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Use Salt Water and Gargle Away Your Sore Throat!

Last Modified on Aug 29, 2015


You have been dealing with an itchy, rough sore throat for days now, and you simply cannot find any relief. What are you going to do? While relieving and healing a sore throat can be difficult, we have done our research to find you the best natural remedies. Gargling salt water is one of the fastest, easiest home remedies for your irritating sore throat.

What Treats the Common Cold?

We usually associate a sore throat with the common cold, so we look first to treat the cold as well as the scratchy throat. While a cold usually does have to "run its course," a number of supplements can be used to get better quicker and offer some relief in the meantime. Supplements like vitamin C, Echinacea, and herbal tea offer relief and also deliver important vitamins and minerals that help restore the immune system. When treating a cold or a sore throat of any type, we suggest avoiding over-the-counter medications as these typically do little to actually heal the body, but simply offer temporary relief.

Will Gargling Salt Water Actually Help?

When we investigated the salt water gargle as a treatment option, we discovered that it offers relief and also speeds healing. While some may consider a salt water gargle to be an old "folk remedy," salt water and many similar home cures are actually the most effective treatments..

How Does It Work?

A salt water gargle serves as a saline rinse for the throat and mouth. It rinses the bacteria from the throat, which helps speed healing. The salt also helps relieve inflammation in the throat, so it offers immediate relief.

How Do I Gargle?

To gargle with salt water, you first need to create the saline solution. Mix 3 teaspoons of sea salt (or regular salt) into 2 cups of warm water until it dissolves. Then, gargle with the mixture, spitting out and repeating several times. You can repeat this process as many as 2 to 3 times a day as needed.

If you are trying to treat a stubborn sore throat, you know it can be difficult to find something that works. A salt water gargle is one of the best options we've tried, and we hope it works for you too. Please let us know if you've tried the salt water gargle and how it worked for you.


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User Ratings

YEA (26)
65%
NAY (11)
28%
BETTER BUT NOT CURED (3)
8%

User Reviews

Salt Water Gargle   26  11   

Posted by Unknown User (Land Of The Free!, Idaho United States) on 11/23/2012

[NAY]  It did not work at all! It worked for like 10 minutes and afterwards I felt like crap.... It makes your throat dry and miserable. I highly don't recommend it.

Posted by Littleleto (Tampa, Florida) on 08/05/2011

[YEA]  Oh my GOD!!!! I had a sore throat last night. ( just a small one! ) I looked at this site and saw things that help. I used listerine and gargled it. Then I got warm saltwater and swallowed it instead. It works better when you swallow it! It worked amaizingly its almost gone. Later in the morning im gonna take a warm shower. And thank you soooo much for the tips!!!!

Replied by Kenji
Kofu, Yamanashi, Japan
10/28/2011
It is deeply unpleasant and not a total cure but it certainly works.
Replied by Ly
Norwich, England
11/23/2011
I am in so much pain with my throat that I've been awake all night, I really could cry, I've just tried this remedie but I can't even seem to hold a gargle for more than a second, is there any other way I could get this to work. Thank you Ly x
Replied by Debbie
Melbourne, Australia
11/23/2011
You could get a spray bottle and spray into the back of your throat. Add some cayenne pepper into warm liquid and spray that down the throat.
Replied by Paloomi
Odek, Uganda
07/04/2012
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   It helped, but not 100%.

Posted by Adam (Richmond Hill, Ontario, Canada) on 06/24/2011

[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]  I just recovered from an overnight flu and I am only 13 and got a really sore throat. I read some of the remedies on this site and I saw a bunce of combinations of salt and vinegar, since I had no vinegar, I took half a cup of warm water put a good amount of salt in it and gargled about 3 times.

Before I tried this remidee whenever I swalowed I felt an enormous amount of pain in the back of my throat, and after gargling my throat still hurts a bit, but still hurts way less than before, I will keep doing this about once an hr and maybe get some vinegar, just one question, do I swallow the substances or spit them out after gargling?

Thank You

Replied by Lily
Brisbane, Queensland, Australia
06/27/2011
Hi Adam, you spit out the salt water. Whenever you gargle anything you are supposed to spit it out. Doctors often advise salt water gargling for tonsilitus. Good luck Lily.
Replied by Thuto
Katlehong, Southafrica
07/04/2012
Should I really gargle with salt. There is no electricity where I am which means no warm water what must I really do?

Posted by Maverick (Lafarge, Wisconson Usa) on 08/03/2010

[YEA]  Hey thanx Chuck going to the Wisconsin dells tomorrow and I think you might have saved me.

Posted by Chuck (Uxbridge, Ontario, Canada) on 03/10/2010

[YEA]  Simple: im going to Europe for 10 days tomorrow and i came home today with a sore throat, major bummer. Anyways, i typed in "sore throat remedies" and was brought to the attention of this site. I scrolled down to the salt and water one, and am now on the road to recovery. All it took was 2 cups of water and 3 tspns. of salt. PRAISE SALT!

Posted by Christian (Toledo, Ohio) on 07/06/2009

[YEA]  Its 10:25 here in Ohio, and im home alone. having a sore throut kills but the salt water remedy works!!!

Posted by Gianna (Discovery Bay, California) on 03/13/2009

[YEA]  I have been feeling sick for the past few days, buy as usual mom made me go to school for finals. I hadnt been getting much rest and the pain was getting worse, i needed help. i had to go to school, so i knew i needed an easy way to get relief. I tried gargling salt water, but didnt last too long as i had hoped. so the next morning i put salt in a warm water bottle and every time my throat would hurt i would go to the bathroom and gargle.suprisingly it worked!i made it through finals and eventually started feeling better and better:)

Posted by Rosa (Chicago, Il) on 02/18/2009

[YEA]  warm salt water for relief of sore throat; I was looking for a desparate cure for a severe sore throat late at nignt w/o having to use meds and this remedy helped immediatly. I used 2cups warm water with 3tspns salt and gargaled with it, the results helped the swelling go down immediatly and helped me sleep asap. when I woke up I repeated the treatment and the results improved drasticly. It will take a few times to completely get rid of the sore throat.

Replied by Hisham
Isa Town, Bahrai
11/09/2009
[BETTER BUT NOT CURED]   Woooh! The salt gurgle treatment is great. It has taken away most of the pain but i am goin to keep repeating the treatment until it has tottally gone.THANK U SALT!!!
Replied by Ladywisdom
Miami, Fl
10/03/2011
[YEA]   I almost can swear by this old remedy: when a sore throat appears, gargle with warm water, salt and lemon/lime juice (acv will do too). It should be gone by the end of your gargle. For variety, add a tsp. of honey

Posted by Chloe (Baltimore, MD) on 02/07/2009

[YEA]  Dear Friends,

Its about 8:15 here in Baltimore and a freezing cold morning. I was trying to get some more rest to hoping this was just temporary. Well, as it turns out, I actually have a severe sinus infection and the flu, I logged on to Google and typed 'Remedies for Sore Throats.' I clicked on the link to this website and scrolled through the options, where I decided to try this one. 1 word - YEA! I mixed about half a teaspoon of salt and warm water into a mug and gargled, it instantly soothed my throat and took pain and itchiness away. Let's get well together.

Posted by Sara (Jacsonville, Florida USA) on 11/30/2008

[NAY]  the salt and water so works.......wrong! it hurt my throat even worst.

Replied by G
Jacksonville, Fl
12/29/2011
[NAY]   Salt water garggle does not work. It provides slight relief for a few minutes. It is also unpleasant. I suggest ginger and honey tea instead.
Replied by Emma
Glasgow, Scotland
02/10/2012
Yea gargling warm salt water made my throat a whole lot painfuller but what I found works, is if you fill up a glass of cold water and add a teaspoon of salt mix it and then drink it you get instant relief.. Hope this helps but yea salt is a life saver!
Replied by Ty
London
07/01/2012
Umm, just for the people who are saying it hurt loads, It's MEANT to hurt, it's like if you rub alcohol on a wound to sterilise something it will hurt right? There's a Chinese saying, No Pain, No Gain.

Posted by Moe Fizpatrick (Newbury, VT USA) on 10/02/2008

[YEA]  For my sore throat, i tried gurgling saltwater. I have been using this trick since i was a little kid. It's never failed me, just like may Dad used to say. It does kinda taste bad after, but it goes away really fast. Hope i helped!

Posted by Kaila (Springdale, Arkansas) on 07/13/2008

[YEA]  Welll i try salt and vinigar with hot water to gurgle. It might taste odd but it helps alot. Use five teaspoons of salt and a half cup a vinigar. but it does not mater how much water you use! Hope it helps!

Replied by Samantha
Edmonton, Canada
09/12/2008
[YEA]   yea thanks alot it really helped me i always used to gargle warm salty water but never tried putting vinegar in it!! thanks so much.

Posted by David (Dallas, Texas) on 05/27/2008

[YEA]  Sore Throat Remedy Feedback: YEA this works. The saline solution numbs the pharnyx, leaving you with no pain at all! This is byfar an extremly well remedy!

Replied by Alexis
Essexville, Mi Usa
02/20/2011
YES!!!!!! This helps A LOT!! I've had a sore throat for 3 days now and this defiantly helps :D

Posted by Carla (Cork, Ireland) on 05/12/2008

[YEA]  its a well know fact that the most basic remedies work the best and salt and water is no exception salt is know for its anti-septic properties, and, although it may not cause instant pain relief, it will remove the harmful bacteria causing the sore throat. just mix 2 teaspoons of salt with a mug of warm-hot water (the warm water willl help sterilse the surface of the throat) gargle 2-3 times a day and within a day or so your sore throat will dissapear! this is an ideal subsitute for anti-biotics and other harsh treatments. hope you feel better!!

Posted by Rin (Camas, WA) on 12/23/2007

[YEA]  My daughter has a bad case of mono. Her tonsils were so swollen they were touching her uvula and she couldn't swallow any pain meds. We were having her gargle with a salt rinse, with no real relief. We called my inlaws and they suggested rinsing with a tsp of bs in lukewarm water followed by the salt rinse every two hours. Amazing! My daughter's tonsils are a little less swollen and it took the pain away for her to sleep for a lot longer last night. I found your site this morning when I was researching bs rinses. The doctor's we saw never even suggested it.

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