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. Acute respiratory infection colds and flu. In: Rakel D, ed. Integrative Medicine. 5th ed. Philadelphia, PA: Elsevier; 2023:chap 19.
Review Date 10/20/2022
Updated by: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Clinical Professor, Department of Family Medicine, UW Medicine, School of Medicine, University of Washington, Seattle, WA. Also reviewed by David C. Dugdale, MD, Medical Director, Brenda Conaway, Editorial Director, and the A.D.A.M. Editorial team.