With new COVID variants making the rounds, it’s more important than ever to shore up defenses. The good news? You probably already have what you need to keep from getting sick — right in your medicine cabinet! Or, if you don’t, a quick run to the drugstore could do the trick and keep you safe from COVID-19.
For daily defense: Low-dose aspirin.
New research out of Israel found that folks who took a daily low-dose aspirin were 29 percent less likely to develop COVID than those who didn’t take it. And in a separate study, hospitalized COVID patients on an aspirin regimen recovered faster and were up to 47 percent less likely to suffer severe complications. Researchers credit aspirin’s anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Jonathan Chow, MD, an assistant professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at George Washington University, says the findings are a huge win: “Aspirin is low cost, and millions are already using it to treat other health conditions.”
When you’re out and about: Mouthwash.
Rinsing with mouthwash for 60 seconds after running errands can destroy COVID cells before they infect your lungs, suggests a report in The American Journal of Medicine. Opt for any mouthwash with eucalyptol, menthol, methyl salicylate, and thymol. Penn State researchers found these rinses inactivate more than 99.9 percent of viruses. Also smart: Carry breath strips. They contain the same virus-killing ingredients.
If you suspect exposure: Iodine.
A quick peek in your first-aid kit may locate povidone-iodine, a common antiseptic. A report in JAMA Network suggests simply swiping nasal passages with the solution can kill COVID-19 cells in just 15 seconds. Lead researcher Samantha Frank, MD advises swabbing a solution of .5% to 1.25% povidone-iodine inside the nose a few times daily. To make your own, use 2 tsp. of sterile water to dilute 1 ⁄8 tsp. of 10% povidone iodine (likely in your kit).
With congestion: Hydrogen peroxide.
If you have congestion that may signal infection, Thomas Levy, MD, JD, author of Rapid Virus Recovery, advises using a nebulizer with 5 to 6 milliliters of 3 percent hydrogen peroxide. Inhale the mist three times daily for 10 minutes. Dr. Levy explains, “Inhaling nebulized hydrogen peroxide is extremely effective at eliminating viruses from the nose, throat and lungs.”
This article originally appeared in our print magazine, Woman’s World.
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