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why does salt water help a sore throat

Although there s no hard evidence that it works, sap from the marshmallow plant has been used for hundreds of yearsБusually in tea formБto treat coughs, colds, and sore throats. And while real marshmallow bears little relation to the puffy campfire treats that took its name, both may have sore throat-fighting properties. According to anecdotal reports, modern-day marshmallows can help ease sore throat pain, possibly because the gelatin coats and soothes. "It s not the wackiest thing in the world," Dr. Linder says. "If your throat is really swollen and it really hurts to swallow anything, I can see how something slippery and sweet like marshmallows might provide some relief. "
THE FACTS Nothing but time can cure the, but a simple cup of salt water might ease the misery this winter.

A sore, itchy throat and respiratory are some of the more common symptoms of a cold, and gargling with salt water seems to help for several reasons. A saline solution can draw excess fluid from inflamed tissues in the throat, making them hurt less, said Dr. Philip T. Hagen, editor in chief of the БMayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies,Б which is due out in October.

Dr. Hagen pointed out that gargling also loosens thick mucus, which can remove irritants like allergens, bacteria and fungi from the throat. In a randomized study published in The American Journal of Preventive Medicine in 2005, researchers recruited almost 400 healthy volunteers and followed them for 60 days during cold and season. Some of the subjects were told to gargle three times a day. At the end of the study period, the group that regularly gargled had a nearly, and when they did get sick, Бgargling tended to attenuate bronchial symptoms,Б the researchers wrote.

Other studies According to the Mayo Clinic, for best results, dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water and gargle the solution for a few seconds before spitting it out. Adults who want a more palatable remedy against and can try mixing warm water with lemon and honey. No need to spit it out. THE BOTTOM LINE Gargling with a saline solution can ease symptoms of a cold. ANAHAD OБCONNOR

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