According to the New York Times, saltwater gargling helps to deal with cold symptoms and keeps you healthier during cold and flu season. According to 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. In Japan gargling is viewed as a way to stay healthy, a 2005 study found that gargling regularly during the common-cold season helped prevent more upper respiratory tract infections.
5 Reasons to Start Gargling with Salt Water
Common Cold or Cough
Salt water can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less, said Dr. Philip T. Hagen. Gargling with salt water helps loosen thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat. Dissolve 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water for gargling.
When the salt water enters the throat, the solution helps to neutralize acids in the throat, restoring the natural pH balance. Just mix a cup of warm water with 1/4 tsp of salt (here).