Gargling salt water has been found to reduce the symptoms of coughs and colds and to stop them getting worse, researchers say.
And now they want to find out if it could help people with mild symptoms of the coronavirus, which infects the airways in a similar manner.
University of Edinburgh experts are recruiting people to take part in a study to test whether gargling with salt water could boost the body’s antiviral abilities.
Knowing how to treat Covid-19 is still a grey area for doctors, with people with mild symptoms advised to stick to paracetamol and ibuprofen.
Two antivirals have been approved for NHS use on critically-ill patients, the steroid dexamethasone, and an anti-Ebola drug remdesivir — but neither are silver bullets.