Cold and flu season is brutal a lot of reasons. But one of the worst parts about catching a cold in the winter is that damn cough. The cough is never ending! It's an everlasting cough that goes on for weeks or longer, long after you've recovered from your illness. You could be completely fine, not a germ on your body, but your cough can sound like you've swallowed a cup of gravel. It sounds bad, it keeps you up at night, and it's so annoying!
There are plenty of remedies that can help alleviate a cough. Some people swear by taking a tablespoon of honey or drinking a concoction of hot water, lemon juice, and honey. Others use essential oils or lozenges. And of course, there are so many different cough syrups on the market. But when it comes to cough syrup, you're faced with another dilemma - the stuff tastes AWFUL, and some of them can cause drowsiness. So taking them during the day isn't always an option! Luckily, there's a different (and far more delicious) solution to your coughing woes: good old chocolate.
Professor Alyn Morice is head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough (apparently that is a real thing). According to Professor Morice, eating a bar of milk chocolate is better for your cough than over-the-counter cough medicines. Now, before you run out and buy up a bunch of chocolate, you're going to want to know why, right?
There was a study done, called ROCOCO, that was a randomized controlled trial of 163 patients. The data, says Professor Morice, showed that cocoa may have better results at relieving a cough than traditional thick syrup medicines. The patients in the trial who took cocoa-based medicine saw a significant improvement in their cough, when compared to patients who took traditional cough syrup. The chocolate relieved their cough sometimes in as little as two days!
It may all come down to the demulcent properties of chocolate. It can help relieve the irritation of the mucous membranes by forming a protective film over them. So it basically covers the nerve endings in the throat that trigger the urge to cough! Listen, we don't know if this is true or not. But having tasted cough medicine, we are more than willing to give this new remedy the good ol' college try.
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