Is Chocolate More Effective for Cough Than Cough Syrup?


recent study in England looked at the effects that chocolate may have on a nagging cough by randomly giving the 163 study participants either a codeine-based cough syrup or a chocolate-based supplement. Here’s what happened and what it means.


  • The cough in those who were receiving the chocolate-based supplement was “significantly” better after two days compared to those getting the cough syrup. 

  • It’s the nitrogen-containing compound found in cocoa known as theobromine that is thought to suppress one’s cough. Theobromine is also the compound that can make chocolate dangerous at high levels for dogs. 

  • The thick coating that chocolate leaves when it’s eaten also soothes dry and irritated throats – a reason why mixtures made with honey often seem to ease coughing and irritation. The soothing effect on the throat combined with the theobromine seems to provide additional relief than what just a honey mixture or cough syrup may provide. 

Obviously, this is just ONE study, and while eating a piece of chocolate is pretty harmless, additional studies are needed to assess if chocolate is really an effective cough suppressant!

What’s next?

Enjoy a piece of chocolate if it sounds good the next time you have a cough and see if you notice any substantially different effect compared to other treatments you might use – just don’t pop pieces of chocolate all day like some do cough drops or the sugar and calories starts to add up!

So what do you think? Is chocolate the simple cure after all these years?!