WRITTEN BY Angela for In Food on Sunday 13th Jan, 2019

From chicken soup to rubbing lavender oil on your temples, there are plenty of old wives’ tales and home remedies to cure colds and other aches and pains, but which ones actually work? While a few of these common tales have been proven to have some truth behind them, others definitely need to be thrown in the discard pile!

Now, speaking to Starts at 60, Sydney-based nutritionist Angela Emmerton has revealed which tales were true and which were irrefutably false.

Chicken soup can cure a cold

When it comes to curing a cold there was one remedy that was whipped up in kitchens all over the world: chicken soup. Chicken soup is made from a stock or broth and sometimes a variety of vegetables such as onions, carrots, garlic and additional veggies that add flavour and a healthy dose of nutrients. But are the wonders of chicken soup just a myth, or can soup really cure a cold?

While chicken soup is fantastic for a cold, it won’t actually cure it, says Emmerton, however “a home-made chicken soup usually contains anti-inflammatory ingredients and it likely to be these ingredients which result in the easing of symptomatic upper respiratory tract infections”.

“This same result is unlikely to be achieved from a supermarket bought chicken soup, and certainly not from a can of cream of chicken soup. In fact, cream and dairy in general would not be recommended, as they may increase mucous during a cold.”

Rubbing lavender oil on your temples

A painful headache can take the gloss off your whole day, and if you have them frequently, it can feel like you’re popping painkillers all the time. If you would rather not take a painkiller, a number of natural treatments also exist such as rubbing lavender oil on your temples, but does it work?

A headache can occur if you’re dehydrated, sleep deprived, stressed or suffering tension in a muscle, Emmerton says, “therefore, each type of headaches responds differently to differing treatments”.

“If the headache is stress related rubbing lavender oil into your temples may help,” she advises.

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