This is a TikTok video that has gone viral. A young woman explains that her doctor recommended that she take a marshmallow before going to bed, to treat her cough, because marshmallow, thanks to its gelatin, helps “soften the throat, better than honey”. Is this really possible? Explanations.
Flu, bronchitis or even Covid… Many respiratory pathologies cause coughing. To relieve a cough that won’t go away, a TikToker advises taking a marshmallow before sleeping. Is his advice really effective or is it a simple placebo effect?
No scientifically proven effect on sore throat
If marshmallow root is a plant that can be used to treat sore throats, marshmallow, that is to say the soft candy that children (and some adults!) love, has no treatment power, like confirms Dr. Linda Yancey, doctor at Memorial Hermann Health System in Houston, United States, interviewed by the Verywellhealth site.
“Marshmallows and gelatin will have absolutely no impact on soothing the sore throatbut while there are no studies to support eating marshmallows to cure sore throats, you might feel better eating them because the placebo effect is powerful” she explains.
In summary, if taking a marshmallow to relieve your nighttime cough is not scientific, the benefit of the placebo effect is sufficient to take it, without (too much) feeling guilty.
Hot tea with honey, a soothing drink
Hot tea, with added honey, is also a drink whose virtues on sore throats and coughs have been praised for many years. “Any type of hot drink, when you have a sore throat, will be slightly soothing” adds the doctor.
These drinks, as well as gargling with salt water, for example, can relieve inflammation. This is because “these sweet and salty remedies create what scientists call a hypertonic solution, which contains more salt or sugar than the inflamed membranes in your throat. So when you swallow them, they will draw some of the fluid from those membranes and will actually reduce their inflammation” explains the specialist. A natural way to soothe your inflamed throat.