Cold and flu season is upon us and an annoying cough can be one of the symptoms of this.
And while many of us will reach for cough medicines or honey and lemon to help treat a cough, one doctor has revealed that chocolate might be better.
The head of cardiovascular and respiratory studies at the University of Hull and founding member of the International Society for the Study of Cough, Professor Alyn Morice, said: “Chocolate can calm coughs.”
Alyn revealed the evidence is as “solid as a bar of Fruit and Nut” after the “largest real-world study” of an over-the-counter cough remedy was undertaken in Europe.
The doctor explained to the MailOnline the study proves “that a new medicine which contains cocoa is better than a standard linctus.”
The study – called ROCOCO – trialled 163 patients and found that patients taking chocolate based medicine had a significant improvement after two days.
Alyn explained that researchers believe this to be down to the “demulcent properties of cocoa”.
This basically means it helps form a sticky coating on the throat’s nerve endings and thus 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.
He explained: “Slowly sucking on a piece of chocolate may provide some relief, but I think it is the way the chocolate compounds work with other ingredients in the linctus which make it so effective.”
The NHS recommends going to see your GP if you have a cough that hasn’t cleared for three weeks.