Green tea and salt had been known for a long time as an effective home remedy for common cold and flu. We aimed to evaluate the effect of gargling with warm salty green tea on signs and symptoms of acute upper respiratory tract infection (AURTI) among children.
A two group, quasi-experimental research design was adopted. Tools: (1) structured interview to collect socio-demographic data of children, and history of the child’s disease (2) signs and symptoms of AURTI inventory. Samples: A purposive sample of 200 school age children who attended the outpatient clinics in Cairo University Specialized Pediatric Hospital (CUSPH), Cairo, Egypt. 200 cases were assigned randomly as follows: 100 children as controls for whom analgesics were prescribed, and 100 children as intervention group, who were given salty green tea gargling in addition to analgesics; data of signs and symptom severity were collected on daily basis for three consecutive days.
There was a highly significant difference between controls and intervention group regarding total mean score of signs and symptoms (p-value<0.01). In addition, there was a highly significant positive correlation between children’s age, sex, residence, presence of a smoking family member and presence of another family member with similar condition and the total mean signs and symptoms score in control and intervention groups.
Children with AURTI in intervention group showed less total mean signs and symptoms scores than those in the control group.Recommendations: Experimental studies on larger random samples need to be conducted to explore the effect of gargling with salty warm green tea on the signs and symptoms of AURTI.
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