Tips to Use Salt Water for Sore Throat

Updated on March 16th, 2020
salt water for sore throat

Gargling with warm salt water is excellent for preventative benefits and relief from sore throat. The reason for this is simple. Experts say the high-salt barrier is beneficial for curing a sore throat. Salt water for sore throat pulls out fluids from tissues in the throat, so the virus and its pathogens are eliminated.

This reason is why it is beneficial for symptomatic relief. Salt functions in the form of a magnet for water. Along with salt water gargle for sore throat, this natural remedy prevents upper respiratory tract infections. It also creates a perfect cure for toothache. Salt water gargles are a simple and affordable remedy for flu and cold prevention.

Why Salt Water Gargle for Sore Throat Helps

salt water
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Salt water for soreness of the throat is a very effective remedy. For those seeking natural solutions that are far removed from medicated mouthwashes, salt water gargle is the solution. A 2010 study conducted on children investigated the effectiveness of the remedy for curing a sore throat.

The results of the study indicated while an alum mouthwash was more effective in combating the bacteria, the 45 children in the study showed improvements after 21 days of gargling compared to a placebo group. Salt water gargles for sore throat(1) can be useful.

This reason is why the American Cancer Society and the Institute for Clinical Systems Improvement recommend a salt water gargle for throat soreness. Salt water gargles are recommended for individuals undergoing chemotherapy or radiation therapy, for they help in keeping the mouth clean and preventing infections.

Salt water for sore throat also has preventative benefits. Research has shown in a sample of 338 people; salt water gargles reduced the likelihood of upper respiratory tract infections. Salt water rinses in one study were found even more effective than flu vaccinations in preventing reinfection.

It also reduces mouth cankers, sores, colds, flu, and throat pain due to strep infections. A 2011 study further found salt water to be adequate in clinical settings for curing throat pain. They are beneficial for cases of flu or colds that cause mild sore throat. Paired with medicines like ibuprofen and Tylenol, they can even cure severe infections. Studies show salt water reduces bacterial growth and viral infections, besides keeping allergies such as hay fever at bay.

[Read: Salt Water Gargle For Cough]

Tips to Use Salt Water for Sore Throat

It’s easy to make a salt water gargle at home. What’s more, adults and even children over six can easily use it.

  • According to one recommendation, around half to one-fourth teaspoon of salt needs to be mixed in water measuring 8 ounces. The water should be warm. The reason for this is that warmth soothes the sore throat and eliminates unwanted bacteria and viral infections. Additionally, warm water makes it easier for the salt to dissolve.
  • Use coarse sea salts or kosher salts for the best results, although iodized or table salts can work, too. According to the ADA/American Dental Association, one-half teaspoon of salt should be mixed to the water until it combines.
  • Another recipe involves adding baking soda to the saltwater solution, according to the American Cancer Society/ACS.

Specifically, the ACS recommends one-quarter of water, one teaspoon of salt, and one teaspoon of baking soda in the mixture. Thus, salt water for sore throat is easy and effective as a home remedy.

[Read: Home Remedies for Sore Throat]

How to Gargle Effectively

salt water gargle

Gargle for as long as possible to ensure the mouthwash is effective. Take as much of the solution into the mouth as possible. Gargle and move the salt water around the throat’s back. Then, rinse your teeth, gums, and entire mouth before spitting out the solution. Although saltwater solutions are safe to swallow, it is best to avoid doing so. For maximum impact, a person should rinse once or twice a day with salt water.

[Read: Lump in Your Throat? You Can Treat It!]

If you are recovering from dental procedures can use salt water to rinse the mouth. But you should gently rinse to prevent scabs from opening. In case you have an infection, spitting out the salt water is better, for it restricts the infection. Also, multiple saltwater rinses per day and swallowing excessive saline solution can dehydrate you.

Drinking salt water can induce calcium deficiency or hypertension(2) in severe cases. To improve the taste of the saltwater, you can try adding natural antiseptics like honey or antioxidants like lemon. Even anti-inflammatory herbs for cold and flu or ginger can help. Saltwater for sore throat can have essential oils, tinctures, or teas added to them.

For adults and children alike, salt water gargle for sore throat can work. It limits bacterial or viral infections. For this reason, it is incredibly beneficial as a saline rinse.  Saltwater gargles can be successful home remedies. They undo the pain, inflammation, and infection caused due to sore throat. This reason is why doctors and clinical practitioners recommend saltwater gargles for eliminating a sore throat.

[Read: Natural Drinks For Sore Throat]


1. Does Gargling Salt Water Help Sore Throats?

Yes, gargling salt water helps sore throat in several different ways. Firstly, it blocks the pain and inflammation caused due to sore throats. It keeps respiratory infections, cold, and flu at bay, warding off a sore throat.

2. How Should Salt Water for Sore Throat Be Taken?

Salt water for sore throat can be taken by mixing 8 ounces of water with one-half to one-fourth teaspoon of salt. Add honey, lime, ginger, or other herbs and medicinal solutions to the saltwater gargle for added benefit.

3. What Precautions Should Be Taken While Gargling with Saltwater?

Firstly, try not to swallow the saltwater. This recommendation is because too much salt in the body can trigger high blood pressure or deficiency of calcium. It can also dehydrate you. Secondly, watch out for the intensity with which you rinse, especially if you have mouth cankers, sores, or dental treatment.

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