For generations, the warm salt water gargle, has been used by ancient healers and mothers as a way to cure an irritated, sore throat. From experience, most of us have found it effective, and some of us still use it. But where did it all start? Where did salt get its merit? And how has it evolved over time?
Here’s a little bit about salt’s role in medical history:
The Salt of the Earth
Salt has a long history—a history as long as the Earth itself, in fact. It has existed as long as water and rocks have. The ancient Chinese were the first to harvest salt from the surface of their lakes after the water had evaporated during the dry season, and they were also the first to use salt for medicinal purposes. Salt is mentioned in ancient Egyptian scripts as an essential ingredient in medical science; they believed salt had the ability to dry out and disinfect a wound. The Greeks used salt for skin lesions, digestive problems, and respiratory disease; and the Romans used it for poisonous bites and to stop bleeding.
Now, salt is widely recognized as antimicrobial. Saline solution, a solution of water and table salt (NaCl), is used in medical practices around the world to disinfect and sterilize wounds and tools. It’s no surprise that salt has been incorporated into home remedies for colds and viruses—we’ve been doing it for centuries. We are almost certain that, as a kid, your grandmother or a school nurse had you gargle with salt water to soothe an irritated sore throat, and it would seem that they were on to something.
The Benefits of the Gargle
According to science, a warm salt water gargle pulls fluids from the back of the throat, effectively flushing the virus out. But the benefits of the salt water gargle don’t stop there. Since salt is antibacterial, gargling with salt water can soothe a toothache, and it’s also great for recovery after dental surgery, as it will help with the healing process. Gargling with salt water can heal mouth sores and even provide emergency dental hygiene if you’re in a pinch.
The Evolution of the Salt Water Rinse
Just when you thought the salt water rinse couldn’t get better. For the most bang for the rinse, consider, Gargle Away® by Nature’s Jeannie™ – a new and improved version of the salt water rinse combining a powerful blend of antimicrobial, pain relieving and highly soothing ingredients. As a result, the robust rinse provides the most comprehensive and effective throat care washing away more bacteria than a traditional salt water rinse (99.9% of staph-aureus bacteria), relieving pain fast, loosening mucus, decreasing inflammation, soothing cough, and helping to restore the natural pH balance in the mouth creating an environment where bacteria struggles to survive. 100% all-natural and gluten-free, made of Himalayan salt, apple cider vinegar, licorice root, organic honey, lemon, Mediterranean oregano, and cayenne pepper. Available at Amazon.com, Wegmans Food Markets, Discount Drug Mart, Stop & Shop Supermarkets, Giant Carlisle, Giant Foods and other select retailers.
Salt has come a long way, but one thing hasn’t changed, and that is its importance in medicine. Who knows what the future of salt may hold.