Skip the Cough Syrup Because Chocolate May Be a Better Cough Suppressant

Could chocolate be the best medicine for coughs?

By: Amanda Mushro
Chocolate ganache in a wooden bowl on a dark slate or rusty metal background.Top view with copy space.


Chocolate ganache in a wooden bowl on a dark slate or rusty metal background.Top view with copy space.

Photo by: Lilechka75


If you’ve got a nagging cough and you are feeling under the weather, there is no need to head to the medicine cabinet because a new study says we should reach for chocolate instead. Now those are doctor’s orders I can really follow.

According to a new study, a research group from University of Hull in Yorkshire, England found that chocolate was a better cough suppressant than over-the-counter cough syrup. For the study, they randomly prescribed more than 160 patients either regular cough medicine with codeine or a chocolate-based medicine.

What they found was patients who received the chocolate-based medicine reported a “significant improvement” in their symptoms within two days, compared to patients who were given regular cough syrup and experienced continuing symptoms at that time. Researchers believe the chocolate works so well at stopping coughs because it’s stickier than average cough medicines. The chocolate forms a coating in your throat which protects the nerve endings that trigger the urge to cough. This explains why hot tea and honey also help to soothe a cough.

“We have just seen the results of the largest real-world study of an over-the-counter cough remedy ever undertaken in Europe,” Lead Author Alyn Morice told the Daily Mail. “This proves that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus.”

Now if you feel a tickle in your throat, don’t just chow down on your kids’ leftover chocolate candy or chug a giant mug of hot cocoa and expect the same results. The authors of the study recommend sucking on a piece of dark chocolate so it has time to coat your throat. They say dark chocolate is a better option because it has less sugar and more cocoa, allowing more coverage to suppress your cough.

Being sick is never fun, but if the doctors prescribes chocolate for your cough, then there is at least one bright side to being under the weather.

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