When it comes to a choice between chocolate or cough medicine, surely there’s no contest!
If you’re battling a lingering winter cold, you might be surprised to learn that a simple, homemade mug of hot chocolate can put an end to a persistent cough.
It’s all down to theobromine, a wonder-chemical present in cocoa. With a long history of clinical use, theobromine has been found to be more effective than codeine at easing cough symptoms, due to the way it inhibits the urge to cough. In fact, it’s performed so well in clinical studies, that theobromine has been approved since 2009 in Korea as a persistent-cough remedy.
So how to make the perfect hot chocolate? The good news is it takes only a few minutes to prepare and doesn’t need any special gadgets. Simply melt 20g (or a couple of squares) of high quality dark chocolate in a little hot water. Stir to make a paste, then add hot milk. (If you’ve got the energy, use a whisk to froth up the milk first.)
Scientists are hopeful that further research could provide an opportunity for more natural treatments for the common cough, though it’s unlikely any will be as popular as chocolate!
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