How do you cure a sore throat with salt water?


Quick Answer

A sore throat is a symptom of a cold or virus, not an illness in and of itself and cannot be cured per se. According to Health magazine, gargling with salt water provides temporary relief from pain by moistening the throat, reducing swelling, loosening mucus and flushing out harmful bacteria.

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Full Answer

To gargle, Health magazine advises dissolving 1/2 teaspoon of salt in 1 cup of warm water, taking a sip, and swishing it around in your mouth and throat for 30 to 60 seconds without swallowing. When finished, spit out the water in the sink.

If you do not like the taste of the salt water mixture, drink warm tea to achieve similar relief. According to WebMD, many teas contain tannins that help tighten and soothe throat membranes. Adding honey to the salt water mixture can also improve the taste. Repeat the gargling process several times throughout the day as needed.

WebMD notes that drinking plenty of fluids may provide additional relief. Fluids help by thinning secretions and decreasing irritation. Running a vaporizer or humidifier in your bedroom while you sleep may also help. Warm, moist air is soothing to irritated and swollen air passages, and it can relieve hoarseness. If you don't have a vaporizer, taking a hot, steamy shower can produce the same effect.

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