Chicken Soup and a Cold
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chicken soup

When you mom gives you chicken soup, it's a wisdom of the ages, a millennium, because that's how long healers have believed it can treat the common cold. But is this supported by science?

Chickens were domesticated between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago. It's likely the Chinese were the first to suggest chicken soup has medicinal uses and brought it to the west. Aretaeus, a Greek physician in the second century CE used boiled chicken to treat respiratory tract disorders. In fact, he gave the first accurate description of asthma.

A more famous reference to chicken soup is from Maimonides, the great Jewish physician who said that "chicken soup be used as a cure for whatever might ail you" including the common cold and melancholia.

Even with all this history along with studies that claim it can treat disorders including arthritis, impotence, and asthma, the evidence is scant.

A published study in 2000 showed chicken soup has mild anti-inflammatory effects that inhibit white blood cells. This can relieve cold symptoms since less mucus gets made but that's speculating. Studies show inhaling vapors from the soup increased nasal temperature which loosens mucus secretions and eases congestion. That's also not saying chicken soup has some great therapeutic effect. But - it can't hurt, right?

So, in case you want to stock up on Campbell's Noodle Soup, which no doubt banks on this "mom" wisdom since it sold more than 200 million cans in 2013 alone, homemade is undoubtedly better.

For more information…

Drugs.Com: Chicken Soup
Tick transmission of Borrelia spirochetes to humans results in significant morbidity from Lyme disease worldwide. Serum concentrations of antibodies against outer surface protein A (OspA) were shown to correlate with protection from infection with Borrelia burgdorferi, the primary cause of Lyme disease in the United States...

Chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis in vitro
Chicken soup has long been regarded as a remedy for symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections. As it is likely that the clinical similarity of the diverse infectious processes that can result in "colds" is due to a shared inflammatory response, an effect of chicken soup in mitigating inflammation could account for its attested benefits. To evaluate this, a traditional chicken soup was tested for its ability to inhibit neutrophil migration...

Chicken soup: The story of "Jewish penicillin
At the first sign of sniffles, what do YOU do? Take two aspirins and go to bed? Chug some cold medicine? Some say the best cure is one of the oldest, and the tastiest: Chicken soup, which some consider "Jewish penicillin"...