Tags: Coronavirus | gargling | antispetic | virus | sars

Can Gargling KO the Coronavirus?

woman using mouthwash to gargle
(Kowniewping/Dreamstime)

By    |   Monday, 30 March 2020 01:38 PM

The Amish believe that gargling with hot salt water creates a hostile environment for germs, according to Dr. Patrick Quillin Ph.D., author of "Amish Folk Medicine". In the maelstrom of research on how to stop the deadly coronavirus, the topic of gargling is generating interest, according to The New York Times.

Dr. Neal Naito, M.D., writes that while no ‘rigorous trials’ have been conducted to test the validity of gargling to fight the virus, a Japanese study in 2003 found that using a povidone-iodine solution to gargle four times daily led to a 50% reduction in the incidence of acute upper respiratory infections. According to Poison Control, the combination of povidone and iodine is a common antiseptic that is relatively safe if used properly but can cause major damage when misused.

According to the Times, a recent German study reported that a povidone-iodine sore throat gargle solution was effective in eliminating over 99% of the coronaviruses that cause SARS and MERS which are close cousins to COVID-19.

In the United States, povidone-iodine solutions are available only as skin disinfectants and experts warn they can be dangerous if ingested. In Canada, a povidone-iodine gargling solution is available under the brand name of Betadine. According to Naito, even the common mouthwash Listerine has been shown to have some anti-viral activity in test-tube studies.

In England, a solution of one teaspoon of salt in a cup of water was used as a gargle and to irrigate nasal passages. Researchers in this study found that gargling up to six times daily with the homemade solution significantly reduced the incidence of colds and flu.

According to WebMD, however, there is no evidence that gargling can prevent or eliminate the coronavirus.

“Typically, the virus enters your body when you breathe in the virus that’s floating in the air after it was coughed or sneezed by an infected person,” say experts on the site. “Another way the virus gains entry into your body is when we touch our nose with our hands contaminated with the virus. In both instances, the virus never lands in the part of the throat that gargling would even touch.”

While Naito, a former director of public health for the U.S. Navy, acknowledges that current evidence is limited, he suggests that “there seems to be little downside to frequent gargling.”

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The Amish believe that gargling with hot salt water creates a hostile environment for germs, according to Dr. Patrick Quillin Ph.D., author of Amish Folk Medicine. In the maelstrom of research on how to stop the deadly coronavirus, the topic of gargling...
gargling, antispetic, virus, sars
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2020-38-30
Monday, 30 March 2020 01:38 PM
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