Good news for chocoholics. The next time you come down with a cough, just pop a piece of your favorite treat and you'll get all the cough-suppressing effects of codeine syrup without the fuzzy-headed side-effects.
Professor Alyn Morice, a respected authority on all things related to coughs and respiratory medicine, wrote in the Daily Mail that chocolate can soothe coughs better than codeine syrup by forming a sticky coating that protects the nerve endings in your throat that cause you to cough.
The viscosity of the melted chocolate coating also allows cough-suppressing ingredients naturally present in cocoa to come into contact with your ravaged throat nerves and calm them down, says Professor Morice.
Smother your cough with yummy chocolate without the sleepy side-effects of codeine? It's almost enough to make you welcome winter.
How About Hot Chocolate?
Will drinking a cup of hot chocolate have the same cough-suppressing effect? Sorry, no. As cozy and comforting as hot chocolate might feel, the diluted chocolate solution does not have enough long-term clinging contact with the nerves in your throat to be effective. According to Professor Morice, you'd be better off sucking on a piece of chocolate, letting it melt down slowly to coat your throat. We'd add, make that a piece of dark chocolate if you want to get the healthy benefit of natural antioxidants.
Life Imitates Art
Of course, Harry Potter fans already know chocolate's good for what ails you. In "The Prisoner of Azkaban," Professor Lupin urges Harry to eat chocolate after his devastating run-in with evil Dementors on the train to Hogwarts. "Eat," he says, as he hands Harry a ginormous chocolate bar. "You'll feel better."
And now it turns out, chocolate might actually be the best cure for something much more common than a Dementor attack. #AccioChocolate