For thousands of years, healers have used salt as a remedy and as an ingredient to ward off illnesses. Today, medical practitioners still prescribe salt water gargles to ease the discomfort of a sore throat. Although sore throat pain usually goes away within a week, a warm salt water gargle can provide temporary relief for the scratchiness and discomfort.
Gargling with salt water not only eases throat pain, but it reduces inflammation, loosens mucus, kills bacteria, and breaks down secretions that lead to irritation. Salt water is hypertonic, meaning that it carries a higher osmotic pressure than human cell fluid. When a person gargles salt water, it draws cellular fluid to the surface, along with the virus or bacteria in the throat.
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