This one is always cropping up as an old wives answer to the snot ridden perils of winter, but there’s a new group of boffins who’ve been staring into the tasty grey depths looking for health salvation.
Dr Stephen Rennard and other scientists specialising in pulmonary medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Centre ran Mrs Rennard’s grandmothers traditional Jewish soup recipe through a series of tests, normally used to guage the effects of treatments on asthma and emphysema. The soup (containing chicken, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery stems, and parsley) was tested both as a whole brew and seperate ingredients.
Rennard immeadiately noticed the soup suppressed the release of mucous causing neutrohils that is normally casued by the viral infections. “All the ingredients were found to be inhibitory, including the boiled extract of chicken alone,” However Dr Rennard stressed “These tests were in the laboratory and it doesn’t test (chicken soup) clinically in colds.” The team also tested comercially available chicken soups, other flavours of soup and plain Omaha tap water, but only the chicken came out a cold beating champion with some commercial brands doing even better than the homebrew.
Previous research has suggested the steam or hot chicken fat in the soup could be the vital ingredient, but he also suggested vitamins and other elements within the broth could “plausibly have a biological effect”.
So now you know what to reach for when the sniffles begin. Incidentally beanfeasters should note that a slight curative effect was noted with vegetarian vegetable soup – it might not be quite as good for you but it’s a whole lot better for the chicken.