Research: Chocolate as a home remedy for coughs - does it work?

Heiße Schokolade als Hausmittel gegen Husten

Chocolate as a home remedy for cough? Since a British study in 2015, there has been a rumor on the Internet that chocolate can help against coughs. The study compared a regular cough medicine with a preparation containing cocoa. In this article we explain why the interpretation that chocolate works as a cough suppressant is a bit hasty and why chocolate can still be a health maker.

The cough syrup study

In Great Britain in 2015, a study examined the effects of a cocoa-based cough medicine. More than 160 people who had suffered from a cough for over a week took part in the study. They were given either the new preparation with cocoa or a conventional cough syrup with the active ingredient codeine. The result from the comparison of both groups: The preparation with cocoa reduced the frequency of coughing and also reduced nighttime sleep interruptions caused by coughing - significantly better and faster than the conventional remedy. It is still unclear why the cocoa preparation works so well. The researchers from Great Britain suspect, among other things, that the chewy consistency is gentle on the throat and thus relieves the urge to cough. The preparation creates a protective film over the mucous membranes. In medical jargon this is called “demulcens”.

Bad weather like snow quickly brings colds When the weather is bad, the cold doesn't wait long - does chocolate work as a home remedy for coughs? (Photo by Thom Holmes on Unsplash )

So is chocolate a home remedy for cough?

After the results of the study were published, many media outlets jumped on it: “Chocolate helps against coughs!” Sorry, but we have to tone down this (admittedly sugary) conclusion. Of course, chocolate contains cocoa – more or less depending on the type. And if you let the chocolate slowly melt on your tongue, it flows softly down your throat. However, according to the researchers, this enamel is not sufficient to sustainably relieve inflammation in the throat.

🍫 Are you interested in even more knowledge about chocolate? Then subscribe to our Chocletter and take your chocolate knowledge to a new level! 👉 Register here now 👈

Myth or not: chocolate is good for you

The myth that chocolate helps against coughs from a medical perspective remains a myth. If you have an acute cough, chocolate can still be a good idea. Why? Because cough medicines have a lot to do with your personal belief in them - the placebo effect, so to speak. If your favorite chocolate or a warm drinking chocolate is good for you and you feel relief, they are exactly the right remedy for you personally. The second argument for chocolate for coughs is the feel-good factor: If coughs and colds plague you, you should first and foremost treat yourself to rest and relaxation. And for real chocolate fans, one or two pieces of chocolate are simply a must for relaxation. So: Even without a scientific basis, chocolate can increase your well-being. It's worth a try, right?

Whether you have a cough or not: if it's chocolate, it's really good! You can find selected chocolates from all over the world in our online shop .

FAQ on the topic “Chocolate for coughs”

Does chocolate help against cough?

According to a 2015 British study, eating chocolate can actually create a protective film over the mucous membranes and relieve the urge to cough. However, medicine does not really agree on this matter. But it might be worth a try, right?

Is chocolate good for a sore throat?

The results of the study only relate to dry cough. Here too, trying is better than studying! Maybe the chocolate film mentioned above will also help with a sore throat. If you have a serious sore throat, you should definitely see a doctor.

Can chocolate irritate your throat?

That can happen, yes. However, the culprit is not the chocolate itself, but the sugar it contains. That's why it usually happens with poorly processed industrial chocolate with a high sugar content. If you feel like chocolate irritates your throat, try high-quality bean-to-bar chocolate. You can find these, for example, in our shop . :-)

Birring, SS, Brew, J., Kilbourn, A., Edwards, V., Wilson, R., & Morice, A.H. (2017). Rococo study: a real-world evaluation of an over-the-counter medicine in acute cough (a multicentre, randomized, controlled study) . BMJ Open, 7(1). Dose, D. (January 24, 2019).
No, the ingredients in chocolate do not work against coughs. And yet... | SÜDKURIER Online. Retrieved on August 26, 2019 from contents-der-chocolate-effect-not-against-husten-und-doch-can-sie-help;art409965 ,10028995

Reading next

Erich Hamann Schokoladentafel
Alles, was ihr über Bean-to-Bar-Schokolade wissen müsst