Home Therapies Gargling – a proven home remedy

Gargling – a proven home remedy

by Josephine Andrews
Published: Last Updated on 398 views

Inflammation of the gums, bad breath, sore throat – gargling can help with a wide variety of complaints in the mouth and throat. If you gargle with the right additive, you can fight viruses, bacteria, inflammation and the pain associated with it directly on the spot. But how do you make gargling solutions? Which additives help against which complaints? And when should you stop gargling? Here you can find out everything you need to know about gargling as a home remedy.

What is gargling?

Gargling is the prolonged rinsing of the mouth and throat with a healing liquid. This is usually water mixed with salt, medicinal herbs or essential oils. But you can also gargle with pure oil.

How does gargling work?

Gargling can have a disinfecting, pain-relieving and anti-inflammatory effect. The additives used play a decisive role in this. For example, apple cider vinegar and salt water have a disinfecting effect, and chamomile has anti-inflammatory and soothing properties. Gargling also keeps the mouth and throat moist, so viruses and bacteria can spread less quickly.

What ailments does gargling help with?

Gargling has proven effective for sore throats, sore throats and throat infections (e.g. tonsillitis) and open wounds in the mouth area, such as oral thrush. Gargling solutions with salt, sage , apple cider vinegar, tea tree oil or hydrogen peroxide are recommended for these symptoms.

In the case of acute infections in the mouth and throat, a doctor should first clarify the cause and prescribe the appropriate treatment – especially in children. Gargling can then support the therapy.

In addition, gargling—along with regular dental care—can help prevent tooth decay and bad breath, as well as treat gingivitis. Gargling solutions with salt, tea tree oil or apple cider vinegar, for example, are recommended for this.

How to gargle

Depending on what ailments you want to treat with gargling, you can use water with different additives. For example, salt, herbal remedies such as sage and chamomile, apple cider vinegar and essential oils such as peppermint or tea tree oil have proven effective.

You can gargle with olive oil instead of water. Oil pulling is known from Ayurvedic medicine. The oral cavity is rinsed with olive oil for 5 to 10 minutes.

You can use regular table salt for the salt solution. Apple cider vinegar and olive oil are available in grocery stores. Essential oils and medicinal herbs are available from pharmacies, for example.

To gargle properly, take a sip of the gargling liquid (about a shot glassful) into your mouth. Tilt your head back so the liquid goes down your throat. Hold your breath and start gargling. Before you breathe in again, you must stop gargling. Repeat this process for about five minutes.

Do not swallow the gargle solution! Especially mixtures with salt or essential oils can irritate the mucous membranes of the throat, esophagus , stomach and intestines .

Gargle with salt water

Gargling with salt is said to help with small injuries in the mouth and irritated mucous membranes. Gargling with salt water also helps with a sore throat. A disinfectant, anti-inflammatory, decongestant and antibacterial effect is attributed to the salt water gargle.

To gargle with salt, mix 1 teaspoon of salt with 250ml of lukewarm water. The salt dissolves faster in it than in cold water. Stir the mixture until the salt crystals have completely dissolved.

Gargle with this salt water solution for about five minutes every two to three hours. You should gargle with salt no more than six times a day.

Gargle with tea tree oil

Tea tree oil has proven itself for gargling sore throats and for dental care.

Tea tree gargle for sore throat

Mix two drops of tea tree oil with some (apple) vinegar and a cup of lukewarm water. Gargle with this solution twice a day.

Tea tree gargling solution for dental care

The following recipe is recommended for the prevention of tooth decay and for the accompanying treatment of periodontitis , sores and ulcers in the mouth: Mix a drop of tea tree oil with half a cup of warm water and gargle with it three times a day.

Gargle with sage

Sage is a proven remedy for sore throats and inflammation of the mouth and throat. You can use the essential oil from the medicinal plant or sage tea for gargling.

Sage oil for gargling

Here’s a quick and easy way to get a powerful sage oil gargling mixture: First, mix 2-3 drops of sage oil with a tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (this helps the oil and water bond). Then mix it all together with a cup of lukewarm water. You can gargle with this mixture several times a day.

Sage tea for gargling

Instead of sage oil, you can use sage tea to gargle.

This is how the tea is prepared: Pour 150 milliliters of boiling water over three grams of sage leaves. Cover and let the mixture steep for about ten minutes. Then pour the tea through a sieve and gargle with the still warm sage solution.

The maximum daily dose is four to six grams of sage leaves.

Gargle with apple cider vinegar

Apple cider vinegar has a disinfecting effect. Gargling with apple cider vinegar several times a day can help with inflammation in the mouth and throat. To do this, add about two teaspoons of apple cider vinegar to a glass of water. Gargle with it for about five minutes.

Gargle with hydrogen peroxide

Hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) has a disinfecting effect and can eliminate bad odors (deodorizing effect). Gargling with diluted hydrogen peroxide is therefore suitable for inflammation of the mucous membranes such as tonsillitis (tonsillitis) and for oral hygiene.

After gargling, be sure to spit out the hydrogen peroxide mixture and never swallow it. Because H2O2 attacks the mucous membranes in the throat, esophagus, stomach and intestines.

If you want to gargle with hydrogen peroxide, you should first get a maximum of three percent hydrogen peroxide from the pharmacy. Add 1 tablespoon to 200 milliliters of water. You can gargle or rinse your mouth with this solution for 60 to 90 seconds.

Gargle with undiluted oil

Undiluted oil is also suitable for gargling. For example, gargling with olive oil is recommended. The so-called oil pulling is known from Ayurveda medicine and is said to support the immune system. The oil covers the (possibly irritated) mucous membrane in the mouth and throat like a film, keeps it moist and protects it from invading pathogens.

If you want to try oil pulling, it is best to use high-quality, pure olive oil. Take a sip of it in your mouth, draw the liquid through your gums and teeth and gargle with it. The application should take about five to ten minutes and can be carried out several times a day.

When is gargling discouraged?

Basically, gargling is considered a gentle, well-tolerated household remedy. However, caution is advised if you have an allergy to the ingredients of a gargling solution. Then you should definitely not use them.

During pregnancy and breastfeeding, as well as with children, you should first ask your doctor which additives are suitable for gargling. This is especially true if you want to use essential oils.

The use of essential oils should always be discussed first with a specialist (e.g. aromatherapist or doctor with appropriate additional training) for older people and people with certain underlying diseases (such as asthma). Some oils are not suitable for certain patient groups – neither for gargling nor otherwise.

Children should generally only gargle when they can reliably spit out liquids.

Home remedies have their limits. If your symptoms persist over a long period of time, do not get better or even get worse, you should always consult a doctor.

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