Care for Some Chicken Soup?
Is there anything to chicken soup as a cold remedy?
Chicken soup. Just the mention of it conjures images of steaming broth, packed with essence of carrots, celery, peppercorns, and onion; chunks of chicken; maybe some noodles thrown in. How could it not be a good remedy?
It's comforting, it's warm, and it's fluid. At the University of Nebraska Medical Center, researchers found that chicken soup indeed had anti-inflammatory properties. They discovered that it reduced cold symptoms even when extremely diluted. Apparently the soup inhibits white blood cells called neutrophils, allowing them to fight infection without causing inflammation.
But chicken soup is more than just ingredients. It's comfort, love, and caring, captured in a mixture that fills your nose and warms your insides. Much of chicken soup's curative powers come from its function as a placebo. (When something has a powerful effect because you believe it will, it's called a placebo.)
Of course, your relationship with chicken soup is affected by your cultural background. In some regions, fish soup is considered the universal elixir. Whatever soup you choose, its benefits also stem from the love and caring it embodies - whether you make the soup yourself or someone gives it to you. You could consider soup a natural remedy that helps you access your own natural healing power.