Wellness: Chicken Soups
A steaming bowl of golden chicken soup – it’s been called grandma's penicillin, but is it really?
by Schelly Talalay Dardashti
A steaming bowl of golden chicken soup - it's been called grandma's penicillin, but is it really? Millions of grandmothers around the world have served it for thousands of years.
As a kid in the Bronx, I awaited my Booklyn grandmother's visits, with jars of soup. Later, when our daughter had a cold, I'd automatically make a huge pot of soup and all of us felt better, even if she didn't have any. My Teheran-born husband even grew up with two versions: one for Friday night Shabbat dinner, and one for colds, thick with mushy rice and chopped green herbs.
The University of Arizona's Dr. Andrew Weill, who focuses on natural wellness and anti-aging, says the soup is more than its ingredients, that its fragrance implies comfort, love and caring. He claims its power is really the placebo effect and works because the patient believes it will.
Our grandmothers' knowledge was again confirmed in a study in the Canadian Medical Association Journal (December 1999) by researchers at Tel Aviv University's Sackler School of Medicine, claiming that chicken soup can be classified as an essential drug, as relevant today as it was 2,000 years ago. They based the claim on evidence (generations of grandmothers), efficiency (steamy fragrant fumes clear congestion), flexibility (many recipes), and forward-looking (good for numerous ailments).
However, the authors did not conduct an RCT (randomized controlled trial) because there were too many ailments, too many formulas ("recipes"), and too-difficult ingredient standardization. They also said that it would be unethical to refuse the soup to a control group, and that it would be too hard to find evidence against claimed healing properties.
This smoothie is perfect to help a sore throat. However, you don't need to be sick to enjoy it!
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