Uses of Whiskey for Congestion

iseaside whiskey image by Ivanna Buldakova from

Colds and congestion have, historically, been treated quite effectively with a "hot toddy." Toddies, and the recipes for them, tend to contain varying amounts of liquor -- usually whiskey -- along with herbal ingredients that are popular in a variety of home remedies. Whether the results are thanks to the other ingredients, the method of delivery, or the dram of alcohol itself, you can treat several kinds of congestion with a dose of whiskey and, assuming you "go light" on key ingredient, wake up feeling better in the morning.

Fighting Chest Congestion

Chest congestion can cause rough, productive coughing, difficulty breathing and pain in the chest area. If you want to treat this problem with whiskey, then a hot toddy designed to treat chest congestion is in order. A recipe from the website Grandma's Wisdom recommends that you heat the juice from 2 lemons, 1/4 cup of honey and a shot of whiskey on the stove until the compound reaches a slow boil. Then, allow it to cool. This mixture can be taken in a cup of warm tea one tablespoon at a time or sipped straight. You should not chug it either way. Your chest should start to feel clearer and less painful as you sip. Of course, leave out the alcohol and avoid unpasteurized honey when you are treating children.

Treating Sinus Congestion

Sinus congestion responds as much to things that you inhale as to items that you drink, so this toddy recommended by HealthMad Natural Sinus Remedies should be sipped while it is still steaming so that you breathe the vapors as well as drink the curative. Add one tablespoon of honey, a quarter of a lemon and a cup of hot water to an ounce of whiskey. You can also add brown sugar, cloves and cinnamon sticks for more flavor and immune-boosting potential. Pour yourself a small cup while the mixture is still hot, then sip it slowly, taking time to inhale the steam rising off the liquid. By the time you finish a cup, you should be feeling clearer. Do not repeat the treatment in the same night, though, or you could end up with a headache where your sinus-ache used to be!

Head-Cold Congestion

This concoction treats all the problems that come with the common cold, according to Not only will it help clear your head, but it also will soothe your throat and should get your nose running so that you can stop breathing through your mouth! Bring half a cup of dried basil, half a cup of dried lemon balm, a quarter cup honey and a shot of whiskey to a boil in 2 cups of water. Once you have boiled the mixture and then allowed it to cool until it is palatable but still steaming, strain out the herbs and then sip slowly, inhaling the steam in between sips. You should start to feel your head clear and your throat ease immediately, and by the time you finish the cup your nose should be dripping to help clear out sinus congestion.

Tips and Warnings

Remember, if you are taking prescription medication, will be operating a vehicle or are under the legal drinking age in your area, these uses of whiskey for congestion are not an option for you. Consult a physician about how to best treat your symptoms.