In kitchens around the world, from China to Mexico to Canada, there’s a belief that has held strong through generations of families: soup heals.
It turns out that may be more than just a hunch. A new study in the journal Archives of Disease in Childhood has found that certain homemade soup broths may have anti-malarial effects.
“The fact that any soups had any [anti-malarial] activity was heartwarming and surprising,” co-author Jake Baum, a professor of cell biology and infectious diseases at Imperial College London, told The Current‘s interim host Laura Lynch.
Baum got students from his kids’ primary school to bring a traditional broth from their homes — the kind of soup their parents would give them when they were sick.
We shouldn’t be blind to the idea that there might be wisdom out there in traditional remedies.– Jake Baum
He was already aware that some studies have shown that certain homemade soups may help fight colds. He said that initially, the purpose of the exercise was just to get kids to discuss “this idea of what’s a real medicine.”
Then he and his colleagues tested the 56 broths in their lab to see if they could stop the growth and transmission of malaria.
They found that five of those broths were very potent in stopping the growth of the malaria parasite, while another four broths were able to help block transmission of malaria from mosquito to mosquito.
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