Indian ‘toddy’ helps sickies get to sleep

Whenever I had a cold or a sore throat, my father made this for me to drink before bed (one of his many Indian home remedies). I was asleep within minutes, without fail.

Warm 1 cup of milk with a dash of cardamom, powdered ginger, turmeric, and sugar or honey to taste. If you're feeling generous, add a pinch of saffron. Serve in a favorite mug.

More: Best of Parent Hacks: Cold and flu season tips


  1. says

    How young can kids be for this home remedy? I’m not afraid of the spices, but can formula or breastmilk be substituted for regular milk? Am I a freak for even asking?

  2. Parent Hacks Editor says

    One should NEVER give honey to a child who’s under a year old (infant botulism risk).

    As for the breastmilk or formula, I have no idea. It’s an interesting proposition, though.

    (I can just see Starbucks serving tiny Similac Chai Lattes to the wee ones.)

  3. says

    I will try this, have had a bad sore throat the last two days from one night out in a while (black tie dinner, talking a lot)..but then I think it must have been something going around. Codi is losing his voice, so funny when he tries a little cry. I was thinking about what I could give him, I know in Europe they put chicken broth in a bottle. But, I love chai teas and I’m sure Codi will too.

  4. Stephanie says

    I am a couple months pregnant right now so this recipe is a really wonderful winter toddy! It’s so much more sublte then a cup of cocoa. And when my son gets a little older, I will make it for him too. Now I need to find other uses for all this cardamon and saffron I have.

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