Will eating marshmallows help against a cough?

Science and Health

If you also have trouble sleeping at night due to a nagging cough, maybe you should consider eating marshmallows. At least that’s what the TikTok user claims her doctor recommended. But hold off before you run to the supermarket.

A new trend that has been sweeping TikTok claims that eating marshmallows before bed helps relieve cough symptoms. Since it is a symptom that persists even days and weeks after the illness, some are willing to try anything to make the cough stop. TikTok user Lindsey said that she was so frustrated with her cough that she went to the doctor and he advised her to eat marshmallows before bed.

In a video she shared on TikTok, Lindsey explained that she has been suffering from a cough that hasn’t gone away for six weeks. She explained that she was told: “‘Eat a jumbo marshmallow before bed’. It sounds crazy. There’s no science behind it. But that’s what I do. The gelatin helps coat your throat even better than honey.”

So will eating marshmallows relieve a cough? The Mirror spoke to Dr Deborah Lee from doctorfox to find out.

So will eating marshmallows relieve the cough?

As much as we want to shout at you “Yes!!!” and send you to consume packages of marshmallows before bed, unfortunately the answer is that it will not help your cough. According to Dr. Deborah Lee, it can actually only make your symptoms worse.

@linzyloo18 Eat More Marshmallows #doctorsorders #marshmallow #homeremedy #sinusinfection #cough #bronchitis #throatcoat #sick #illness #emergencyroom #sickfor6weeks #fyp #viral ♬ original sound – Lindsay  

She explained: “I find it hard to believe that eating marshmallows will help treat any type of upper respiratory infection. In fact it may make symptoms worse. The marshmallow contains gelatin – a protein derived from collagen. It is made by boiling animal bones, skin, tendons and ligaments in water – mostly cow and pig bones. Gelatin contains large amounts of the amino acids glycine and proline, which are needed to form collagen and other types of connective tissue.”


However, she explains, there is “very little research on the health benefits of gelatin.” Dr. Lee added: “Collagen may Gelatin has some anti-inflammatory effect, but this has never been proven.”

 In fact, Dr. Lee warns that eating marshmallows before bed can make symptoms worse. She explained: “Gelatin is actually used in microbiology labs because it’s part of an agar plate, to grow bacteria in the lab, because it’s such a good culture medium.If you eat a marshmallow when you have a bad cough, it can provide an ideal environment for bacteria to grow and multiply – and only make things worse!

In addition, gelatin may cause other unwanted side effects, such as bloating, heartburn and belching. Dr. Lee added: “Because gelatin is made from boiling animal bones, there is a risk of transmitting serious infections such as encephalitis (BSE), also known as mad cow disease.”

That’s not enough, a single 28g serving of marshmallow contains about 90 calories, and since it’s a high glycemic food, that means it releases energy quickly, which causes a spike in blood sugar—not ideal before bed.

Because they’re high in sugar, they can also cause tooth decay—which is especially dangerous for children. Dr. Lee added: “I wouldn’t encourage anyone to eat marshmallows when they have any type of infection, as they will wreak havoc on their dental health.

However, Dr. Lee does recommend another sweet treat that can be used to relieve a cough they must know him – honey. She explained: “On the other hand, there is a large amount of evidence for the health benefits of honey . In a 2021 BMJ meta-analysis of 14 studies, honey significantly reduced the frequency and severity of coughs compared to standard treatment. Honey has been studied and shown to have antimicrobial properties, anti-inflammation and antioxidants.

“Instead of marshmallows, the NHS recommends drinking lemon and honey. You’ll also enjoy a boost of vitamin C from the lemon juice. Squeeze juice from half a lemon into a mug, add 2 teaspoons of honey and fill half the mug with boiling water. This is much more likely to help reduce a cough than eating marshmallows.”