In the study, dr. Rennard used a recipe from the family of his wife, Barbara, who was also a co-author: It calls for a whole chicken simmered with carrots, celery, parsnips, onions, turnips and sweet potatoes, served with matzo balls. dr Rennard also tested 13 canned or instant soups in the study, including a few vegetarian options, and most slowed the movement of neutrophils to some degree.
A couple of small human studies have also suggested that sipping soup or a hot drink, even just hot water, can help loosen nasal mucus and make breathing feel easier. And of course, any liquid provides fluids, and “hydration makes it easier to clear secretions,” Dr. Rennard said.
Honey can help
Multiple randomized controlled trials have found that honey can reduce the frequency and severity of nighttime coughing in children, in some cases better than over-the-counter cough syrups. There’s less research among adults, but a systematic review published in 2020 suggested that honey’s benefits may extend to other age groups.
It’s not clear how honey helps to quell a cough, but researchers have hypothesized that its throat-coating, antimicrobial and anti-inflammatory properties may contribute.
Don’t give honey to infants who are younger than 12 months old, though, because it might contain bacteria that can cause a serious condition called infant botulism. For children older than 1 year, the American Academy of Pediatrics recommends giving half to one teaspoon of honey as needed; eat it right out of the spoon or stir into a cup of hot tea.
Go easy on alcohol
Some cold sufferers may seek comfort in a hot toddy, which traditionally includes a splash of whiskey and honey in hot water. But keep in mind that drinking alcohol when you’re also taking medications for cold, cough and allergy symptoms can be dangerous, especially if the medications include acetaminophen, which can cause liver damage if mixed with alcohol, Dr. Tewksbury warned.
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