As home remedies go, this might be the most widely known/practiced/recommended. But why does gargling with warm, salty water help soothe a sore throat? Since I’m doing this multiple times a day–and since I feel like it helps–I decided to Google the gargle and attempt a better explanation than “because it does.”
First of all, gargling of any kind is helpful when you have a throat infection because it flushes the area and can encourage any lingering bits of phlegm to ride the wave and leave the premises. For those who still have your tonsils (or who, like me, have big ones), flushing the throat with fluid helps loosen anything that gets stuck in there as well. Alternatives to salt water gargling: cider vinegar, lemon juice, natural mint or cinnamon mouthwash, or just plain warm water.
Fair warning, though – you can have too much of a good thing when it comes to salt water gargling. First, do not swallow the salt – your body does not need the extra sodium, it needs to be well-hydrated in order to fight your infection. Second, if the concentration of salt in your gargle is too high, it will dry out your throat membranes, causing them to inflame further.
A good rule of thumb is to use only enough salt so that the water tastes just salty, not WHOA, SALTY! I usually do 3 10-second gargles in a row, 3-4 times a day when I have a cold. And for whatever reason, I usually feel better afterward.
Do you gargle? Does it help?
Fare Well, Live Fresh...and Thanks
posted 12:00:45pm Jul. 02, 2010 | read full post »
Waking Up to Your Dreams (by Wendy Schuman)
posted 2:21:32pm Jun. 24, 2010 | read full post »
Prayer for the Gulf from the 13 Grandmothers
posted 10:52:38am Jun. 21, 2010 | read full post »
Fresh Morning: Worry Away the Worry
posted 9:14:40am Jun. 21, 2010 | read full post »
How Did You (or a Loved One) Heal from Cancer?
posted 3:08:46pm Jun. 18, 2010 | read full post »