Joe and Terry Graedon have been teaching, writing, and broadcasting information to help people make informed decisions about their health for more than four decades. Joe is an adjunct assistant professor of pharmacy at the University of North Carolina. Terry has a PhD from the University of Michigan in medical anthropology. Together the couple write a popular syndicated newspaper column and are hosts of The People’s Pharmacy public radio program. They are authors of Simple Health Remedies, a monthly newsletter produced with Newsmax Health, and many books, including Quick & Handy Home Remedies.
Tags: cold | remedies | chicken soup | garlic

Chicken Soup: It Works

By    |   Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 04:07 PM

Around the world, chicken soup — or something like it — is a favorite offering for someone with the sniffles. There’s even research showing that chicken soup can ease congestion (Chest, Oct. 1978).
 
Amino acids in the broth affect the inflammatory response to respiratory viruses, helping the patient feel better (Journal of Basic and Clinical Physiology and Pharmacology, Jan. 2013).
 
In Europe and the U.S., chicken soup often contains garlic, which has been used against colds for centuries. It may help prevent the spread of infection by keeping other people at a distance from someone who has just chewed a raw clove.
 
While chicken soup is one of the most popular ways of consuming extra garlic, some people also like to spread it on toast and use that as their cold remedy. Unfortunately, there has been very little research on this potential treatment (Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews, March 14, 2012).
 
Garlic is inexpensive and readily available, and adverse effects are uncommon.
 
Another old-time cold preventive was a very smelly plant called asafoetida. More than 100 years ago, school children wore a little bag of it around their necks to prevent colds.
 
Like raw garlic, it may have kept other people away, thereby protecting the wearer from coming in contact with cold viruses. More recently, researchers have found that this botanical has compounds with antiviral activity (Journal of Medicinal Chemistry, Feb. 28, 2008).
 
A Chinese herb long cherished for its ability to aid recovery from respiratory infections is Andrographis paniculata. In one study, it dramatically outperformed placebo, relieving sore throat, nasal secretions, and earache (Phytomedicine, Oct. 1999) A reader sent us this remedy for oregano tea to overcome colds:
 
When she was a little girl and started getting a cold, her mother would add one-quarter teaspoon of Mexican oregano to a cup of water, bring it to a boil, and allow it to steep for 15 minutes. Then she would strain and sweeten it with honey, and drink it morning and evening until her symptoms disappeared, usually in a few days.
 
One study of oregano oil found that it has antiviral properties, which may well explain its effectiveness against colds (Food Chemistry, online, Dec. 1, 2013).

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Around the world, chicken soup — or something like it — is a favorite offering for someone with the sniffles. There’s even research showing that chicken soup can ease congestion.
cold, remedies, chicken soup, garlic
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2015-07-26
Thursday, 26 Feb 2015 04:07 PM
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