Sore throats, toothaches, postnasal drip, bee stings, mosquito bites, painful gums, poison ivy, and poison oak are some of the ailments for which salt has been prescribed. Modern science doesn’t endorse all of the traditional uses of salt, but this article offers a picture of the seemingly endless healing qualities salt may have.
Sore Throat: The simplest remedy for minor sore throat pain is a warm saltwater gargle (no matter how much you dislike the taste!). Just add 1 teaspoon salt to 8 ounces warm water, and gargle several times a day. See a physician if the sore throat persists longer than 3 days or is accompanied by a high fever.
Burns or Injuries: A severe burn in your mouth from eating something very hot can be relieved by rinsing with saltwater every hour or so. Use 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces warm water.
Biting the tongue or cheek can result in a large amount of blood but is rarely serious. To help ease the pain, rinse mouth with 1 teaspoon salt in 1 cup warm water.
Gums: Swish with 1 teaspoon salt in 4 ounces warm water when gums are painful. If you have an abscess, the salt will draw out some of the infection. Any gum pain should be treated by a dentist as soon as possible.
Toothaches: As a temporary remedy for a toothache before going to the dentist, rinse your mouth with a mixture of 4 ounces warm water, 2 tablespoons vinegar, and 1 tablespoon salt.
Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda to 8 ounces warm (not hot) water. Gargle with the mixture 3 times a day to ease your sore throat. If pain persists longer than 3 days, contact a physician.
Nose: Make your own saline nose drops to use for controlling annoying postnasal drip. People with sleep apnea, a condition that involves a dangerous interruption of breathing while asleep, may also want to try these drops to help keep nasal passages open.
When Summer’s Not Fun
Summer can be fun when you’re not dealing with the traumas of the season. Salt can help those go much easier.
Bee stings and bug bites: Work a mixture of salt and water into a paste that will stick to a bee sting or bug bite. Apply the paste, and let sit until dry. This should relieve any itch or pain.
Combine equal parts baking soda and salt, then brush onto a sting or bite area to help relieve itch.
Treat a mosquito bite by soaking it for a few minutes in saltwater, then applying an ointment made of salt and lard.
Poison ivy and poison oak: Help poison ivy clear up more quickly by soaking irritated skin in hot saltwater.
Allergies: Irrigating the nostrils and sinuses with saltwater is an excellent way to control persistent, annoying allergy symptoms.
Dissolve 1/2 teaspoon salt in 8 ounces room temperature water. Draw mixture into a nose dropper, and inhale liquid through your nostrils. Repeat several times for each nostril, using 2 or 3 drops of the solution each time. When you are through, blow your nose until no discharge remains.