We all love chocolates but we always think that chocolate is not good for health and especially when we have a cough.
But, a new study reveals something we have never imagined.
As flu season kicks into high gear, most of us are bound to come down with a cough at some point. But when you do, before you reach for cough syrup to relieve your symptoms, there’s a tasty treatment that actually works better and doesn’t give you any of the fuzzy-headed side-effects medications can cause – and it’s chocolate.
According to Dr. Alyn Morice, a professor and respected authority on all things cough and respiratory medicine related, chocolate can soothe coughs better than codeine syrup because it forms a sticky coating in the throat. The melted chocolate coating protects nerve endings in the throat that cause you to cough, allowing the naturally present cough-suppressing ingredients to calm your damaged throat nerves down.
And while it might seem like drinking a cup of hot chocolate would be the ideal cough soother, unfortunately, it doesn’t work as well. The warm, sweet beverage may feel cozy and comforting going down, but Dr. Morice says the liquid doesn’t have enough long-term clinging contact with the nerves to be effective. She advises sucking on a piece of chocolate and letting it melt slowly to coat your throat. And this is one home remedy we’re happy to try.
He added: “The idea that chocolate could cure a cough might sound a bit mad, but the ROCOCO researchers believe the benefits are primarily down to the demulcent properties of cocoa.
“This simply means it is stickier and more viscous than standard cough medicines, so it forms a coating which protects nerve endings in the throat which trigger the urge to cough.
“This demulcent effect explains why honey and lemon and other sugary syrups can help, but I think there is something more going on with chocolate.
“I’m sure it has a pharmacological activity, some sort of inhibitory effect on the nerve endings themselves.”
The doctor even added that the supporting evidence is “actually as solid as a bar of Fruit and Nut”. It’s the perfect excuse.
Writing for MailOnline, Alyn, who has spent years researching the cough, said researchers have just seen the results of a recent study of over-the-counter medicine.
“This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus.”
The study of 163 people revealed that the patients taking chocolate-based medicine saw significant improvements in two days.
So it’s not quite as good as simply munching on some Maltesers and feeling better, unfortunately.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first study that suggests chocolate can calm coughs.
Researchers at Imperial College in London found that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing the urge to cough than codeine – and ingredient often used in cough medicines.
So how can chocolate actually help with a cough?
Well according to Professor Alyn Morice, it’s down to chocolate’s “demulcent properties” – in other words, it’s sticky which means it forms a coating on the throat’s nerve endings, suppressing the urge to cough.
“This demulcent effect explains why honey and lemon and other sugary syrups can help, but I think there is something more going on with chocolate,” Alyn added.
The cough expert reckons sucking on a piece of chocolate could provide some relief, but it’s best when working with other ingredients in the medicine.
It’s definitely worth a try though!
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