You’ve heard it proclaimed by every significant person in your life: chicken soup is good medicine.

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Whether it was your mother, grandmother, or Campbell’s soup handing out the advice, a steaming bowl of chicken soup has been declared the cure for just about every ailment, from the common cold to a scrape on your knee.

But is chicken soup, in and of itself, really a “medicine”? Does it really possess healing capabilities, or is its magic all in our heads?

Around the 12th century trusted healers started to prescribe “the broth of fowl” for their ill patients. It was during that time that Egyptian Jewish physician and philosopher, Rabbi Moshe ben Maimonides, started to write about the benefits of chicken soup.

The ancient healer wrote, “The meat taken should be that of hens or roosters and their broth should also be taken because this sort of fowl has virtue in rectifying corrupted humours.”¬†Maimonides used his ‘fowl brew’ to treat such things like hemorrhoids, constipation and leprosy. He believed and especially praised the brew’s healing power for respiratory illnesses like the common cold.

Since then, researchers and scientists have pondered the question of whether or not chicken soup has real health benefits to those suffering from a cold. Some have even done experiments to see if there is such proof.

Rennard tested his theory and added his wife’s home made chicken soup to white blood cells, called neutrophils. To his surprise, the soup did slow the neutrophils. In fact, he claims that chemicals in the broth-based elixir clears a stuffy nose by inhibiting inflammation of the cells in the nasal passages.

When you are feeling under the weather, it seems that everything hot helps to make you feel better. However, the good thing about chicken soup is that – properly prepared – it is loaded with valuable nutrients. This includes:

Chicken:Chicken contains an amino acid called cysteine, a substance released when you make the soup. This amino acid is similar to the drug acetylcysteine, which is prescribed by doctors to patients with bronchitis. It thins the mucus in the lungs, making it easier to cough out. And hot chicken vapors have been proven more effective than hot water vapors in clearing out the cold in your nose.

Carrots:Carrots, one of the routine vegetable ingredients found in chicken soup, are the best natural source of beta-carotene. The body takes that beta-carotene and converts it to vitamin A. Vitamin A helps prevent and fight off infections by enhancing the actions of white blood cells that destroy harmful bacteria and viruses.

Onions:Onions, another chicken soup regular, contains quercetin, a powerful anti-oxidant that is also a natural anti-histamine, and anti-inflammatory.

While chicken soup isn’t a cure for a cold, it does help alleviate some of the annoying symptoms that come with it. And, if nothing else, it definitely is a delicious, comforting meal that helps keep your body hydrated.

To get the full benefits, of course, we recommend homemade chicken soup using only natural ingredients. Source: Examiner