Community

Why does gargling saltwater relieve sore throats?

When your throat turns to sandpaper and every bit of food and liquid that goes down your gullet feels like it’s a bill trying to pass the Senate, unlike a politician you become more than eager to try to find a way to move things forward.

A sore throat is a miserable thing to deal with. You don’t realize how many times you swallow during the day until every swallow becomes a painful undertaking.

As it turns out, mom was right about this one: Gargling with warm salt water actually does provide symptomatic relief – and it has preventative benefits, too.

Says Segal-Maurer, "You’re creating a high-salt barrier and you’re pulling out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat area, so you’re washing the virus out. The salt functions as a magnet for water. It’s good for symptomatic relief. And you end up swallowing some of it, so it’s sort of helping you with dehydration as well.” (To clarify: The swallowing bit is incidental – it just tends to happens when gargling. You’re not meant to actually drink the warm salt water.)