Perhaps Dr. Maman was right: the simple home remedy of gargling with salt water could help fight the infection.
Researchers found that patients with COVID-19 those who gargled with salt water and rinsed their noses had lower hospitalization rates than those who did not use the home remedy.
They presented their results this week at the annual scientific meeting of the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology in Anaheim, California.
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“Salt water gargles and nasal rinses are inexpensive and widely available interventions that can reduce hospitalizations in patients diagnosed with COVID-19,” co-author Jimmy Espinoza, professor of obstetrics, gynecology and in reproductive sciences at the McGovern Medical School at the University of Texas Health. Science Center in Houston, told Fox News Digital.
These remedies are not intended to replace conventional treatments, such as antiviral drugs and monoclonal antibodies, he added.
In light of these new findings, medical experts share their thoughts on some of the commonly used home remedies to combat COVID-19.
Rest, fluids and painkillers
“Infected people who are more prone to complications from COVID-19 – those who are over 50, unvaccinated (or have) certain medical conditions, such as a weakened immune system – are more likely to receive treatment beyond just supportive care,” Mark Fendrick, MD, general internist at University of Michigantold Fox News Digital in an email.
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This care should include “adequate fluid intake, rest and over-the-counter medications or home remedies to relieve symptoms such as fever, body aches, cough and sore throat,” added Fendrick, who has also studied the common cold.
Acetaminophen or ibuprofen can help reduce fever or muscle aches, guaifenesin can thin thick mucus, and dextromethorphan can help calm a dry cough, Christine Giordano, MD, board-certified practicing internist. in Philadelphiatold Fox News Digital.
“Drinking hot tea with honey can soothe a sore throat and reduce coughing, and taking a hot shower or using a humidifier can help relieve chest congestion,” she added.
Even if symptoms are mild, Giordano says it’s always a good idea to talk to a health care provider.
“People with COVID-19 who are at increased risk of developing severe symptoms may benefit from treatment with an antiviral medication called Paxlovid, which is only available by prescription,” she said.
Fruits, vegetables and exercise
A 2022 study in Ghana on home remedies found that some participants boiled neem leaves from the Azadirachta indica tree to drink as a hot remedy, or even bathed in them to help prevent COVID-19.
The antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties of the leaves help inhibit the binding of the virus in the body’s cells, the study explains.
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Other participants used moringa leaves, taken in a drink or with cocoa powder and cinnamon, because they were shown to disrupt the virus’s binding ability, the researchers added.
Experts also highlighted the power of physical exercisewhich is known to help reduce respiratory infections.
“Our evidence supports physical exercise, deliberate inclusion of fruits and vegetables in the diet, and consumption of fruit juices or homemade juices as effective methods for the prevention of SARS-CoV-2 infection “, concludes the study.
Some experts suggest that it is phytonutrients in vegetables and fruits which support the immune system in the fight against germs.
Individuals may find that various natural remedies decrease symptoms or prevent COVID-19, but these are only anecdotal reports specific to their own situation, said Dr. Aaron Glatt, chief of infectious diseases at Mount Sinai South Hospital. Nassau. Long Island, New Yorktold Fox News Digital.
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He cautioned that these remedies are not a replacement for standards of care – and that more research is needed to determine their benefits; he also recommended consulting a health care provider before starting them.
Salt water gargles and nasal rinses
Between 2020 and 2022, researchers assessed disease severity in people aged 18 to 65 with COVID-19.
“Our study design was to randomly assign people diagnosed with COVID-19 infection to a regimen of low and high salt water gargling and saline nasal rinsing for 14 days,” a Espinoza told Fox News Digital.
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Participants in both groups gargled with salt water and performed saline nasal rinses four times a day for two weeks.
“The most important results of our study are that there were no differences in the duration of symptoms, hospitalization ratemechanical ventilator use or death in patients who used low or high dose salt water gargles and nasal lifts for 14 days,” Espinoza said.
“In addition to information from these two groups, we had access to clinical information from our reference population, consisting of patients diagnosed with COVID-19 infection during the study period and who did not use salt water gargles or nasal rinses.”
Using this data, the researchers then compared hospitalization rates.
Hospital admissions among those who followed the salt diets were more than twice as high as those on the low- or high-salt diets, Espinoza told Fox News Digital.
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The main limitation of the study was that it was not designed to compare low- or high-salt diets with the population that did not use the saline diet.
“If our observations are confirmed by additional studies, it is possible that salt water gargles and nasal rinses could be complementary to other conventional treatments,” Espinoza said.
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