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Does gargling with salt water really work?

Dr Helen Webberley comments on the potential benefits of gargling with salt water in order to help a sore throat.

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This may have come highly recommended by your granny as a remedy for sore throats – but is it worth the yuck factor? Yes and no is the verdict. Salt is a magnet for moisture so it helps draw and flush out viruses hiding in the nooks and crannies of
your tonsils. In a solution it also has mild antiseptic properties and can change the PH of your mouth, which can discourage, though not kill, some microbes.

“When you measure healing time and long-term results clinically, there is no proof it can speed up recovery,” says Dr Helen Webberley, medical adviser at Medichecks. “However, a salt gargle is definitely very soothing, and that’s a bonus – even if it can’t cure the virus,” she adds.

Find the full article in the June issue of Candis magazine.

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