It does sound quite a lot like an April Fool’s story – Elvis has discovered a cure for the common cold.
But it turns out that Elvis is actually the Edinburgh & Lothians Viral Intervention Study and the finding is based on a genuine clinical trial.
Simply gargling salty water and sniffing salt-water nose drops can cut the length of a cold by nearly two days, the scientists found.
Further studies are needed but if the findings are confirmed it would be a major breakthrough, even if not an instant cure.
According to the researchers, the way it works is that our cells use chloride from the salt to produce a bleach which kills off the various viruses that cause the disease we refer to as a “cold”.
Apparently, this method of treating the disease was known about thousands of years ago and was recommended by doctors up to the early 20th century. However, after the invention of antibiotics, a marvel of science that made Alexander Fleming famous across the globe, salt water’s beneficial effects were dismissed as an “old wives’ tale”.
So it’s more of a rediscovery of past wisdom, which is a lesson in itself.
READ MORE: 10 of the wackiest ‘cures’ for the cold