It is highly recommended for cold prevention in Japan, but in the Western world, we usually think of gargling as something quaint and old-fashioned.
However, a study performed in 2005 discovered that doing something as simple as salt water gargling effectively prevents respiratory infections in healthy people.
The study concluded that “this virtually cost-free modality would appreciably benefit people both physically and economically around the world.”
Health and Economic Benefits
“How can gargling have an economic benefit?” you might ask.
The majority of Americans have an average of two and a half colds per year. This can add up in terms of missing work and paying for medications. Gargling, on the other hand, costs practically nothing but the price of a few tablespoons of salt.
“This is one of the landmark findings that I’m afraid no one will ever hear about because no one profits (other than all those who don’t get sick!),” says Dr. Michael Greger.
How to Prevent a Cold by Gargling
If you’re not sure exactly how to gargle, preventative medicine expert Dr. Klaper advises the following:
“Take a glass of warm water, add a pinch of salt, hold the glass of salt water in your hand, open your mouth, and take a deep breath. Tilt your head back, slide a generous mouthful to the back of your throat, and, with your mouth still open, gently breathe out through the water. Continue until the end of the breath, and then spit it into the sink. Repeat until the full glass of salt water is used.”
Yes, this procedure will look and sound silly, but if you think about the health benefits and the fact that it only takes a minute to do, it’s definitely worthwhile.