Since I have a cold, I started thinking about something warm for my throat. I’m starting with hot cider.
You’ve likely heard it proclaimed throughout your entire life: chicken soup is good medicine. Whether it was your mother, grandmother, or a Campbell’s soup commercial handing out the advice, a steaming bowl of chicken soup has been touted as the cure. But is chicken soup, in and of itself, really a “medicine” of sorts? Does it actually possess healing capabilities?
Around the 12th century trusted healers started to prescribe “the broth of fowl” for their ill patients. It was during that time that Egyptian Jewish physician and philosopher, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimonides, started to write extensively about the benefits of chicken soup.
Before there was soup, there was broth, which people used to pour over a piece of bread in a bowl. That bread was known as “sop.” From sop came the word used for today’s winter favorite, soup.
Since then, many researchers and scientists have pondered the question of whether or not chicken soup has any real health benefits to patients suffering from a cold. Some have even done experiments to see if there is such proof.
Dr. Stephen Rennard, MD at the University of Nebraska Medical Center, thought his family’s chicken soup really did work, but as a scientist, he wanted proof.
Rennard tested his theory and added his wife’s home made chicken soup to white blood cells, called neutrophils. To his surprise, the soup did slow the neutrophils. In fact, he claims that chemicals in the broth-based elixir clears a stuffy nose by inhibiting inflammation of the cells in the nasal passages.
Dr. Rennard did admit that there needed to be more studies conducted, but believes his findings are one more piece to complete the puzzle.
Since Dr. Rennard’s findings in the early 1990’s, several studies have since agreed with his results, and show chicken soup as a “relief” for the common cold, not a “cure.” All research agrees that the soup helps break up congestion and eases the flow of nasal secretions. In addition, many say it also inhibits the white blood cells that trigger the inflammatory response (causing sore throats and the production of phlegm.)
The next time the cold bug has you down, stay warm, get a lot of rest, and try slurping away on one of these chicken soup recipes. I plan on getting out one of my containers of homemade soup I made just last week from the freezer! But I DON’T intend on getting lots of rest. There is too much gardening to do!
Laugh, learn and liven up your taste buds – cough cough