It’s better at soothing your throat than lemon and honey.
I’ve been saying my whole life: Chocolate is the cure for everything. Bad breakup? Eat chocolate. Menstrual cramps? Chocolate will take the pain away. Looking to improve your mood or your cardiovascular health? Chocolate’s got your back!
Now there’s another reason to love chocolate — it can help cure the common cough. A clinician who’s spent years studying the mechanism of the cough cites new research that shows how cough medicine containing cocoa is better at curing your scratchy hacking than traditional remedies like Robitussin or DayQuil.
The study the clinician, Alyn Morice, is referring to is a randomized controlled trial involving 163 patients that was performed recently in Europe and which will be published in coming months. It found that patients taking the chocolate-based medicine improved within 2 days.
Other studies have arrived at similar findings. Researchers at the Imperial College in London previously found that theobromine, an alkaloid in chocolate, is better for coughs than codeine (the drug that most cough syrups contain). Chocolate relieves inflammation and irritation because it’s thicker than honey and lemon, they found. In other words, chocolate coats the nerve endings in your throat that trigger the urge to cough better than thinner substances.
Sadly, drinking hot chocolate won’t have the same effect as eating a chocolate bar, since it’s not in contact with the throat long enough to form a protective coating.
But be on the lookout for a new medicine called Unicough, which was shown to reduce cough frequency and sleep disruption within 2 days. Of course, you can always grab your favorite chocolate bar and try to munch the cough away, but science suggests the cocoa is more effective when consumed with the other ingredients in cough medicine.