Study: Gargling no help for laryngitis

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Gargling for a sore throat and laryngitis is an ineffective home remedy, claims Robert J. Feder, M.D. He performed x-ray studies of the throats of 15 men and women after they gargled with meglumine diatrizoate. In all subjects, the fluid never reached the larynx, and gargling actually increased throat irritation, he said. Dr. Feder offered these alternatives:

Use a steam vaporizer for 5 minutes to moisten the pharynx and larynx.
Drink plenty of tepid water to keep the throat moist; avoid cold water or ice, which constrict the vocal cords.
Talk, don't whisper -- it strains the vocal cords.
Suck onglycerin-based honey, wild cherry, or black currant lozenges; mint and menthol flavors dry throat tissues.
Don't clear the throat -- it also irritates throat tissues.
Dr. Feder is assistant professor of otolaryngology, head and neck surgery, School of Medicine, University of California, Los Angeles.

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