When we have a hacking cough, lots of us will reach for the cough syrup to soothe symptoms.
But it turns out you might be better of indulging in a bar of Dairy Milk, as a doctor has said chocolate is better for cough and respiratory problems than standard medicine.
According to Professor Alyn Morice, head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough says, “chocolate can calm coughs”.
The doctor even added that the supporting evidence is “actually as solid as a bar of Fruit and Nut”. It’s the perfect excuse.
Writing for MailOnline, Alyn, who has spent years researching the cough, said researchers have just seen the results of a recent study of over-the-counter medicine.
“This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus.”
Medicine containing chocolate could be the answer, according to Prof Alyn Morice
The study of 163 people revealed that the patients taking chocolate-based medicine saw significant improvements in two days.
So it’s not quite as good as simply munching on some Maltesers and feeling better, unfortunatley.
Nevertheless, this isn’t the first study that suggests chocolate can calm coughs.
Researchers at Imperial College in London found that theobromine, an alkaloid in cocoa, is better at suppressing the urge to cough than codeine – and ingredient often used in cough medicines.
So how can chocolate actually help with a cough?
Well according to Professor Alyn Morice, it’s down to chocolate’s “demulcent properties” – in other words, it’s sticky which means it forms a coating on the throat’s nerve endings, suppressing the urge to cough.
“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,” Alyn added.
The cough expert reckons sucking on a piece of chocolate could provide some relief, but it’s best when working with other ingredients in the medicine.
It’s definitely worth a try though…