"Congratulations. Here's the keys to your brand new soup. Enjoy it."
But Science Says ...
You'd think the answer to this one would be simple -- it's a hot, salty comfort food that's easy to swallow with a sore throat. But apparently the healing powers of chicken soup go way beyond that.
In a study published in CHEST Journal ("Official Publication of the American College of Chest Physicians," in case you forgot to renew your subscription), researchers found that chicken soup inhibits neutrophil chemotaxis, giving it anti-inflammatory properties that could help relieve the symptoms associated with upper respiratory infections. So in addition to "improving hydration and nutritional status," chicken soup has the potential of "accelerating mucosal clearance," which is science's fancy way of saying that it helps make your sniffles better.
Especially if you add vodka.
In addition, experts have said that chicken contains the amino acid cysteine, which is released when Mom magically transmogrifies the chicken into tasty, tasty soup. This compound is awfully similar to a drug called acetylcysteine, which doctors prescribe for patients with bronchitis and respiratory infections to help them hork up all that crap in their chest. So yeah, when you look at it that way, chicken soup is actual medicine. Sort of.