"The groundwork of all happiness is health." - Leigh Hunt

Salt water gargle, nasal cleansing reduce COVID hospitalizations

November 10, 2023 – The traditional home cure of gargling and rinsing nasal passages with salt water can relieve symptoms of COVID-19 and help keep people out of the hospital, in line with a brand new study.

The results were recently presented on the annual meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Anaheim, California. The study has not yet been published in a peer-reviewed medical journal.

Researchers said 55 adults with COVID-19 gargled with low or high doses of a saline solution and rinsed their nasal passages 4 times a day for 14 days, in line with a study Press release on the study. For a low dose, a 3rd of a teaspoon of salt was used, for a high dose, an entire teaspoon, each dissolved in 250 ml of warm water.

The participants' results were in comparison with a reference group of about 9,300 individuals who had COVID but weren’t told to make use of the saline solution.

About 19% of people that used the low-dose saline solution and 21% who used the high-dose solution were hospitalized. The reference group had a hospitalization rate of 59%.

“Our goal was to evaluate nasal irrigation and saline gargling for a possible association with improved respiratory symptoms associated with coronavirus infection,” said Jimmy Espinoza, MD, co-author of the study. “We found that both saline treatments appear to be associated with lower hospitalization rates for SARS-CoV-2 infections compared to controls. We hope that further studies can be carried out to further investigate the connection.”

Experts who weren’t involved within the study warned that the saline solution mustn’t replace the COVID vaccines The Washington Post. The experts also noted that the dearth of a placebo control group limits the conclusions.

“I don’t think the current evidence is strong enough to recommend it for infections,” Matthew Rank, chair of allergy, asthma and clinical immunology on the Mayo Clinic in Arizona, told The Post. “Although patients may choose to do so as the harm is likely to be minimal if they try it.”