Chicken soup has been a popular home remedy for the common cold since at least the 12th century. Eating chicken soup while you have a cold will not do you any harm, but it will not cure your cold.
Drinking warm liquids, such as soup, may give you relief from your symptoms for a short time. The steam from chicken soup may open up congested noses and throats. Soup also provides fluid, which thins mucus and helps prevent dehydration.
Barrett B. Viral upper respiratory infection. In: Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 4th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2018:chap 18.
Review Date 10/10/2020
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Associate Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.