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Gargling with Beer Chases Sore Throat Away

Gargling with Beer Chases Sore Throat Away

Q. I just read the letter from a reader who had recurrent sinus infections for years. I too had this same problem in my 20s and 30s. I found a remedy that worked for me.

Alcohol is widely used for disinfecting, right? I started gargling with beer or wine as soon as I felt that itchy/scratchy feeling in the throat at the onset of a cold. I continued drinking a can of beer or a glass of wine a day. I noticed this seemed to stop the progress of the cold and the sinus infection dead in its tracks.

This method worked so well that I never stopped the treatment. I haven’t had a cold or sinus infection since then. I am now 79 and still enjoy my daily glass of wine. And no, I am not an alcoholic.

A. We’ve heard of gargling with salt water, but not beer or wine. Then again, people gargle with Listerine, which has quite a lot of alcohol. We can’t recommend your unusual approach but we’re intrigued that you have had such success. There are a number of other remedies for sore throats in our Guide to Colds, Coughs and the Flu.

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About the Author
Terry Graedon, PhD, is a medical anthropologist and co-host of The People’s Pharmacy radio show, co-author of The People’s Pharmacy syndicated newspaper columns and numerous books, and co-founder of The People’s Pharmacy website. Terry taught in the Duke University School of Nursing and was an adjunct assistant professor in the Department of Anthropology. She is a Fellow of the Society of Applied Anthropology. Terry is one of the country's leading authorities on the science behind folk remedies. .
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