Your grandma may have always whipped up a batch of chicken soup to fight off the winter sniffles, but there's no scientific proof that it does anything.
There is enough evidence, however to make it worth trying, CNN reports. And when you can't breathe, anything's worth a shot, really.
Chicken soup did show some anti-inflammatory properties, according to a study published in the medical journal Chest in 2000.
"Chicken soup might do stuff ... but lots more research is required," said study author Dr. Stephen Rennard, Larson professor of medicine at the University of Nebraska Medical Center in Omaha. "There is some possibility that there is a biochemical or medicinal basis to it ... but 'some,' 'suggests' and 'possible' are the key words."
Another study, published in Chest in 1978, claims the aroma, spices and temperature of warm soup may clear sinuses and alleviate symptoms. Researchers found hot soup was more effective than hot water at provoking the body to eject particles and infections.
"The mucociliary transport system is important for getting rid of every respiratory infection, including colds," said the study's author, Dr. Kiumars Saketkhoo, a pulmonologist and intensivist for PIH Health. "Whatever can make airways clear up faster may decrease risk of infection or clear an existing infection."
He said the best cure for the common cold is good nutrition, plenty of rest and hot fluids.
"If you like chicken soup, then let it be chicken soup," Saketkhoo said.