Chicken Soup For More Than the Soul or A Gargle A Day Keeps the Doctor Away!

Is there any validity that chicken soup, or Jewish penicillin, is good for a cold as well as for the soul?  There is some evidence that chicken soup may have a medicinal value for the common cold.  But let the truth be told, it’s probably not any better than gargling with salt water.  A sore, itchy throat and an upper respiratory tract infection seem to respond to gargling with salt water.  The salt-water solution seems to draw the excess fluid from the inflamed tissue in the back of the throat making the pain decrease, loosens thick mucus and making breathing easier.  A study reported in the Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005 supports this theory when two groups were followed during cold and flu season.  The group that gargled with salt water three times a day had 40% decrease in respiratory tract infections compared to the control group.

Bottom Line:  If you have a mother willing to make that elixir of the soul, then go with the chicken soup, which is nothing more than flavored salt water.  If not, a half of a teaspoon of salt water in warm water and gargle for a few seconds before spitting it out will work just as well!

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