Coronavirus update: A natural remedy may ‘help to reduce early symptoms’ of COVID-19

Coronavirus is under investigation. As Britain becomes more familiar with the disease, groundbreaking research is conducted around the clock to disarm this national threat.

Previously, scientists grouped together and found that one natural remedy could help reduce the length of the common cold.

Akin to a cold, coronavirus also affects the respiratory system and, so, the logic follows that this natural remedy may benefit people with COVID-19 too.

Now, a research team from the University of Edinburgh wants to test the theory.


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Their primary aim is to “find out if nasal washout and gargling with salt water (hypertonic saline) helps individuals with COVID-19 get better faster”.

The scientists added: “In the absence of a suitable vaccine, we need a safe and effective treatment that can be used globally.”

They’ve collected data that revealed how chloride ions supplied via salt (NaCl) has “an antiviral effect that works across a number of virus types”.

From this, they’ve hypothesised that nasal washout and gargling salt water may play a role in reducing the symptoms and duration of COVID-19.

The Scottish investigation is now recruiting volunteers with COVID-19 symptoms – or a confirmed diagnosis – to take part in their research.

The randomised trial will ask participants to either perform nasal washout and gargling with salt water at home, or continue to follow NHS guidance on managing COVID-19 symptoms.

At the present moment, NHS guidelines specify how to treat COVID-19 symptoms at home.

The NHS advises infected individuals how to address a high temperature, which includes getting “lots of rest”.

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It adds to “drink plenty of fluids” – suggesting that water is the best – aiming for pee that is “light yellow and clear” to prevent dehydration.

And the healthy body welcomes the use of “paracetamol or ibuprofen” to manage uncomfortable symptoms.

To treat a new, continuous cough, the NHS states to “avoid lying on your back”.

Instead, “lie on your side or sit upright”, and enjoy a “teaspoon of honey” (honey isn’t recommended for infants under 12 months old).


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Back to the Scottish study, participants in both groups will be asked to fill out daily diaries documenting their symptoms online.

This process will continue until they feel well, or for a maximum of 14 days.

After the trial is completed, the researchers will compare the data between the two groups to spot any differences.

Who can take part?

People over the age of 18, who live in Scotland – that are self-isolating at home due to COVID-19 symptoms – can take part.

Symptoms must gave began in the last two days and should include one of the following:

  • Recent onset of a new continuous cough
  • Recent onset of a high temperature
  • Recent loss of sense of smell or taste.

People with a confirmed diagnosis of COVID-19 can take part, as long as symptoms started within the last 48 hours, and you’ve not been advised to go to hospital.

Only one person per household can take part in the study, and restrictions do apply.

For more information on the scope of the study, and if you’d like to volunteer, please click here.

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