We are a third of the way through winter and the cold season is rolling.  Even if you do all you can to prevent exposure, you can still catch one.  So if you do, how do you get out from under fast?  Ask Grandma!

If you had one of those great old school Grandmas who where overflowing with common sense and home spun solid advice, you may have been guided to gargle with warm salt water if you notice a tickle in your throat and felt a cold coming on.

Way to go granny! The Daily mail reports that University of Edinburgh researchers looked at 54 patients who had colds. They asked 30 participants to add Cornish sea salt to  bowl of boiling water. After cooling, the water was used for a nasal rinse and for gargling while the other group of participants did nothing to treat their cold.

The results show those who used the salt solution saw their colds end 1.9 days earlier, with their blocked nose clearing 2.7 days sooner than those who let the cold run its course. Sneezing came to an end 1.5 days earlier, and coughing eased 2.4 days faster.

Another test found those who used the salt water were less contagious-- specifically they were 30 percent more likely to see a significant reduction in the amount of virus in their body. It works because cells in the body use the chloride in salt to produce hypochlorous acid (HOCI) which is the active ingredient found in bleach.

So when the coughing, sneezing and sniffling begings, raise a toast to granny, a warm, salty working toast to a quicker return to good health.