Sipping warm salt water relieves sore throats caused by colds and allergies. But there’s more to it! We all need a small amount of sodium or salt to maintain proper fluid function and electrolyte levels in the body. So, mixing salt in water and drinking promotes hydration, electrolyte balance and digestion. Drinking salt water can also help you strengthen the immune system.
Salt water is good for overall health, says Dr Sumol Ratna, General Physician at Noida International Institute of Medical Science.
7 health benefits of warm salt water
1. Rehydration and electrolyte balance
Drinking water in any form helps you stay hydrated but salt water helps maintain the right electrolyte balance as well. Dr Ratna says, “To function at its best, the human body needs a precise balance of electrolytes, including sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium. So, when you consume salt water in moderation, it can help replenish these essential electrolytes lost during physical activity, in hot conditions, or illness.” Your muscles, nerves and bodily systems will function more effectively if you drink salt water.
2. Promotes digestive health
When consumed in moderation, salt water can help promote better digestion. A 2010 study in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine showed that salt water can help with bowel movements. It may increase the secretion of digestive fluids, which will aid in the breakdown of food in the stomach and enhance the absorption of nutrients. Furthermore, it helps keep the stomach’s pH level regulated, which is necessary for the best possible digestion.
Drinking salt water may have detoxifying properties, which can help flush out toxic compounds from your body via sweating. In addition, salt water can activate the kidneys and liver, which helps the body eliminate waste. This can result in improved overall health and well-being.
4. Good for skin
Salt water can also improve your skin health. When applied topically, salt water can help exfoliate and rejuvenate the skin, reducing acne, psoriasis, and eczema symptoms. But when you drink salt water, it may contribute to clearer and healthier skin by helping to balance the body’s pH levels, reducing inflammation, and eliminating toxins.
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5. Prevents respiratory problems
When our throat feels a little irritated, our moms always suggest gargling with warm salt water and drinking it. According to an in vivo study, salt water blocks the responses of immunoglobulin E (IgE), histamine, and proinflammatory cytokines, which can also cause an allergic reaction. Dr Ratna also says, “Salt water helps to break down mucus, lessen inflammation, and reduce discomfort, which enhances overall lung and respiratory function, making it a potential home remedy for colds, allergies, and other respiratory ailments.
6. Boosts weight loss
Not directly but drinking salt water in moderation may indirectly help with weight management. It may help cleanse your digestive system and eliminate toxins and waste, which can contribute to maintaining a healthy weight.
7. Stress reduction
The soothing and calming effects of salt water are well known. It helps promote relaxation and reduce stress levels. Dr Ratna says, “The minerals in salt water, such as magnesium, have a calming effect on the nervous system, helping you feel more at ease and improving your mental well-being.”
Is warm salt water better than normal salt water?
Drinking salt water is generally good for your health. However, warm salt water is often recommended for its soothing and therapeutic effects. It can help with digestion, respiratory issues and stress reduction. It can be used as a home remedy to treat sore and irritated throat due to allergies or colds. Ensure that the salt is dissolved completely before drinking to avoid any discomfort or irritation. Also, drink it in moderation.
While there are several health benefits of drinking seawater, moderation is key. Drinking too much salt can cause many health issues, such as elevated blood pressure and reduced kidney function.