What is Salt Water Gargle?
Saltwater gargle is an easy-to-make home remedy for sore throat, respiratory infections, colds, and sinus infections. Saltwater gargle are effective in giving relief and preventing these conditions from worsening.
It can be easily made with just two ingredients i.e. water and salt and also gets ready in very little time. It can be safely used by children over 6 years of age.
Saltwater gargle is a go-to home remedy for some respiratory ailments.
6 Surprising Benefits of Saltwater Gargle
Saltwater gargle has been successfully used for various ailments for a long time.
It is also supported by research and modern medicines for their effectiveness in mild health issues.
Salt draws water out of the oral tissues and creates a barrier that locks out water and harmful pathogens from getting back inside. This makes saltwater gargles effective in blocking viruses and bacteria, thereby, reducing the chance of infection in the mouth and throat and relieving inflammation.
Below are discusses a few ailments saltwater gargle can be effective in.
1. Sore Throat
Despite being a home remedy, salt water gargle is recommended by many doctors in a clinical setting.(1)
It helps in maintaining a healthy pH balance and prevents the growth of unwanted bacteria in the mouth.
They are effective in giving relief from sore throat along with the prescribed antibiotics.
2. Sinus and Respiratory Infections
Saltwater can help in reducing the severity of viral and bacterial infection, which includes:
- Strep throat
A study done in 2013 found saltwater gargles to be effective in prevention and reinfection than flu vaccination.(2)
Saltwater gargle helps in flushing out bacteria and viruses, which if left unattended can cause congestion.
A sore throat can also result from allergies due to pollen, dog, and cat dander. Saltwater gargle can be effective in comforting the soreness in the throat due to allergic reactions.
4. Dental Health
Saltwater helps draw out water and bacteria from the gums and protect them. It is effective in improving gum and dental health. It can also be effective in preventing gingivitis, periodontitis, and cavities.
A study found saltwater gargle to be effective in reducing the count of harmful bacteria in the saliva.(3)
5. Canker Sores
As in the case of sore throat, saltwater gargle can help alleviate canker sores, which are also known as mouth ulcers. It may ease the pain and inflammation caused by these sores.
How to Make Salt Water Gargle?
Salt ware gargle can be easily made at home. Mix half or one-fourth spoon of salt to 8 ounces of warm water.
The water should be good warm but not very hot, as it would help in comforting a sore throat. If someone prefers cold water, it would be equally effective. It is just salt that dissolves easily in warm water.
Any type of salt can be used for saltwater gargles.
How is Salt Water Gargling Done?
Adults of any age and children above 6 years of age can use it. Children below 6 years would find it difficult to gargle. Sip in water in your mouth and gargle with it in the back of your throat as long as you can. Swish the water in your mouth and teeth afterward. When you are done, spit it out into the sink. It can also be swallowed.
In case of infection, spitting the water out is considered better to keep infection at bay. If doing multiple mouth rinses, be careful if swallowing this water as it can cause dehydration.
Excess saltwater intake can increase the risk of calcium deficiency and high blood pressure.
Saltwater can be used to gargle twice a day. However, it can be done many more times too.
You can improve the taste of saltwater by adding honey, lemon, garlic, and other herbs for cold and flu. Adding turmeric can increase its effectiveness as the anti-inflammatory properties of turmeric can play their part in treating the infection.
Saltwater gargles are recommended by doctors and clinicians to get relief from inflammation of a sore throat. It is a safe and easy to prepare, home remedy.