Effect of Gargling


Have you ever been through the pain of swallowing during unpleasant sore throat? Of course, you have. It is the one of the symptoms of cold or the flu, the most common viral infection. Your throat may feel an itch or dry. It is a miserable thing to deal with.

Gargling is considered the best home remedy to soothe a sore throat. Mother and Grandmothers around the world hold the belief that gargling with warm salt water can ease the pain. But what is gargling? How does it work? Is there any scientific reason behind it?

Well, we are here to clear all your doubts. So first, what is gargling?

Gargling is to clean one's mouth by holding water or some other liquid in the back of the mouth and blowing air out from the lungs. According to a randomized trial published on PubMed, it has been proven to prevent URTIs among healthy people.

How to gargle?

There are many gargling recipes,

  1. Ayurvedic Gargle:
    • salt water - Dissolve half a tsp of rock salt in warm water and gargle. This will help reduce the swelling in your throat. It will also help loosen the mucus and flush it out.
    • Henna leaves - These may also be used as a decoction that you can gargle.
    • Cardamom powder – Dissolve the powder in water, strain, and gargle.
    • Methi seeds – Boil them in water, strain, and gargle.
    • Turmeric water - Turmeric is an excellent antioxidant. Mix ½ tsp of turmeric powder in hot water along with ½ tsp of salt. Gargle every 2 hours.
    • Basil water - You can boil water with tulsi leaves (basil). You can either drink this mixture after straining it or gargle with it.
    • Tankana Bhasma – This is made from borax. You can dissolve some Tankana Bhasma powder in water, and gargle once or twice a day.
  1. Betadine Gargle: It is a readymade solution you can find in any medical store or online store. There is one downside of using betadine gargle. It kills both the bad and good bacteria in the mouth.
  2. Saltwater gargle: It is the most common one. Dissolve ¼ to ½ teaspoon of salt in a small glass of water. Gargle the solution for as long as you can handle then spit it out (NOTE: Don’t swallow it). Repeat as necessary to relieve your sore throat.

Why should we use salt water to gargle?

Salt has been scientifically proven to help draw water out of oral tissues, while creating a salt barrier that locks out water and harmful pathogens from getting back inside.

In which cases gargling is effective?

Sore Throat: Salt water can be a very effective way to relieve the discomfort of sore throat.

Sinus and respiratory infection:  Some allergies can cause nasal passages and throat to swell, which can be unpleasant. Saltwater gargle won’t cure the infection, but it eases the symptoms.

Dental Health: Salt water can take out the bacteria while protecting the gums. So Gargle is one of the effective ways for improving gum and dental health.

Canker sore: Also known as mouth ulcer can cause a lot of pain in mouth. Gargling with salt water can ease the pain and help healing the sores.

How often should you gargle?

Depending on the condition you’ll have to be consistent. If your condition is severe, keep interval of certain hours. It is important that you keep yourself hydrated because salt can cause your cell to dry out.

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