Can Soup Really End Your Cold?
If you've got a cold, can your grandmother's secret recipe soup really help? What's the evidence?
It's long been an old wife's tale that eating chicken soup is good to cure colds and common household ailments. But how true is that?
For a long time scientists have dismissed claims that chicken soup has some sort of medicinal powers. But recently, those claims have been reinvigorated with a new line of research. Researchers in the late 1970s determined that chicken soup may actually have certain powers to clear nasal passages that typically are clogged when you have a cold.
Colds tend to stuff up your nose, throat and ears in a way that no one has ever been able to find a cure. Is chicken soup the closest we've come to a cure? These researchers compared how chicken soup cleared mucus away from nasal passages to allow clear air flowage against how hot and cold water do that. They found that chicken soup did the job much better!
Then in the 1980s, University of Nebraska researchers found that chicken soup does in fact unclog nasal passages. These researchers found that chicken soup actually slows the transfer of white blood cells. White blood cells, or neutrophils, cause inflammation. They found that chicken soup actually helps diminish the level of inflammation. Plain water did not do that. They found that chicken soup is actually a good treatment for the common cold. They determined that chicken soup is by no means a cure. And no cure has ever been found. But researchers may be able to use what they learn from chicken soup in order to find a cure for the cold. Further, there is evidence to support the theory that both canned chicken soup and soup made from scratch has the same treatment powers.
So, next time your grandmother tells you you should have some chicken soup to take care of your cold, perhaps you should heed her advice.