Culinary Poetry and its Neutrophil Secrets
From colds to broken hearts, it is the favourite cure around the world. But do you know the medical reasons why?
Chicken soup invokes nostalgic memories of childhood - perhaps a mother or grandmother preparing it for the family or for someone suffering from yet another cold or bout of influenza. It is balsam to the heart and eating a bowl of it feels cared for, cozy and healthy. It is the ultimate comfort food.
Cold as in temperature or cold as in ill, it does wonders.Warming, as any good soup is, it puts colour back into the cheeks and gets the circulation going down to the frozen fingers and toes. Generations of grandmothers may not have known the medical reasons why it works, except the not so secret that it does.
Ancient Egyptians prescribed it as a treatment for the common cold as well as Maimonedes who praised it in his 12th century treatise. Most cultures have their version of chicken soup for medicinal and culinary purposes, however in North America, it is jokingly referred to as Jewish Penicillin and is a cure-all for ailments such as the common cold, stress or perhaps even for the occasional broken heart.
Over 1051 doctors and researchers of such respected institutions such as Mt. Sinai Hospital in Miami, University of Los Angeles, University of Nebraska in Omaha and various European institutions have all come to the conclusion that certain properties of chicken soup mitigate upper respiratory diseases, stimulate neutrophil activity which helps loosen mucus, clears congestion and opens sinuses and in the same time inhibits migration of the neutrophils, thereby reducing inflammation.
Within minutes of drinking a bowl or two of it any patient will begin feeling the full effects of the magic chicken soup imparts.
The soup should be cooked for a couple of hours or so. The main ingredients are chicken and various amounts of chopped onion, parsnip, celery, carrots, parsley and potatoes. A pinch of ground nutmeg and ground coriander give the soup an attractive flavour.
But the love it is cooked with must also be a major ingredient.