It might sound too good to be true but a new study has revealed that chocolate can be better at soothing coughs than traditional throat syrup.
Professor Alyn Morice, Head of Cardiovascular and Respiratory Studies at the University of Hull, claimed that having a bar of milk chocolate was ‘more effective’ than shop-bought medicine.
Revealing the results of the largest real-world study of an over-the-counter cough remedy ever undertaken in Europe, he said: ‘Chocolate can calm coughs.
‘I know that might sound like something out of Mary Poppins, but as an independent clinician who has spent years researching the mechanism of cough, I can assure you the evidence is actually as solid a bar of Fruit and Nut.’
So how does it work?
According to the Professor, it’s down to chocolate’s ‘demulcent properties’ – its stickiness.
The consistency of the sweet treat works by forming a coating on the throat’s nerve endings, suppressing the urge to cough.
He told Scotland’s Daily Record: ‘This demulcent effect explains why honey and lemon and other sugary syrups can help, but I think there is something more going on with chocolate.
‘I’m sure it has a pharmacological activity, some sort of inhibitory effect on the nerve endings themselves.’
So next time you start to feel that irritating tickle at the back of your throat, reach for a slab of chocolate and give it a try!