Salt is not only an indispensable seasoning for food, it is critical to life. Humans and animals alike need salt. Aside from this basic necessity, salt is a useful natural remedy internally and externally for many health conditions, including urinary tract infections, constipation, ringworm, boils, sinus congestion and a sore throat.
Salt is made up of two elements, sodium and chloride. The chemical symbol is NaCl.
Balanced salt levels in the body will maximize health. Too little or too much salt can cause health problems or even death. Animals also need salt. Farm stores sell salt licks for animals like rabbits and cows. These animals will natural lick the salt when their bodies require it. It is a wonderful thing that salt is so beneficial; it makes food taste wonderful!
A 110 pound person has about 40 teaspoons of sodium chloride in the body.1 By weight, a person has a similar concentration of salt as sea water. The presence of salt is realized if tears are sweat are ever tasted.
However, all salts are not created equal. Decades ago consumers had little choice when it came to salt. Currently even small grocery stores sell a variety of salt products. So the question becomes, which salt is best?
Usually when it comes to health, foods and remedies that have been processed the least are ideal.
Types of Salt
Iodized table salt is a processed salt. The trace minerals in the salt have been removed. Iodine, another critical element to life and health is added. And other chemicals are added as flow agents and anti-caking agents. These would include tricalcium phosphate and sodium aluminosilicate.
Other salts are mined from the earth. If they are not further processed they will contain salt (sodium chloride) and dozens of other trace minerals that can be used by the body.
Salts that have been harvested from the seas, like mined salts, contain an abundance of trace minerals, unless they are further processed.
Mined and harvested salts are, pound for pound, much more expensive that common table salt. However, even the pricier salts go a long way and do not make a noticeable dent in the budget for most consumers.
Current marketing can make it difficult to decide which unprocessed salt is the most health promoting. One may claim to have 50 trace minerals, while another will claim 80 trace minerals. However, unprocessed salts are composed mostly (about 98%) of simply salt (NaCl) and the remaining 2% will be trace minerals. With the RDA for salt being about ¾ of a teaspoon, 2% of ¾ teaspoon will not amount to much. These 2% of minerals certainly can contribute to overall health but they are not going to overcome a poor diet and lifestyle.
Another marketing claim is that mined salts are superior to salts that come from modern oceans and seas since mined salts have not been affected by pollution as the waters of the earth currently are.
All that said, it does still make sense to avoid processed foods, including salt and invest in an unprocessed salt. A bonus is that unprocessed salt tastes better, too! The trace minerals in a quality salt will compliment a healthful diet and lifestyle.
8 Health Benefits of Sea Salt
Hospitals routinely use a saline (salt) I.V. to give fluids to a patient. The salt helps the body to retain the needed water.
During times of illness that include fever, vomiting or diarrhea, it is necessary to replace lost fluids from sweating or purging. Adding a pinch of salt to a glass of water or juice will keep the water from being flushed out of the body.
Hot days and strenuous exercise can cause excessive sweating. Rehydrating with water plus a pinch of sea salt will help replace the salt the body has lost during sweating.
2. Urinary Tract Infection
½ to 1 teaspoon of sea salt, added to ½ – 1 glass of water is a natural remedy for bladder infections. This remedy may only be needed one time to be effective.
3. Salt Sock
A clean white tube sock can be filled with salt and tied off at the end. This salt sock can be heated up in the microwave (some keep a microwave just for this purpose!) and used on a ear for an ear ache. The salt can help draw out excess moisture.
Keeping the salt sock in the freezer will provide a ready made cold pack for bumps and bruises or to use on the base of the neck for a headache or migraine.
For a sore or dry throat a sea salt gargle will help thin post nasal drip, alleviate dryness and kill germs in the throat.
Mix ¼ teaspoon salt into ½ cup warm water and gargle. Repeat the gargle as needed.
5. Mouth Rinse
The same solution used for gargling can be used to rinse the mouth to relieve canker sores. ( ¼ teaspoon salt in ½ cup warm water.)
6. Sinus Rinse
Sea salt sinus rinses can be used in a Neti pot to rinse the sinuses to help a sinus infection, relieve congestion, remove pollen and allergens, or help with overly dry sinuses.
Simply add ½ teaspoon sea salt to a cup of warm water and use the mixture in a Neti pot.
If a Neti pot is not available, try snorting the mixture up into the nose, one nostril at a time. The salt water can also be dripped into the nose with an eyedropper. (This may be the easiest way to get salt water into children’s noses!)
Vials of saline solution (salt solution) are commonly used in nebulizers. This can bring moisture to the lungs and delivers salt to the lungs for antimicrobial purposes.
Sea salt added to bath water can help to clear up skin conditions like boils and eczema. 1 cup of sea salt is added to a bath.
Continue reading to find out how our readers have benefited from sea salt! Please let us know how you use sea salt for your health!