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Winter period is usually reserved for a season of flu and colds. This time of year, it is especially hard to escape without a single cold and infection. A healthy diet may help strengthen the immune system and give your body the best chance of fighting colds. Besides taking a lot of vitamin C, and eating a lot of fruits and vegetables, and combining these dietary habits with a good balance of exercise and sleep, one is also advised to gargle with salted water, to ease cold symptoms and stay healthy during the cold and flu season.

How to Use a Salt Water Gargle

A simple saltwater gargle is prepared by dissolving 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoons of salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm water and use it as you would any mouthwash, by throwing your head back and gargling right before it hits the cartilaginous flap in the back of your throat. Be sure to keep your head way back. The germs are usually residing far back in the throat and this is the only way to reach all of those contaminated parts of the body. Try not to swallow any of the gargle. Drop your head back down and spit the gargle out. Repeat a couple of times during the day.

Gargling Salt Water Benefits

Gargling salt water may help with a sore, itchy throat and respiratory congestion. Problems with throat are actually caused by inflammation of the tissues. A sense of fullness and difficulty swallowing are both related to swelling of the tissue lining the throat, known as mucosa. Saline solution works by drawing excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less. Salt water gargle may also loosen thick mucus and help to remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat. If the gargle has a higher salt concentration than patient cells' salt concentration, it will tend to draw out some of the fluid from the swollen mucosa of the throat. Some of the symptoms will improve, but salt water gargle can’t cure the infection and remove the cause of the sore throat.

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