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Seawater nasal sprays against cold?

seawaternasalcold.jpgRemember the controversy over the side effects of common cold and cough medicine? A more natural alternative may just be around the corner.

A nasal spray made from seawater (also cold nasal isotonic saline solution) can ease children?s sniffles and prevents the symptoms from coming back. This is based on the study by European researchers who followed up 401 children ages 6 to 10 years old who suffered from ordinary cold or flu symptoms for 12 weeks. In their research, some children were treated with nasal decongestants; some were given standard cold medicines while others were given seawater nasal sprays. Children who were given the seawater nasal spray suffered less from stuffy and runny noses, sore throats and coughs compared to children given standard treatments. This meant less school days missed and less use of antibiotics and potentially dangerous cold medicine.

Seawater nasal sprays have been used as treatment for colds for ages but there was no scientific evidence to support its efficacy until now. The reason for its effects is not clear. However, it is suggested that seawater sprays may clear the mucus mechanically, or it may have something to do with the trace elements present in seawater.


Archives of OtolaryngologyJanuary 2008;134(1):67-74

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