A question I think has all crossed our minds is, does gargling salt water if you have a sore throat helpful? Inevitably, the seasons change and the temperature begins to get colder. Certain times of the year it seems like everyone is coughing or feels a little under the weather. What can you do to help yourself feel better a little quicker?
The next time you have a sore throat, before popping your favorite citrus flavored lozenge or swallowing some ibuprofen, consider gargling some salt water instead. Many people recommend this natural remedy as an easy way to relieve your sore throat without harmful chemicals or expensive prescriptions. But, does gargling salt water really work? And if so, how? We explore these questions below in our guide on gargling salt water for that seasonal sore throat!
What is Gargling? Its a verb that means to wash one’s mouth and throat with a liquid. In this instance we’re discussing salt gargling, which is the process of putting salt water in your mouth and then tipping your head back so the water gets to the back of your throat. Begin letting a little air out while contracting the throat. After a few moments you can spit it out and start again. Rinse and repeat, as they say. Again, gargling has been widely praised to help relieve a sore throat caused by the common cold.
How should you you prepare to gargle. We recommend getting starting with a warm glass of water. Slowly add and dissolve a modest amount of salt into your cup. Warmer water can hold more salt but don’t make it so hot as to burn your mouth.
The question we’ve all been waiting for, wow does gargling work, if at all? The American Academy of Otolaryngology says that it is best to gargle salt water by adding one teaspoon of table salt in a cup of warm water and swishing it around the mouth for 20-30 seconds. This home remedy is effective because the salt brings liquid, mucus, and bacteria up to the surface of the cells. When you spit the water out those unwanted members leave your body, leaving your mouth fresher and your body more prepared to fight off the sickness.
Let’s dig even further into more reasons behind why gargling may aid in the healing process. The act of gargling salt water provides temporary relief from a sore throat by momentarily numbing the throat and making it easier to swallow. We’ve all had colds that seem to cling on for forever. A moment of reprieve from the pain and throbbing can be a welcome relief. As we mentioned gargling is also helps clean out any bacteria that may be in the mouth, which is causing you to have a sore throat in the first place.
The Bottom Line, gargling with salt water has a fair chance at helping with a sore throat. It helps flush out the mouth and nose, which can provide some relief for those who are congested or have a runny nose. It cuts back on inflammation in the throat and mouth. Be mindful that gargling salt water is not recommended for those with asthma or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), because of the need to exhale and gurgle with water in the throat and mouth. If you’ve never tried salt water gargling, maybe consult your doctor about the benefits before cold and flu season creeps on you.