiskey help with a cold? Or is it just another excuse for grandpa to take his “medicine?”Due to a particular production process whereby whiskey is distilled and then aged in wooden casks, the spirit contains uniquely high doses of cancer-fighting antioxidants and heart-saving phenols, but its whiskey’s non-unique property – alcohol – that has the most effect on your common cold.
Studies have shown that occasional consumption of alcohol may decrease susceptibility to the virus. Once you have the sniffles, whiskey can help allay symptoms by relaxing blood vessels and reducing inflammation, but one must be careful not to overdo it. Too much alcohol will inhibit a good night’s rest, dehydrate the body and exacerbate symptoms. It may even give you a combination cold/hangover, which is known to be 100 times worse than the standard version.