If you thought your grandma was spreading old wives tales when she told you that gargling with salt water eases a sore throat -- think again. But before you go tossing back a cupful of salt water like it's your favorite cocktail, be sure you understand its benefits. According to a study by The American Journal of Preventative Medicine, gargling with salt water lessens the symptoms of upper respiratory infections. While plain table salt will do the trick, sea salt is less processed -- for good measure, keep some in your medicine cabinet and mix up a salty concoction to ease your cold symptoms.
Pour 1 cup of warm water into a glass and add ½ teaspoon of sea salt.
Stir the salt and water well with a spoon until the salt dissolves.
Transfer a mouthful of the salt water carefully from the glass into your mouth. Lean your head back, open your mouth and gargle the water for several seconds.
Spit the salt water out of your mouth and rinse your mouth with water to remove the salt taste. Repeat this process three to four times a day for sore-throat relief.
- American Journal of Preventative Medicine: Prevention of Upper Respiratory Tract Infections By Gargling: A Randomized Trial
- The New York Times: The Claim: Gargling With Salt Water Can Ease Cold Symptoms
- Soaring Crane Natural Health Center: Sore Throat Gargle
- Mayo Clinic: Sea Salt vs. Table Salt: What's the Difference?
- Stockbyte/Stockbyte/Getty Images