The common cold is an unpleasant illness that leaves people feeling weak and tired. Lots of people wonder how to prevent a cold, and they try to avoid catching a cold by drinking lots of water and taking vitamins. However, there is a surprisingly easy way to prevent catching a cold.
According to The American Journal of Preventive Medicine, one of the best ways to reduce the chance of catching a cold is to gargle water. The study, which was published in 2005, followed 400 healthy volunteers for 60 days during cold season. Some of the group members were told to gargle water three times a day. At the end of the 60 days, the group that had gargled water had a 36% decrease in upper respiratory tract infections. Other studies have also found that gargling water can help prevent congestion and sore throats.
The best thing about this home remedy is that it is totally free and very effective. If you want to lower your chances of getting ill, here’s how to prevent a cold using water.
How to Prevent a Cold Using Water
Although you can gargle water by itself to reduce the chances of catching a cold, it is more effective if you use warm water with dissolved salt. The Mayo Clinic advises people to dissolve half a teaspoon of salt in a full glass of warm water, so there isn’t too little or too much salt. Gargle the water for a few seconds before spitting it out, and repeat this every couple of hours. You can also try warm water with lemon and honey (which you don’t need to spit out!).
Why Water Helps to Prevent Colds
Although scientists aren’t certain why gargling water helps to prevent colds, they have a few possible theories. One reason is that gargling loosens mucus in the throat and chest, helping to remove allergens, fungi and bacteria from the throat. Another possible reason is that the saline solution helps to draw excess fluid from the inflamed tissue in the throat, helping to remove irritants and reduce pain.
While water can be used as a preventive measure to reduce the chances of a cold, you should speak to a medical professional if you do catch a cold.
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