- Researchers found that gargling with salt water could reduce Covid hospitalizations
- Other studies have shown that it can also prevent the common cold.
- READ MORE: A doctor criticizes a study that says Long Covid is more disabling than CANCER
Rinsing your mouth with salt water when you have Covid could reduce your chances of ending up in hospital.
In a study presented last week, researchers measured the effect of gargling and nasal rinses with a saline solution on symptoms and hospitalization rates in Covid patients.
They found that hospitalization rates for people who gargled or rinsed their nose with salt water were up to 40 percent lower than those who didn’t.
Dr. Jimmy Espinoza, an author of the study and a professor of obstetrics, gynecology and reproductive services at the University of Texas, said the goal was to see if gargling and nasal rinses could improve respiratory symptoms associated with Covid.
He said: “We found that both saline regimens appear to be associated with lower hospitalization rates compared to controls in SARS-CoV-2 infections.”
In findings presented at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI) annual meeting last week in Anaheim, California, researchers showed that gargling with salt water resulted in up to 40 percent fewer hospitalizations.
Between 2020 and 2022, the team tested 9,398 adults aged 18 to 65 who had tested positive for Covid using a PCR test. Of those, 58 were selected to follow a regimen of low or high doses of saline mixed with eight ounces of warm water.
The low-dose regimen was 2.13 grams of saline (about a third of a teaspoon) and the high dose was six grams (about a quarter of a teaspoon). Participants gargled and rinsed their nose four times a day for 14 days.
Nasal singing involves moving a saline solution through the nasal passages to remove mucus and allergens. According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), this is done by tilting your head to the left side over a sink or tub and gently pouring or squeezing the solution through your nostril.
The control group that had not been instructed to gargle with salt water or nasal rinse had a hospitalization rate of 58.8 percent.
The researchers found that the hospitalization rate for participants in the low-dose regimen dropped to 18.5 percent, and the rate for the high-dose group was 21.4 percent.
This was up to 40 percent lower than the control group.
Dr. Zach Rubin, an allergist and spokesperson for the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology (ACAAI), said medscape: “This is a low-risk type of intervention with some small potential benefit.”
The researchers did not explain why saline regimens resulted in fewer hospitalizations, but Dr. Rubin said gargling and rinsing could help clear the virus from the sinuses and reduce the chance of it leaking into the lungs, which could cause pneumonia, one of the main causes of hospitalization.
He said: “It can help reduce symptoms such as nasal congestion (runny nose), postnasal drip, and sinus pain and pressure.”
The study excluded patients with chronic hypertension, also known as high blood pressure, because they could accidentally swallow some of the salt, and excess salt can narrow and harden blood vessels, raising blood pressure even further.
All of the patients were also nearly obese, with BMIs ranging from 29.6 to 31.7, increasing the likelihood of complications that would land them in the hospital. The control and study groups had “similar vaccination rates,” the researchers said.
The findings are consistent with other smaller studies that have tested the effects of gargling and nasal rinses.
A June review in the magazine. Frontiers in public healthFor example, he discovered that this practice could relieve common colds, upper respiratory infections and Covid by eliminating viruses.
It’s unclear whether gargling and nasal rinses would have the same effect in most vaccinated patients or those with a more normal BMI, the researchers said.
The study was presented last week at the ACAAI Annual Meeting in Anaheim, California.