booze vs. colds

My friend claims that you can drink away a cold… On that “I think I’m coming down with something” evening, he gets a big bottle of booze (whiskey, vodka etc) and basically drinks himself unconscious. He has one bad day (the day after), but claims that this poisons the cold out of his system, and he feels fine after that.
Does this have any basis in medical fact? If it does, I may be looking for a bottle tonight.

I thought I had heard every excuse going for getting drunk, but this is a new one.

Don’t be ridiculous.

To my knowledge, there is no scientific basis for your friend’s claim, and much data which contradicts it.


Not to be flip, but in all reality, it probably keeps his mind off the annoyances of a cold, i.e., when he’s drunk, he doesn’t care; when he’s hungover, he doesn’t notice. Just an idea.

One of the traditional cold remedies in Japan is “tamago-zake.” Egg yolk, sugar and hot sake. According to my dictionary (!) it helps you sweat (what’s the term? Sudorific?) I don’t know if there is any medical basies for that, and I’ve never had it myself.

Funny that you should bring this up. I’ve always found that this works for me. Not that I make a point of getting drunk prior to the onset of every cold, just that when I have, I seem to be just peachy once the hangover dies off. I admit it’s bull pucky. I mean, really, if anything the alcohol would make you more susceptible.

On the other hand, it does have one thing going for it. At least when I’m sick and suffering from a hangover, I have the pleasure of having had a fun night before hand. I mean really now, if I have to suffer, I want something to show for it.

Just the opposite for me.

If there’s a cold which is trying to get the better of me, but for two or three days my immune system has been keeping it at bay, all it takes is a few drinks, and the cold’s got me.

This is somewhat the same thing that you were referring to, vl_mungo. Once when I was at a party with my boyfriend, I wasn’t having a very good time, because I was starting to get a sore throat/ear ache. He brought me one shot of Pepermint Schnapps and told me to toss my head back and let the schnapps sit on the back of my throat as long as I coud. I did that, and swallowed it, and it really did make me feel better. The sore throat/ear ache never got to me at all, and it was gone all together the next day.

I keep small bottle of peppermint schnapps in the freezer for just that reason. (Well, that AND the fact that when you mix the schnapps with some hershey’s chocolate syrup it tastes really YUMMY!)

On another note, when I was a kid and got a cold or sore throat, my dad would always make me drink a little bit of Southern Comfort on the rocks! It was the nastiest stuff I’d ever tasted! I think he might have made me drink that so that I’d think alcohol was yucky, and wouldn’t drink it when I got old enough to WANT to. Man, parents try to pull some weird ones on you, don’t they?? haha :slight_smile:

Just my two cents!! :slight_smile:

I’ve never heard of Liquor helping a cold, but many people believe that it is useful for fighting the Stomach “flu”. The Idea being that the alcohol kills the bacteria in your stomach. If I remember correctly from my Human Disease class, the antiseptic qualities of alcohol tend to vary widely depending on concentration, so i have no idea if there is any validity to that. (I do remember a kid in college that swore that LSD would cure a cold, he was kind of an odd one though)

Qadgop the Mercotan, could you elaborate on this? Does the alcohol simply have no effect, or does it lower ones resistance to a cold (or flu, or strep throat), as I and several other posters suspect or believe? More than once, I’ve avoided having a beer because I felt something “coming on”, even though I would have liked one.

From personal experience (albeit over 10 years ago) LSD is NOT a cold cure. I decided to “self-medicate” a heavy cold and spent a terrible 18 hours trying to stop my nose from runing and wipe the (nonexistant, I’m told) mucus from my face after ingesting LSD. To make matters worse the cold lasted 4 more days after I “came down”.

I guess your friend was a “bit of an odd one” if he advocated acid as a cold cure. I would not advise anyone to use illicit drugs under any circumstances, though I respect the freedom of individuals to make informed choices:)
Mad Matt

Zen, the data I’m familiar with indicates that alcohol consumption doesn’t have an effect on the duration or frequency of colds or make them less likely to occur, not that it makes one more prone to viral infections. However, a chronic alcoholic will be more susceptible to a host of infections, due to a less able immune system on the whole.

In short, drinking in moderation probably won’t make your viral illness or strep throat any better or worse than not drinking, other than the pain-killing effects of the ethanol.

just to be clear, I don’t want to give the impression that I lent any credibility to acid as a cold cure. I was just giving an example of the weird things people will say to rationalize getting trashed.