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Posts Tagged ‘cold symptoms’

Easing Cold Symptoms with a Home Remedy

by admin on: May 25th, 2011

While there is no simple cure to the common cold, there are several tools at our disposal to ameliorate the symptoms associated with it. Among these ???problem solvers??? are mom???s chicken soup and over-the-counter (OTC) cold medicines, as well as vitamin-fortified pills that dissolve in a glass of water. However, these aren???t the only tools available. In fact, a simple cup of warm water with teaspoon of salt is an often overlooked therapy for sore throats.

A brief column in the New York Times (September 2010) summarized that gargling with a cup of warm water and salt can ease symptoms of a cold. According to the Mayo Clinic Book of Home Remedies, a saline solution can be effective for treating inflamed tissues in the throat. Saline is a solution that is typically formulated with water and salt; many companies market specific formulations such as is found in the OTC aisles for contact lens solutions and decongestant nose sprays. When this solution is gargled, it can help draw out excess fluid, resulting in alleviation of some of the pain in the throat.

The physical act of gargling can also be beneficial. Gargling helps to loosen the thick mucus that may be in the throat and other airways in dealing with a cold or allergies. It may also remove irritants that are residing in throat, such as allergens, bacteria, and fungi.

Though the idea of gargling with a warm glass of salt water sounds ???too easy??? to be effective, there are some scientific results that support the use of this home remedy. A study conducted in 2005 followed nearly 400 people for approximately 60 days during a cold/flu season. Those that regularly gargled (three times per day) had almost a 40 percent decrease in the number of upper respiratory tract infections as compared with those who didn???t.