Friday, February 4, 2011
Gargling with salt water
Did your mom ever make you do this while growing up? I remember doing it vividly…but I can’t ever remember whether it worked. It wasn’t until recently after several sore throats in a row that I could not shake that I started to look into it again. I was also trying to avoid a course of antibiotics if possible.
From what I learned it works in two different ways by the same mechanism: osmosis. The salt water pulls water from the bacteria, causing them to dehydrate (shrivel up and die, suckers!!). It also pulls water from the inflamed, swollen areas in the back of your throat. One good tip that I read is that it is not a one-time deal. You need to do this multiple times a day to kill all of the bacteria and keep the inflammation down. A good ratio is ½-1 teaspoon of salt per 8 ounces. I have also read to just saturate a small glass of water with salt to the point that there is a very tiny amount on the bottom that will not dissolve.