When Are Gargles Effective and How to Do Them

Gargles are a home remedy people have been using since ancient times. However, not everything you hear about them is true. For example, their effectiveness against certain viruses isn't verified. Keep reading to find out more!
When Are Gargles Effective and How to Do Them

Last update: 02 June, 2021

Gargles are a home remedy people have been using for many generations to relieve sore throats. Gargling is useful in many instances but not so much in others.

Today’s article will discuss some myths and facts about gargling.

What are gargles?

Gargling is a popular home remedy. It consists of holding water or other infusions in the mouth without swallowing it and holding it at the entrance of the pharynx. At this point, you throw your head back and expel the air through the throat.

This makes the liquid that in the throat begin to bubble. It’s something similar to boiling water. Gargling hydrates the whole area of the mouth and pharynx, and sometimes can even relieve a sore throat.

How to gargle

People usually do gargles with substances that hydrate and soothe the throat like honey and lemon, or salty water with vinegar, or chamomile and honey. There are many other possible combinations.

Most people use household products as it’s a remedy people have been using for many generations.

A person in pain.
Gargling mostly benefits the throat.

When are gargles effective?

There are many reasons why a throat may be sore. Among them are tonsillitis, pharyngitis, the flu, and the common cold. It can also be due to dehydration or chills.

Gargling will hydrate the area in most instances, which usually relieves the discomfort. In addition, you wash any germs from the area if you gargle correctly. Thus, keeping them from spreading further or causing a bigger infection like tonsillitis.

How to do gargles

As we said above, it’s a matter of holding the liquid in your mouth without swallowing it. You’re to hold it at the entrance of the throat with your head tilted back, and then, expel air through it and make the liquid bubble.

You must gargle several times a day for it to be effective: when getting up, after eating, and before going to sleep. You must gargle after brushing your teeth so there’s no food in the mouth. It’ll enhance the cleansing effect.

Myths about gargling

A person doing gargles.
Some claim that gargling can prevent COVID-19 but there’s no scientific proof for it.

The situation of alarm we’re in due to the coronavirus brought about many daily myths, news, and remedies that promise a cure. One of them is gargling.

For instance, they say that gargling with warm water and vinegar, or salt, can prevent coronavirus infection. As per their logic, the virus stays in the throat for a few days and causes pain, before passing to the lungs, where it’ll lead to greater infection. Thus, gargling would clear the virus from the throat before it does.

This is a myth though. At least, there’s no scientific evidence to prove it. In any case, the World Health Organization has already disproved this.

Drinking plenty of water will always be useful to avoid dehydration in cases of fever. In addition, gargling is also useful to hydrate and soothe the throat, but won’t eliminate a virus. As you can see, it isn’t a preventing remedy.

Gargling is not always helpful

This remedy is inexpensive, harmless, and useful in many cases to relieve a sore throat and keep it hydrated. Gargling can definitely benefit you if you do it correctly, and with the recommended ingredients.

Again, it cannot protect you against COVID-19 but will relieve some of the respiratory symptoms.

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