This is what makes chicken soup so healthy

Even grandma knew what really helped with a cold. Instead of swallowing a bunch of medicine, she recommended an effective—and delicious—cooking pot remedy: Chicken soup has long been considered a home remedy for runny noses and sore throats.

But is it just superstition or does warm soup really help against cold symptoms? And if so, why? We clarify the facts.

Does chicken soup help with a cold?

Drink some chicken soup and your cold is gone? Well, it’s not that simple after all. Despite this, it has long been established as a natural home remedy – for good reason: a laboratory study from Nebraska was able to show that chicken soup actually contains substances that can relieve cold symptoms. Although this has only been proven in a test tube, the effect of a home remedy may still seem more likely.

The positive effect of the broth is mainly attributed to the blocking effect on the so-called “neutrophil granulocytes”. These special white blood cells are one of the most important immune cells in the body’s defense system to successfully fight off invaders. However, they themselves can cause inflammatory reactions, in which, for example, they cause swelling of the mucous membrane. Chicken soup blocks this reaction and makes classic cold symptoms disappear faster.

Especially with viral infections, like a mild cold, it’s worth giving natural home remedies like chicken soup a chance. Less chemicals and soothing relief for a sore throat.

What ingredients make chicken soup so healthy?

In addition to the aforementioned effect on neutrophils (the most common type of white blood cells), homemade chicken soup also contains various amino acids, such as cysteine, which are released by cooking the chicken and migrate into the soup. Thanks to its anti-inflammatory effect, cysteine ​​reduces the swelling of the mucous membrane and thus can alleviate the symptoms, especially in diseases of the upper respiratory tract, as studies show.

Also on board: zinc and histidine, a real anti-inflammatory duo. Both substances are also found in chicken meat, and histidine helps the absorption of zinc in the body. The mineral zinc is involved in many metabolic processes throughout the body. It is considered a multitalent, without which your immune system, for example, would not function properly. But there are many other effects, here they are all at a glance.

Since not only chicken but also healthy vegetables end up in the strengthening soup, it also contains vitamins, minerals and secondary plant substances. The optimal mixture for quickly strengthening a weakened immune system.

But it’s not just the ingredients that make chicken soup an all-rounder among cold home remedies. The very smell and temperature of the warming soup can have a healing effect. The steam also moistens the mucous membrane, which means that secretions in the throat and nose can drain better. In addition, soup contributes to the daily fluid intake.

Recipe: This is how you cook your own chicken soup against colds

Preparing chicken soup is not complicated. However, to live up to its promise, it should be self-made. The main ingredient is of course chicken for the soup – preferably organic. Chicken drumsticks or chicken breasts are only an emergency substitute, as they don’t deliver the same result in the pot either in terms of taste or nutrients.

Along with greens for soup, you can change the amount of certain types of vegetables or supplement them with, for example, parsley or parsnip roots. In order to give the chicken soup extra spiciness, a generous piece of ginger should not be missing. Ginger is a versatile talent against almost all diseases and gives extra strength. Everything else will take care of itself. The finished brudet can also be frozen wonderfully, so it’s worth preparing a large pot.

Basic recipe for homemade chicken soup (1 large pot)

  • 1 organic chicken for soup (about 2.2 – 2.5 kg)
  • 1 bunch of greens for soup (2 carrots, 200 g celery, 1 leek)
  • 1 bunch of parsley
  • 1 onion
  • 5 cm of ginger
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon of pepper


1. Wash the soup chicken thoroughly inside and out and – if still attached – remove the belly tissue at the top of the back. If this sebaceous gland, with which the chicken lubricates its feathers, is still cooked, the soup becomes cloudy and can quickly become rancid.
2. Peel the carrot and celery and cut into larger pieces. Clean the leek well and cut it into thick slices. Cut the onion in half. Clean and slice the ginger.
3. Put all the prepared ingredients plus half the parsley in a pot and cover with 5 liters of cold water. Everything should be covered with water. Increase the heat and wait for the water to heat up without boiling. Then add salt, pepper and bay leaves.
4. Let the soup cook uncovered for about 2 hours. Every now and then, with the help of a sieve, remove the turbidity (foam) that rises. That’s how you get a nice, clear soup at the end.
5. After the cooking time, strain the soup so that only the soup remains. Separate the meat from the bone, cut into bite-sized pieces and return to the soup. The vegetable has given up all its healthy ingredients, so it is no longer worth returning. At the end, sprinkle with parsley or prepare some other side dish for the soup.

Advice: If you don’t have enough time to cook yourself, there are good “ready-made products” like those from BROX, which are a quality alternative. This is what makes the so-called “bone broth” so special.

Additions for chicken soup

If you want some soup, you can release the steam. You should definitely use chicken for this. To do this, the skin is loosened, the meat is separated from the bones and gristle and returned to the broth in bite-sized pieces. Vegetables such as peas or carrots also go well with it. Rice or soup noodles are suitable to fill you up and give you energy, and a few fresh herbs like parsley or chives for the icing on the cake.

Of course, chicken soup is not a miracle cure, but it can actually relieve the symptoms of a cold. Support heat, fluids and a nutritious diet the immune system from within. If symptoms worsen, contact your family doctor. Here you can read how to distinguish the symptoms of a cold, flu or Covid.

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