Cough syrups for dry coughs, wet coughs, chesty ones or tickly ones – its all a myth. A cough is a cough. All the OTC cough medicines for supposedly different kinds of coughs are clever marketing strategies to get people to buy more products.
But now a new study reveals that taking a chocolate based medicine is better than all those OTC cough syrups! Good news for all those chocolate lovers out there too!
So why chocolate and not cough syrup with codeine to calm a cough?
Well, according to a study conducted by the University of Hull of Yorkshire, England, people who used a chocolate based medicine were able to reduce their coughs and sleep disruption within two days.
The study used 163 participants who were randomly selected to either use the chocolate medicine or to use a cough syrup as a means to ease their coughs.
The results showed that participants who used the chocolate medicine found relief in just two days as compared to the group on cough syrup.
What is the scientific explanation to this discovery of chocolate’s benefit to ease coughs?
Apparently, cocoa contains an alkaloid called theobromine which has been found to be better at suppressing coughs than codeine.
Researchers also believe that not only does the theobromine help but also the demulcent properties in chocolate that forms a coating which protects nerve endings in the throat which triggers the urge to cough.
This also explains why honey and lemon syrups can help because of its viscosity, but the chocolate has a better inhibitory effect on the nerve endings than honey.
The study also discovered that drinking hot chocolate doesn’t work because the hot chocolate drink isn’t as thick and thus doesn’t stay on the throat long enough to form the protective coating to cover the nerve endings.
Sucking on a piece of chocolate can have some relief but its not the same as when its combined with the other ingredients in the chocolate medicine which are: dicphenhydramine, levomenthol snd ammonium chloride. The thick demulcent characteristics of chocolate help the other ingredients to stay in contact longer with the sensitive nerve endings.
According to a Getty History video, chocolate has been grown and in use for over 4000 years. It was not eaten but was used as a bitter drink thousands of years ago. It was also used at one time as currency. In 1828, Dutch chemist, Conrad Johanne van Houten invented the cocoa press. Then in the 1800s the first solid chocolate bar was produced by J S Fry & Sons, and the Cadbury and Hershey companies were founded.
And now it’s being used medicinally! Chocolate lovers rejoice!