As simple as it may be, gargling with warm salt water is one of the time-tested self care measures that comes in handy in managing the symptoms of sore throat. But how does this remedy work to benefit us? The answer lies ahead...
How Does Gargling Salt Water Help You
Sore throat is an inflammation in the mucous membrane of throat. It is a painful condition that can lead to throat dryness. The single-celled organisms called bacteria are the catalytic agents for such infections. But how does gargling salt water for sore throat aid in reducing the pain? The answer lies in a simple chemical process of osmosis. This process is nothing but flow of fluid from a more concentrated area to a lower concentrated area while passing through a semipermeable membrane. This is what happens when salt water comes in contact with the fluid filled organisms - bacteria. During gargling, the process of osmosis is initiated which dehydrates the bacteria thereby substantially extenuating their effects. The normal pH balance is restored and a faster circulation of the infection-fighting cells is enabled due to the dilation of capillaries. The brine solution considerably reduces the swelling caused by the bacteria. But this procedure must be repeated more often for an effective cure. Many a time vitamin supplements and lot of fluids are also recommended along with this home remedy.
How to Gargle with Salt Water
Salt water solution not only relieves the irritation caused due to sore throat, it also clears the nasal passage. Given below is the method to prepare this therapeutic saline solution.
Take a vessel with a lid. Fill it with at least two pints of water and heat it until the water is just lukewarm.
Add a requisite amount of salt and baking soda to concentrate the solution.
Stir the contents in the vessel well until the mixture is thoroughly dissolved.
Now gargle with a mouthful of this salt water and spit it out. Repeat this procedure several number of times to clear the infection and its symptoms.
Preserve the extra contents in the refrigerator and make sure to seal the vessel with a lid. Stir the contents well every time you use it, and do not forget to heat the contents to a lukewarm temperature before gargling.
** Please remember not to make the solution too concentrated with salt as it can dehydrate the mucous membranes in the process of dehydrating the bacteria.
To reap the benefits of gargling salt water, you must adopt it as a regular habit. This serves as a preventive measure for throat and mouth-related afflictions. Besides, it is advised to follow other personal hygiene habits like brushing teeth before going to bed, avoiding sugary diet at night and using Listerine mouthwash post meal as a part of regular oral hygiene.
Disclaimer: The information provided in this article is solely for educating the reader. It is not intended to be a substitute for the advice of a medical expert.