I realize I've been writing a lot about chicken noodle soup recently, but it's just been a really important part of my life of late. The above picture is of my chicken noodle soup, that I made as a project for my Drugs and Jesus class. Each person at some point in the semester is supposed to bring substance use into the classroom, which usually involves a video clip, or a song. I decided that since I have been administering my magic chicken concoction to all of my sick friends, and since this happens all over the world all the time, chicken noodle soup, by definition, IS A DRUG. So, here is a copy of the chicken noodle soup drug fact sheet that I prepared for the class, in all of its pharmaceutical glory:
Chicken Noodle Soup**
Directions: Adults and children: Take two to three bowls daily with a glass of water at the first sign of cold or flu symptoms, preferably as a replacement for a meal.*
Active Ingredients: Chicken, water, salt, carrots, noodles, potatoes, carrots, celery, onions, tomato, garlic, thyme, laurel, lemon & black pepper.
There is an as yet unidentified substance in chicken soup that acts as an anti-inflammatory by inhibiting the movement of neutrophils, immune system cells that participate in the body's inflammatory response. *
Chicken contains cysteine, which cleaves to the disulfide bonds found in mucoproteins and splits them, which reduces the viscosity of the mucus, clears nasal passages, deters the onset of the disease and shortens its duration.*
Chicken fat contains lipids that suppress viral reproduction. *
Hot liquid keeps nasal passages moist, thins the mucus, prevents dehydration, sooths sore throats and improves the function of cilia guarding the body from contagions. *
Steam speeds up movement of mucus through the nose, relieving congestion and limiting viral contact with the nasal lining. *
Salt sooths sore throats and helps to reduce inflammation by drawing moisture out of cells lining the esophagus. Traditional folk medicine regards salt as a purifying agent that can be used to drive away demons that cause disease. *
Onions contain sulphur compounds and quercetin, two antioxidants that aid in neutralizing free radicals present in the human body. Onions have antibacterial and antifungal properties and help to provide respite to patients with cold symptoms. Onions have been used as a charm against evil spirits. Halved or quartered onions placed in the home absorb negativity. *
Noodles and potatoes are rich in complex carbohydrates that the body uses for energy. *
Carrots, celery, lemon and tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and provides relief from colds. *
Garlic thins mucus. A clove of garlic placed in each room can ward off disease. *
Thyme fights infections, dries mucous membranes and relaxes spasms of the bronchial passages. *
Black pepper thins mucus and helps to reduce fever. The magical properties of black pepper include protection and strength. *
Laurel contains parthenolides, which are useful for treating headaches, and also contains eugenol, which has anti-inflammatory and anti-oxidant properties. *
Inactive Ingredients: None
Chicken soup produces a powerful placebo effect. The ritual involved in making and serving it, as well as the context in which it is used invariably ensures that a sick person taking it will begin to feel better almost immediately after the first dose. Chicken soup, regardless of cultural background, has become engrained into the human psyche as the classic cure-all. *
* These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.
** This product contains animal protein and gluten and has been manufactured on equipment used to process eggs, soy, peanuts and tree nuts.