I'm sure everyone has had their mother tell them to gargle salt water when they have a sore throat (or are sick in any way for that matter.) And I'm also sure that everyone has done this, and it's helped. But why does something so simple and strange aid in curing us of our aching throats?
Overall, gargling in general can help with a sore throat because it flushes the area of the throat. The salt is a good component to mix into the warm water because the salt draws moisture out of any bacteria in your throat and draws moisture out of your own swollen tissues, therefore reliving inflammation. This is because the salt grabs the moisture and promotes osmosis. Also, the salt not only destroys the bacteria it also prevents it from growing.
According to the New York Times, saltwater gargling eases cold symptoms but it also keeps you healthier during cold and flu season. This information was concluded from a randomized study published in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine. "The researchers recruited about 400 healthy volunteers and followed them for 60 days during cold and flu season. Some of the subjects were told to gargle three times a day. At the end of the study period, the group that gargled regularly had a 40 percent decrease in upper respiratory and tract infections compared with the control group."
this traditional procedure most efficiently, one must dissolve half a teaspoon
of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle the solution for a few seconds
before spitting it out. I have heard of
people gargling vinegar as well as other strange concoctions, what crazy mix
have you tried to beat a cold or illness?
New York Times Article
Reasoning behind the "salt"