Gargle with salt water - this is how it's done!


For centuries, people have been gargling with salt water if they suffer from inflammation in the throat or from colds. It makes the mucous membranes swell and soothes pain. The salt water is therefore healing, anti-inflammatory and antibacterial. These effects of the salt also often lead doctors and pharmacists to recommend the saltwater gargle to the patient. Anyone can make this home remedy easily and inexpensively.

Preparation of the salt water

Before you can gargle with salt water, the salt solution is prepared. It consists of salt and water. This mixture, in which the ingredients are in a special relationship to one another, is also known as brine.

It is recommended to use a pure and high quality mineral-rich salt for the solution. Sea salt or rock salt (for example Himalayan salt) can be used. Due to its crystalline form, sea salt does not require any artificially added release agent. This makes it particularly valuable.
Iodized salt or table salt is less recommended. The salt is dissolved in drinking water, which should be lukewarm. Only in a dissolved form can it fully develop its healing powers.

How much salt do you need?

To make the salt water for gargling you need salt and water. This mixture gives the brine. It is very easy and uncomplicated to manufacture. It is best to use lukewarm water, which is also suitable for drinking, and high-quality salt.

For every 250 milliliters of water there is about half a teaspoon of salt. The salt can dissolve in the water by stirring and the brine is created.

Saline solution to buy

To gargle with salt water you only need a mixture of salt and water. The right salt for preparing a brine is available both in the pharmacy and in a well-stocked grocery store. In the case of a product from the pharmacy, the packaging is usually provided with precise quantities (mixing ratio) of salt and water.

Applications of salt water

The best known and most common use of gargling with salt water is for a sore throat (usually in the context of a cold). The salt has an antibacterial, disinfectant, analgesic, decongestant and anti-inflammatory effect. It also moisturizes the dry and irritated mucous membrane in the mouth and throat and thus supports the healing process.

Many other areas of application result from these properties of the salt. Gargling with salt water is also recommended for hoarseness or difficulty swallowing. Other classic complaints that can be relieved by the use of salt water are coughing and scratchy throat.

It is also recommended for inflammation. These include sore throats, tonsillitis, laryngitis or bronchitis. In addition, it should also help with almond stones.

Not to be forgotten is the cleaning effect of the salt. That is why gargling is also very popular in oral and dental hygiene and care. It can even help with bad breath. Gargling with salt water can also improve bleeding gums or inflammation of the gums.

also read: This is how to treat a cold

against bad breath

The saltwater gargle is particularly often used for sore throats. However, there are far more health problems that can be relieved from.
This also includes bad breath. The saltwater gargle can improve the bad breath, but it doesn't have to. This is because bad breath can have many different causes, some of which salt water cannot help.
Bad breath can be caused, for example, by rotten teeth or problems in the gastrointestinal tract.

However, if the bad breath is caused by the normal bacterial flora in the mouth, which is diminished by the salt water, the gargle may very well help. However, if the saltwater gargle does not provide the desired relief, it is advisable to contact your doctor or dentist.

Read on under: How to fight bad breath successfully

Does salt water have an expectorant effect?

Salt not only has an antibacterial, decongestant and anti-inflammatory effect on the mucous membrane, it also has an expectorant effect.

It moistens the mucous membrane, which is no longer optimally moisturized by a cold, for example, and can no longer defend itself against bacteria and viruses. This moistening supports the function of the mucous membrane.

In addition, the salt has a cleansing and blood circulation-promoting effect on the mucous membranes. This also leads to the dissolution and removal of mucus.

Application: How do you gargle?

When using salt water for gargling, note that the salt must be completely dissolved in the water.

To gargle, a sip of the gargle solution is taken into your mouth without swallowing it. Tuck your head back and let the solution run down the top of your throat. So that it doesn't get into the stomach, or worse, the lungs, you breathe out through your mouth. This creates bubbles and the typical gurgling sound. You can let the solution run down your throat as deeply as you can without swallowing.

After gargling, the liquid is not swallowed, but spat out and not used again. You can use some of the salt water to gargle for a few days.

How long should you gargle with salt water?

Gargling with salt water is not a long affair. It should gargle with the salt water for about a minute to about three minutes. How long it takes in minutes depends a little on how easy it is for different people to gargle.
In general, it makes more sense to gargle short time intervals more often a day than just one or two times, but very long.

How often should you gargle with salt water?

How often one should gargle with salt water depends entirely on the individual's needs. It is therefore not possible to give an exact statement in general.

In the case of an acute cold, however, it is advisable to gargle with the salt water at least three times a day. If necessary, this can also be extended to every 2-3 hours, so that you get about 6-8 times a day. It is advisable to pay attention to how the body reacts to the gargle with salt water and to adjust the frequency accordingly.

Are there any side effects to watch out for?

When gargling with salt water, it is generally important to ensure that you do not swallow any of the salt solution. Salt water is not harmful to health in small amounts, but one should not ingest too much of it.

Too much salt hits the stomach and can lead to nausea and vomiting. In addition, too much salt damages the kidneys in the long term and upsets the water balance of the cells. It is also important to ensure that you do not choke. This would mean salt water was getting into the lungs. So it is important that when you gargle, you concentrate and not get distracted.

If you already have a very severe and painful inflammation in the throat or throat, gargling with salt water can irritate the mucous membrane even more. This is then noticeable as a strong burning sensation. If this side effect occurs, gargling may not be recommended.

Alternatives to saltwater gargle

There are several alternatives to gargling with salt water. You can gargle or just drink tea, for example.

Sage tea is particularly recommended. Certain ingredients in sage inhibit the growth of bacteria, have a disinfectant effect and can even have a calming effect on the mucous membranes.

Thyme tea is also very suitable. Thyme also has a calming effect on the mucous membranes and also keeps them moist.

Another tea that is beneficial for sore throats is ginger tea. Ginger also has anti-inflammatory and pain reliever ingredients.

In addition to teas, compresses can also help with a sore throat. A quark wrap, for example, has a cooling, decongestant and anti-inflammatory effect. This can lead to pain relief.
Or you trust in pain relieving lozenges that are supposed to help against sore throats.

You might also be interested in: Home remedies for a sore throat

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