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The Simple Science Behind Chicken Soup - Why It's So Good For Fighting Colds.

Updated on December 18, 2012

Here's Some Chicken Soup For Your Soul.

With the cold and flu season steadily upon us, the mass populace are rushing to their local pharmacies to either get the flu shot administered, or to purchase medicine for cold and flu relief.

Ironically, with all the medical advancements we've witnessed in our times, it's the simple homemade remedies that often pulls us through and gets us back on our feet in no time.

One of these remedies is an all time classic - chicken soup. But what is about chicken soup that helps us get over a cold or a flu in record time?

Is it simply the warmth of the chicken broth running down a parched and scratchy throat?

Or is it the small chunks of meat and slippery noodles that nourishes the ailing soul?

Surprisingly, there is actually a science behind what makes chicken soup so good for any soul suffering from a cold and flu.

In the book, Food - Your Miracle Medicine, the now retired lung specialist Dr. Irwin Ziment, explained how this comfort food works: "Chicken, like most protein foods, contains a natural amino acid called cysteine, which is released when you make the soup. Cysteine bears a remarkable chemical similarity to a drug called acetylcysteine, which doctors prescribe for their patients with bronchitis and respiratory infections."

This drug is originally derived from the feathers and skin of chickens and is a mucolytic - meaning it thins down and promotes the flow of mucus from the nose, throat, and lungs.

Simply put, chicken soup acts in much the same way.

Dr. Ziment even suggested a better way to make the soup much more effective at fighting congestion. He suggested adding onions, garlic, and hot spices like chili peppers to 'kick it up a notch.'

So this cold and flu season, get yourself - or better yet - get someone to make you some good old fashioned chicken soup, wrap yourself up in a cozy blanket, and get well soon!


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    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks for stopping by elisabethkcmo, and your feedback, I'll set up a link here as well.

    • elisabethkcmo profile image

      elisabethkcmo 8 years ago from Just East of Oz

      love this hub, very informative!

      I added a link to this hub on mine about nasal irrigation

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Your so welcome OTmommy. I hope your friend has a speedy and sucessful recovery and is very fortunate to have a friend like yourself.

    • OTmommy profile image

      OTmommy 8 years ago from Southern USA

      This weekend I will be making dinner for a friend coming home from the hospital, I will try one of the chicken soup recipes you referred to. Thanks for the great article!

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks Hello, hello for your feedback. I really enjoyed writing this one.

    • Hello, hello, profile image

      Hello, hello, 8 years ago from London, UK

      That is an interesting hub and well written. Thank you for the information.

    • Veronica Allen profile image

      Veronica Allen 8 years ago from Georgia

      Thanks creativeone59, I hope so too. With the swineflu going around, we need all the help we can get.

    • creativeone59 profile image

      benny Faye Douglass 8 years ago from Gold Canyon, Arizona

      Thanks for a great chicken soup hub. I hope everyone keeps well the winter. God bless you. creativeone59