4 Gargling Benefits and How It Could Benefit Leaky Gut |

4 Gargling Benefits and How It Could Benefit Leaky Gut

Maria March 23, 2016
4 Gargling Benefits and How it Could Benefit those with Leaky Gut
Photo Credit: Flickr Creative Commons

By Maria, Contributing Writer

I grew up in Bulgaria where gargling was taught early and used often.  Pretty much every time my sister and I would have a sore throat we would be told to gargle boiled Tetra or Smradlika, a medicinal plant that only grows in our part of the world and boy, does it taste gross.  Thankfully, there is an alternative, gentler remedy for a sore throat.

Naturally, one would think that I would continue in this tradition with my son.  However, at 3.5 years I had still not attempted to teach him how to gargle.   Then I watched a video interview with Dr. Datis Kharrazian speaking about the brain and gut connection.  In it, he talked about gargling benefits as a way to heal the brain gut connections.  All the information he presented applied to my son, who has intestinal permeability (leaky gut).  I’d been making him the best foods and giving him supplements to help heal his gut for a while; yet my lingering question was always, when will he stop needing these digestive support supplements?

Months later, my son is now a pro at gargling and I’ve noticed some other benefits that I’m going to share.  All children and people are different, so take the information and decide how, and if, you would like to apply it.

4 Gargling Benefits and How It Could Benefit Leaky Gut

4 Gargling Benefits

#1 Soothes Sore Throat

Instructions: gargle purified warm (almost hot) water with lots of sea salt.  Use approx. 1/2 tsp of salt to 1/2 cup water.  This will provide temporary relief to your sore throat and will need repeating.  I must add that our medicinal herb, despite it tasting gross, was really more effective than the salt water.

There are a multitude of other warm recipes to gargle, including broth, but it is best to keep it simple when you introduce to a child.  They will like to be involved and shake the salt in their own cup!

#2 Removes Mucus in the Throat

Instructions: gargling helps extract that yucky mucous you get in your throat when you have a cold or suffer from post-nasal drip.

My son would urgently tell me that he needed to gargle when he had mucous running down his throat.  Additionally, you really want to encourage your child not to swallow mucous.  It is full of bacteria and or viruses, which can upset a sensitive tummy; i.e. have low gut microbiome diversity, Candida or a leaky gut.

#3 Improves Children’s Oral Hygiene

Gargling emphasizes the need to spit instead of swallow and is a gateway to teaching how to swish liquid in the mouth.

After teaching my son this technique he learned to stop swallowing his toothpaste and spat it out instead.  He became more open to swishing water in his mouth, and spitting out any residue toothpaste.

#4 Neurological Rehabilitative Exercise

This is possibly the single most important reason to gargle daily.

Instructions: gargle aggressively (loudly) and make it a habit.  The key is to do it multiple times a day, so add it to something you plan to do habitually, every day.  It may help to have a thermos of warm water with you or located where you plan to gargle.

This exercise helps with Brain to Gut Access Disorder, which may be particularly helpful for those suffering from Intestinal Permeability (“Leaky Gut”).  Specifically, if you have been trying to heal your leaky gut with the proper diet / supplements and are still not seeing a full recovery, this could be a critical missing piece to your healing journey.

In the video interview, Dr. Datis Kharrazian explains the methods by which you can tell if a person has a brain to gut access disorder.  First, you must listen to the sounds the digestive system makes with a stethoscope.  There are normal sounds similar to a heart beat in that it is rapid and repetitive and then there are the very slow and intermittent sounds.  If you have the latter, then you may have a brain to gut access disorder.

Second, you can watch for signs that the patient is suffering from a motility issue, which is the pace of how fast or slow the food is moving through the body.  Motility, the movement of food through your gut is a brain phenomenon.  Does the patient need to drink coffee to get bowel movement, or take other supplements like magnesium or natural laxatives?

The gargling benefits described by the Doctor were how gargling, and even singing loudly, helps re-create those brain connections needed to neurologically release digestive enzymes and stomach acid.  The brain needs to fire neuron connections to your vagus nerve, and your vagus needs to establish connections to your gut nervous system for it all to function the way it was designed.

Which Gargling Benefits Are of the Most Interest to You?  Are You Interested in a Follow-Up Post on Tips to Teach Your Children How to Gargle?

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Maria is originally from Bulgaria, moved abroad with her family after communism fell and later settled in the States. She speaks / comprehends five languages and has a Bachelors in Business and Finance. She has been with her husband for 14+ years, since they met on a cruise. Being immersed into various cultures, economic environments and personal experiences, have taught her to always question the status quo; be it education, health, parenting, economics, societal issues and more. She is an activist on medical freedom and is passionate about living holistically, practicing yoga and meditation. Maria and her husband have a 4 year old poppy son who loves music, drumming, reading, numbers and most of all being silly with his friends but just don't ask him to color, he may just write on your shirt instead.


  1. Thanks for posting this Maria. I adopted my seven year old granddaughter who has severe leaky gut from vaccine poisoning and amalgam crowns and fillings. I have her on many supplements and a GAPS type diet but i had never heard of the gargling connection before. I am always looking for any information on leaky gut, especially healing diets/foods, supplements and herbs and any practices. She is so sad she can’t have any Easter goodies with her class, there are a few organic treats she can handle if she doesn’t cheat and eat refined/GMO etc. Thank you again, Heidi and Harlow


  2. Heidi, you are very welcome and best of luck to heal your granddaughter. I’ve also been healing my son’s leaky gut for the last 3 years starting with the GAPS diet and later transitioning to a more customized diet for him. I know how difficult and rewarding helping them heal is first hand.


  3. Maria, I am grateful for this information, as I couldn’t remember where I had previously found it, was looking for it on Dr. Perlmutter’s page and couldn’t locate it until I found your blog. Thank you very much, all mothers need this, not to speak of adults, for whom this is also helpful. I grew up in Switzerland, we always gargled. So thanks again to a fellow European. Henriette


  4. What else would you suggest to gargle with for leaky gut?


    • The easiest gargle mixture is a 1/2 tsp of salt to 1/2 cup of warm water, but here are some other ideas you can do: chamomile tea, diluted apple cider vinegar (same ratio, 1/2 tsp ACV to 1/2 cup of warm water), lemon water, or peppermint tea.


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Hi, I’m Kate.  I love medical freedom, sharing natural remedies, developing real food recipes, and gentle parenting. My goal is to teach you how to live your life free from Big Pharma, Big Food, and Big Government by learning about herbs, cooking, and sustainable practices.

I’m the author of Natural Remedies for Kids and the owner and lead herbalist at EarthleyI hope you’ll join me on the journey to a free and healthy life!

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