Posted by: the warrioress | February 25, 2012

A Chicken & Dumpling’s Kinda-Week

A depressed Tom on the railroad tracks awaitin...

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Last week was the kind of week that demands warm, comfort food. It’s chilly outside and is going to get down to about forty degrees here in Texas, overnight.

The entire last week has been a difficult one for me as I’ve felt a little out of sorts, maybe even bordering on depressed a wee bit. I tend to find myself feeling this way when I am frustrated due to feeling as if I am unable to communicate well; I can get just a little bummed and kind of retreat inward, I guess, when something bothers me.

Anyway, I got up this morning and had coffee and whipped up a mean batch of chicken and dumplings, heavy on the dumplings. My child is looking forward to a delicious late supper and is working on her history project at the moment. Bring on the cold weather; we’re all good here! I’m cheered up already. 🙂

Deutsch: Ein 9-jähriger isst „chicken and dump...

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Ancient Greeks and Egyptians praised chicken soup’s healing properties, and twenty-first century scientists have backed them up. One bowl gives your body much-needed liquids, electrolytes, protein, and nutrients. This homemade version is a better option than the sodium-filled canned soups.

Chicken Soup is Medicine, Scientists Confirm:

English: A bowl of chicken and dumplings with ...

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October 17, 2000
Web posted at: 4:24 PM EDT (2024 GMT)

WASHINGTON — Scientists say they have confirmed what grandmothers have known for centuries — that chicken soup is good for colds.

Chicken soup — as made by grandma — contains several ingredients that affect the body’s immune system, a team at the University of Nebraska Medical Center found.

Specifically, it has anti-inflammatory properties that could explain why it soothes sore throats and eases the misery of colds and flu, Dr. Stephen Rennard and colleagues said Monday.

“Chicken soup may contain a number of substances with beneficial medicinal activity,” the researchers wrote in their report, published in the journal Chest.

“My wife was making chicken soup one year for the Jewish holidays and we were talking about its effects on colds,” Rennard, a specialist in pulmonary medicine, said in a telephone interview.

“I said ‘well, maybe it has some anti-inflammatory effect,’ and she said ‘really?’ and I said ‘why not?’ and I said maybe we could find out in the lab.”

As it turned out, Rennard’s lab was well-suited to making such tests. “In the lab we study inflammation and injury and repair mechanisms in the lung as related to asthma and emphysema and so on,” he said.

So Rennard’s wife Barbara Rennard made up a batch of her grandmother’s chicken soup, which includes chicken, onions, sweet potato, parsnips, turnips, carrots, celery stems, and parsley. Rennard said his wife added no salt but did include matzo balls, a kind of dumpling.

Then they ran laboratory tests. Not only did they test the soup as a whole, but they separated out the components.

“These tests were in the laboratory and it doesn’t test (chicken soup) clinically in colds,” Rennard stressed.

Neutrophil movement stopped

They found that chicken soup and many of its ingredients helped stop the movement of neutrophils — white blood cells that eat up bacteria and cellular debris and which are released in great numbers by viral infections like colds.

Neutrophil activity can stimulate the release of mucous, which may be the cause of the coughs and stuffy nose caused by upper respiratory infections such as colds.

“All the ingredients were found to be inhibitory, including the boiled extract of chicken alone,” they wrote.

Rennard said vitamins and other agents in the ingredients could, plausibly, have biological action.

The researchers also went to the store and bought 13 different commercial brands of soup to test.

“About a third of them were more active than grandma’s soup,” Rennard said, adding that he could not remember which kinds of soup they were.

“One or two of them had very little activity at all. Vegetarian vegetable soup had some activity.”

To be safe, they also tested plain Omaha tap water which, to their relief, had no effect. “If tap water were active, that would be disturbing in a number of ways,” Rennard said.

Some researchers have suggested in the past that perhaps the steam from the soup, or the chicken fat, may play a role in soothing inflamed airways. Rennard said this was possible.

He also said there could be a “TLC” (tender, loving care) factor. “If you know somebody prepared soup for you by hand, that might have an effect,” he said.

Rennard said he had no immediate plans to test chicken soup any further. “I have no doubt that generations from now, people will read this and the only thing of interest will be the recipe,” he said.

“It really is good soup.”

Copyright 2000 Reuters. All rights reserved.


  1. I have had a number of pleasant online exchanges with ladies about the world’s GREATEST hobby which is cooking. There are two things that stand out in these exchanges: first, that cooking is the world’s greatest pleasure; second, that if you are a mother or grandmother, there is one very important thing you should do:

    Teach your son or grandson how to cook!

    These ladies have told me that teaching their sons/grandsons to cook is the smartest thing they ever did. It helps builds a young lad’s self esteem, encourages cooperation at home, and stimulates a youth’s interest in staying home rather than roving for fun outside the home. Each lady has told me how much better life at home is when their sons are helping with the cooking rather than hanging out at the shopping mall where trouble may possibly follow.

    I just LOVE to cook ~ every day is a treat. Because of that, I never go to restaurants since my cooking is so much better than the fare that exists in those places. Just last night I had a delicious Yankee sea food chowder that surpasses anything you would find in a roadside shop in New England. Mmmmm, mmmm!

    Teach your sons to do the same and let the food fun begin!

  2. Hey Lefty….

    Wonderful comment. Thanks for taking the time to leave one. I have a young daughter but I am teaching her to cook. She loves the time we spend together while we’re cooking and is learning rapidly; I think she’ll make a great little wife and mother some day.

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