According to a study out of the Imperial College of London, certain soup broth may be useful in preventing malaria – a disease that’s spread through the bite of some mosquitos.
Researchers gathered the traditional family broth recipes of primary school-aged students from across the world. The ingredients used varied from country to country, some were vegetarian based, while others were made with chicken or beef.
After undergoing a filtering process, each soup was turned to broth and tested against two stages of the malaria parasite (when it infects mosquitos vs when it causes the disease to strike in humans.)
Curiously, four out of the 56 broths analysed proved 50 per cent effective in blocking the parasites from maturing. This meant the parasites were unable to infect mosquitos, in turn, preventing the disease from spreading. These results were comparable to dihydroartemisinin, a drug that’s commonly used to treat cases of malaria. Over time, this can cause antimalarial resistance in humans, which is why researchers hope this new information may lead to natural ways of combatting the disease in the future. Still, more research is needed to establish the active ingredients that give these broths their unique healing properties.
“Malaria kills more than 400,000 people per year and infects more than 200 million, let resistance to our front-line drugs continues to emerge,” the study’s lead researcher Dr Jake Baum, explained.
“It’s really interesting to find potential routes for future drug development in something like your grandmother’s soup. We may have to look beyond the chemistry shelf for new drugs and natural remedies shouldn’t be off our watch list, as artemisinin shows.”