Salt – Essential Ingredient for Life
The human being must have salt, he cannot be without salt. Where there is no salt, nothing will remain, but everything will tend to rot.
Paracelsus (1493 – 1541 A.D)
Without salt, life itself would not be possible. Salt is as important to life as oxygen and water. All living things utilise salt as an essential ingredient for life. In ancient times, salt was as valued a commodity as gold. In fact, salt was one of the first commodities known to mankind. Salt bars were used as a currency for more than 1,000 years in Ethiopia. In ancient Rome, soldiers were paid in ‘solarium argentums’, which became the English word “salary”.
In recent years there has been a lot of confusion spread by the media with regards to the use of salt. The misinformation regarding salt originates from studies done on refined salt. Today we can see that there are a number of commonly held beliefs regarding salt:
- There is no difference between refined and unrefined salt.
- A low-salt diet is healthy.
- Salt = hypertension.
Myth No. 1 – Refined Salt Vs. Unrefined Salt
Refined salt is a devitilised, life-less, dead, toxic product that doesn’t belong in our bodies. Even many sea salts are highly refined and can cause nutrient imbalances and mineral deficiencies.
Refined table salt contains:
- Sodium Ferrocyanide
- Ammonium Citrate
- Aluminium Silicate
- Dextrose (stabiliser to hold iodine in salt)
Excess refined salt supplies the body with too much sodium and not enough minerals. The adrenal glands are very sensitive to sodium and mineral intake. Long-term mineral deficiency and/or sodium excess will lead to adrenal exhaustion with symptoms such as:
- Brain Fog
- Hair loss
- Inability to exercise
- Low blood pressure
- Muscle and joint aches
- Thyroid problems
Un-refined salt by contrast is a nutrient-rich product that has multiple health benefits for the body. It contains a full spectrum of minerals such as magnesium potassium, calcium, iron, silicon, iodine and manganese. In fact un-refined salt contains over 80 minerals. In contrast refined salt contains NO minerals.There are many types of un-refined salt, but one of the best is Celtic Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt is harvested using the same method of gathering salt as the ancient Celts used over 2,000 years ago.
- Celtic sea salt is harvested near the coast of north-western France.
- Ocean water is channeled through a series of clay-lined ponds.
- Evaporation of ocean water by wind and sun leaves brine.
- Brine is gathered by wooden tools.
- Salt crystals are formed from the brine.
Myth No. 2 – A low-salt diet is healthy
Low-salt diets lead to:
- pH problems – acidity.
- Increased incidence of cardiovascular diseases and mortality.
- Poor lipid profiles.
- Mineral and vitamin imbalances.
- Accumulation of toxicity within the body.
The human body was designed to require and utilise unrefined salt to:
- Maintain a normal blood pressure.
- Make food palatable.
- Supply the body with an adequate supply of minerals.
Food and pH
Minerals are one of the most alkalinising agents in the body. Nearly all individuals with chronic illness(es) are lacking minerals. In addition, mineral deficiencies will lead to an acidic pH. The pH of the body is a measure of the acidity or alkalinity of the body. In an acidic body, the pH is lowered, while in an alkaline body, the pH is elevated. The body has many overlapping mechanisms designed to keep the pH of the body in a neutral state around pH of 7.2. In a deceased state, the body can either become too acidic or too alkaline. However, both these extremes arise from an initial rise in acidity within the body.
An acidic pH has been associated with many chronic illnesses such as:
- Auto-immune disorders
- Hormonal imbalances
Myth No. 3 – Salt = Hypertension
Un-Refined Salt and Detoxification
Salt has been used as a detoxifying agent for thousands of years. For example, salt baths, salt scrubs, salt soaks and salt caves (Halotherapy).
Water and salt together are necessary for the metabolism, detoxification and transportation of nutrients. Furthermore, adequate amounts of salt and water are integral to optimisng the function of the nervous, hormonal and immune systems. There is a fashion nowadays of people being told by the media to drink lots of water, but too much water without salt can cause heart and kidney problems and can, in extreme circumstances, be fatal. Water and salt, when taken together nourishes both the intracellular and extracellular fluid. Cells produce their waste products and release them into the extracellular fluid for transport to the kidneys. Dehydration will concentrate these waste products and acidify the tissues. This will ultimately lead to poor cell functioning and cell death.
Un-refined Salt and Anti-Ageing
The use of un-refined salt should be included in any nutritional programme that aims at anti-ageing. Un-refined salt helps the thyroid glands to perform optimally, especially if used with additional iodine supplementation. Un-refined salt also has a beneficial effect on the adrenal glands helping us to handle stress more effectively.
It should be remembered that salt has been used as a preservative for hundreds of years. Without salt our bodies begin to rot.
How much un-refined salt do we need?
Dr David Brownstein, M.D. in his book, ‘Salt your way to health’ recommends 1/4 tsp of unrefined salt for every litre of water ingested, or approximately 1.5 – 2 tsp’s of un-refined salt per day overall including the unse of un-refined salt in food preparation.
The use of un-refined salt for common ailments
Allergic Rhinitis (runny nose): Mix 11/4 tsp of salt with 1/4 tsp baking soda in 8 oz pure water and use as a nasal spray. It will help lubricate and stop drainage of the nasal passages; it also acts as an antibacterial agent. In addition, salt has antihistamine properties.
Constipation: Drink a glass of warm water with a large pinch of salt first thing in the morning.
Muscle Cramps: For night-time cramps, take one large pinch of salt at bedtime with a small amount of water.
Osteoporosis: Salt is essential for proper bone density and strength. Osteoporosis is common with low salt diets.
Phlegm: Salt and water are the most effective expectorants known. One large pinch of salt and a glass of water will help to thin sputum.
Salt your way to Health - David Brownstein, M.D.
Water and Salt: your healers from within – F Batmanghelidj
Halotherapy (Salt inhalation) can be found at www.westlab.com. West Lab additionally carry a range of beautifully packaged salt products such as scrubs, Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts.
Celtic Sea salt can be found in supermarkets or ordered online.
For more details contact Virginia on 0845 548 0221