Chocolate Can Fight Coughs Better Than Some Cold Medicine—Here’s Why

Forget honey and lemon. You may be able to cure your cough with chocolate!

A nagging, persistent cough can take you down for days—if not weeks. The answer has always been rest, fluids and cough medicine. (A soothing bowl of soup helps, too.) Fortunately, there’s a new treatment that is even more effective and a lot more enjoyable. The answer to your prayers may be sitting in your pantry.

A recent study conducted by Professor Alyn Morice, a cough expert from Hull University, found that cough sufferers who ate chocolate recovered faster than those taking traditional cough medicine!

Wait—How Does That Even Work?

Researchers split the 163 participants into two groups and administered either traditional cough medicine or medicine containing cocoa. The chocolate group reported significant improvement in their coughs after just two days.

So how does chocolate help a cough? First, chocolate itself is more sticky than traditional cough syrup. That means that it’s better at coating your throat, preventing irritation that causes you to cough. When the nerve endings in our throat become hypersensitive from a cold or the flu, it causes us to cough and spread the illness. Because chocolate is thick and sticky like honey, it calms down the nerves and quickly soothes a cough.

Chocolate may be the perfect cough medicine, because in addition to its perfect consistency, it contains compounds that have other health benefits, too. It can help lower cholesterol, keep skin looking young and more.

Ready to Try It?

Before you run to the store and stock up in the candy aisle, it’s important to note that not all chocolate is created equal. Sipping a mug of hot cocoa sounds soothing, but won’t actually help your cough. The research indicates that cough medicine with cocoa is the most helpful, but until that’s readily available, try slowly sucking on a piece of quality dark chocolate. This will allow the delicious candy to coat your throat and give you fast coughing relief.

Even if you don’t have a cough, go ahead and unwrap your favorite chocolate bar. Even if there’s no research to prove it, chocolate can make just about any day better. Enjoy!

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Carrie Madormo, RN
Now a freelance health and food writer, Carrie worked as a nurse for over a decade. When she isn't hunched over her laptop with a baby in hand, you will find her cooking her grandmother’s recipes, lacing up her running shoes or sipping coffee in the bathroom to hide from her three young children.