If you've ever woken up one morning and felt that tiniest of tiny lumps developing in the back of your throat, then you know the dread of it developing into a full blown cold or worse. Well, at the first sign of feeling the symptoms, there's actually something you can do to prevent it! Read on to find out how.

Things You Will Need

Water Salt Microwave or stove Cup

Step 1

You need to first make some warm, drinkable water. You can pour it into a cup and microwave for 45 seconds, or use a stove to heat up some water. You only need it to be warm, not hot or boiling.

Step 2

Next, take some salt and pour it into the water and mix well. There is no precise amount of salt that you need, but if you taste it, it should taste as salty as sea water. If you don't know what that tastes like, then think of a really salty soup. Then add enough salt so it is slightly more salty than that. The more salt you add, the more effective this procedure works, but it will also be a lot more painful...

Step 3

"Whoah! Whadya mean painful", you ask? Well, the next step involves rinsing your entire nasal passage with the saline solution. The theory behind this technique is that the saline solution quickly dries out some of the surface cells in your nasal passageway through a process called osmosis. It's sort of like how firemen burn out a stretch of forest to prevent fire from spreading. The salt in this case, draws out all the water from the cells on the surface. Since viruses tend to spread and attach themselves to these vulnerable cells, by shriveling them up, you take away their ability to spread and cause disease. The virus now has nowhere to go and is quickly taken care of by local immune cells. Thus, the more salt you use in your solution, the more effective the rinsing will be. However, I must warn you that it can sting like fire at higher salt levels. It is a worthwhile sacrifice in my opinion because a couple seconds of uncomfort and pain is well worth averting a weeks worth of misery.

Step 4

Gargle with the salt solution for a while to rinse your throat. Now's the hard part. You have to breath the solution in, while keeping your mouth shut, so the fluid goes through your entire nasal passage. It might be difficult the first couple times, but eventually, you'll get the hang of it. Stop once you feel it in your mouth and hold it there for a while. This will let the salt do it's work.

Step 5

If you can't stand the pain anymore or have held it for 10 seconds, then spit out all the water and have some tissues ready.
Even a modest rinse should keep any viruses from spreading. You don't have to do it with high concentrations or even hold it. I just like to be sure if I'm doing it already.

Tips & Warnings