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Dishes with a lot of pepper, hot peppers and other strong spices (which cause tears) protect well from various infections. They serve as natural remedies against some respiratory diseases. Renowned Dr. Laurie Zimet is an expert in respiratory therapies and a professor at the University of California. Professor Zimet studied Mexicans living in the Los Angeles area and found that they have far fewer respiratory problems and fewer respiratory diseases even though there are plenty of smokers among them. Professor Zimet concluded that Mexicans who eat very peppery food are spared from bronchitis and other respiratory disorders. The situation is similar with Hindus, Thais, residents of China around Sichuan and other people who eat extremely spicy food. Such food undoubtedly protects the digestive organs from various infections, defying even poor hygienic conditions.
So it is not surprising that Dr. Zimet recommends eating spicy foods at least once a day or drinking a glass of water with Tabasco sauce (put a dozen drops of Tabasco sauce or a little ground pepper in a glass). A good drink is tomato sauce with a little ground pepper.
Recipes for the treatment of asthma, bronchitis, colds and chest pain have long been known. Hippocrates also prescribed vinegar and pepper. The ancient Roman physician Galen prescribed garlic, mustard and hot peppers. Dr. Zimet recommends very spicy foods in case of sinus problems, “cramps” in the lungs, bronchitis, asthma and emphysema. A special chicken soup with a lot of spices (garlic and ground pepper) is a modern medicine with a long tradition.
Chicken soup with onions for colds and coughs: 7 dl of chicken stock, a head of garlic (about 15 cherries), five branches of chopped or ground parsley, a spoonful of mint leaf, a spoonful of chili powder (or hot pepper).