For nearly two decades, readers are infatuated with J.K. Remus Lupin, Rowling’s ailing teacher who first appeared in Harry Potter gave our heroes a chocolate bar. While the jury still doesn’t know if chocolate is the best protection against dementia, scientists may have found a similarly interesting solution to a much more common problem. Tea and honey may not really be the best way to cure cough.
According to researchers at the University of Hull in England, some ingredients in chocolate have been proven more effective at combating persistent cough than regular cough syrup. This depends on how the chocolate melts in your mouth – literally. Hull’s Alyn Morice writes in the Daily Mail “Chocolate” is more sticky and viscous than the usual cough medicines “, so it forms a protective coating of nerve heads in the throat, which provokes a coughing attack.
Unfortunately, hot cocoa is not a silver bullet to prevent coughing; soft drinks pass through your throat too quickly to cover enough of its surface. Morice suspects that “slowly sucking on a piece of chocolate can help alleviate discomfort”, but in general, the addition of chocolate to a special recipe offers the greatest advantage. While these trials are a stub (and shelves in the U.S. are unlikely to appear cocoa syrup anytime soon), it’s possible that you should stock up on your favorite chocolate candies the next time you feel the cold. If nothing else, as Remus Lupin taught us, it will make you feel better.