According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, viral infections are the most common cause of sore throat. With proper home remedies, the soreness in a throat can be cured within a week. 

Generally, the following factors contribute to soreness in the throat. 

  • Bacterial infections such as strep throat
  • Viral infections such as flu or common cold 
  • Breathing in dry air
  • Exposing to allergens such as dust, allergens 
  • Exposing to smoke, chemicals, and other irritants
  • An episode of acid reflux
  • A sudden blow or injury to the throat 
  • Development of tumor in the throat, tongue or voice box 

What is Saltwater Gargling?  

Saltwater gargle is one of the effective home remedies that can cure sore throat instantly. In this remedy, the person has to gargle with a solution to cure the cause of the sore throat. Another benefit of gargling with salt water is that the solution can be prepared easily at home. Also, this remedy is very cost-effective. 

Why Does Gargling Saltwater Cure Sore Throat? 

Gargling is the most effective way of curing a sore throat. The reason being that it can reduce the inflammation as well as cure infections. When there is a sore throat, gargling with salt water clears the irritants or infectious agents responsible for any throat infection. However, it is recommended to avoid using apple cider vinegar or any essential oils while gargling. 

How To Gargle with Saltwater 

First, you need to prepare the saline solution for gargling. There are two main ingredients needed to make this mixture: salt and warm water. In 8 ounces of warm water, add 1/4th or ½ teaspoon of salt. For better results, the individual can also add ½ teaspoon of baking soda. 


Steps To Gargle Properly-

  • Take the solution in the mouth as much as possible
  • Gargle this mixture such that it reaches back of the throat 
  • Rinse thoroughly around the mouth, teeth and gums
  • Throw out the mixture 


Prepare a chart and follow it a couple of days for getting effective results. Ideally, a person should gargle once or twice a day to soothe out the pain. 

Benefits of Gargling with Saltwater

Gargling with saline water helps to get relief from sore throat. Sore throat is a symptom of various throat infections. Some of the medical conditions that can be cured after gargling are-


  • Allergies 


Inhaling certain allergens such as pollen, dirt can trigger an allergic reaction in the body. These irritants can cause the throat to inflame and lead to a sore throat. Saltwater gargles can expel the irritants and decrease sore throat. 


  • Dental health 


There are some infections that can develop in the throat due to poor hygiene. Gargling with saline water helps to flush out the harmful bacteria from the mouth. This improves oral hygiene and gum health. Hence, the risk of gingivitis, cavities and periodontitis decreases too.  


  • Sinusitis and respiratory infections 


Some of the respiratory infections and sinusitis can cause throat pain as a symptom. There can be a viral or bacterial attack causing these infections. Some of the infections that cause sore throat are- flu, colds, strep throat and mononucleosis. 


  • Canker sores 


Commonly known as mouth ulcers, saltwater gargle regularly can cure this condition. The ulcers cause pain and inflammation which can be soothed out by gargling with salt water. 

Other Remedies for Sore Throat 

In addition to gargling with salt water for curing soreness in the throat, there are some home remedies that can also help. These remedies effectively reduce throat inflammation and pain considerably. Here are some remedies that can be effective-

  • Taking a hot shower moistens the throat linings and provides a soothing effect on the throat.
  • Getting enough sleep helps the body prepare to fight off infectious agents. Eventually, the pain in the throat also subsides.
  • Drink a mixture of warm water and a tablespoon of honey a couple of times a day. The antibacterial properties of honey can cure infections and alleviate pain. 
  • Consuming throat lozenges that contain menthol can have a cooling effect on the throat. These also prevent dryness in the throat.
  • Instead of crunchy or hard foods, eat soft foods that have a soothing effect on the throat. Also, take immunity-boosting foods. 
  • Eat cold foods and popsicle sticks that can numb the throat by reducing inflammation in the throat.
  • Herbal teas such as ginger tea, turmeric tea, etc. can boost the immune system and kill  infectious agents. 
  • Avoid breathing dry air to prevent further irritation of the throat. The moist air keeps the throat lining moist and prevents the soreness from worsening. 

Is Saltwater Gargling Safe?

Saltwater gargle is a safe home remedy to carry out. However, people who have a tendency to suffer from high blood pressure should look for other home remedies discussed above. One can also drink hot soups to get relief from sore throat. 

Also, children should gargle under parental guidance. A couple of times, one can add honey or garlic to make it flavorsome. 


Saltwater gargling is an effective remedy for treating sore throat. In addition to sore throat, it can also improve dental hygiene and reduce mouth sore. It acts as a natural alternative to mouthwashes. However, one should consult with an ENT specialist if the soreness persists for over a week. Consult with Pristyn Care doctor to diagnose the appropriate cause of sore throat. Book an appointment today.

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