The benefits of gargling with salt water are numerous. The most common benefit is its ability to reduce inflammation, prevent upper respiratory tract infections, dental plaque, and gingivitis, and treat a sore throat. Because of its antibacterial properties, gargling with salt water can also help to reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms.
Let’s go deeper into the advantages of gargling with salt water.
Benefits of Gargling with Salt Water
1. Antiviral and Antibacterial Properties
Salt water has natural antiseptic properties that can help to kill off any bacteria or microorganisms in the throat, reducing the severity of cold and flu symptoms. Besides, experts believe salt changes the pH level in the mouth, making it harder for bacteria to survive.
2. May Ease Sore Throat
Gargling with salt water can help alleviate a sore throat by reducing inflammation and swelling in the throat, thus helping to clear up any mucus that is blocking your breathing passages. That’s why experts often recommend gargling with salt water for people with a sore throat.
In addition, gargling with salt water can also help reduce post-nasal drip, which is a common symptom of a cold or flu.
3. May Improved Oral Hygiene
Because of its antibacterial properties, gargling with salt water once a day can help to reduce levels of harmful bacteria in your mouth. This can help relieve toothache and plaque as well as prevent cavities, bad breath, and gum disease.
For instance, some evidence suggests that rinsing your mouth with salt water was just as effective at reducing dental plaque as using an antiseptic rinse.
4. May Reducing Swollen Glands
Salt water can also help to reduce swollen glands in the throat, as it helps to bring down inflammation and reduce swelling. This can be especially beneficial for people dealing with a glandular fever or tonsillitis.
5. May Lessening Nasal Congestion
Gargling with salt water can help to reduce nasal congestion. The saline solution helps to break up the mucus, allowing it to be cleared more easily from your nasal passages. This can also help to reduce sinus pressure and ease your symptoms.
6. May help Ease a Cough
Believe it or not, gargling with salt water can help to reduce the severity of a cough and make it easier for you to get rid of mucus in your throat. This is due to the anti-inflammatory properties of salt, which helps to soothe and reduce irritation in your throat, making it easier to cough up mucus.
7. May Cure Canker Sores
Canker sores can be pretty painful, but gargling with salt water can help to reduce the pain and speed up healing. The antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties of salt help to ease inflammation and kill off any bacteria in the mouth that may be causing the sores, thus promoting faster healing.
Further reading: 12 Home Remedies for Canker Sores
8. May Ward Off Viral Upper Respiratory Tract Infections
Scientific evidence shows that gargling with salt water two times a day can reduce the risk of upper respiratory tract infections by 40%. This is due to its antiviral and antibacterial properties, which help to kill off some viruses or bacteria that may be present in the throat.
How Do You Make a Salt Water Gargle?
Gargling with salt water is simple. All you need to do is dissolve one teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water and mix it until the salt dissolves completely.
How to Gargle with Salt Water
- Take a sip of the salt water and tilt your head back.
- Gargle for at least 10 seconds.
- Swish the salt water around your mouth before you spit it out.
- Repeat the process until your cup of water is finished.
- It’s generally recommended to gargle at least twice daily for best results.
Gargling with salt water is an effective, natural remedy for many common ailments. It has antiviral and antibacterial properties that can help reduce the severity of cold and flu symptoms, relieve sore throats and ease nasal congestion.
It may also help to reduce swollen glands, heal canker sores, and even prevent upper respiratory tract infections. Now that you know the benefits of gargling with salt water, why not give it a try?