by Phillip Day

Your table salt is actually 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% chemicals such as moisture absorbents and iodine. Dried at over 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, the excessive heat alters the natural chemical structure of the salt causing the potential for a myriad of health problems in your body.’Dr Joseph Mercola

Common table salt is a poison, refined from Nature’s storehouse to remove all elements but sodium chloride. Some say we ended up with this particular compound due to industry’s colossal use of it. Whatever the reason, table salt is not real ‘salt’ and its dangers are well touted:

  • It destabilises blood pressure
  • Can cause cellulite, kidney stones and rheumatism
  • Upsets your fluid balance
  • Acts as a diuretic (expels water from cells)
  • Thereby a cell-toxin
  • Contains the endocrine disrupters, fluoride and iodine
  • Contains fillers such as calcium carbonate and aluminium hydroxide, the latter aluminium implicated in Alzheimer’s Disease

Some PR job to convince the world we need it, eh?
Yet ‘salt’ is essential for the body’s systems. Farmers know if they don’t put out the salt blocks for their cattle, they die. Nobody questions why doctors put seriously ill people on a saline drip. It should be real salt as Nature intended, not the truncated, worse-than-useless mess made of it in the refining process.

Enter saltpan salt, sea salt, Celtic salt, and the pink Dalek of all salts, Himalayan crystallized salt, or ‘white gold‘ as it’s come to be known (light pink gold, actually). Mercola declares this mother-of-all-salts:

  • Regulates the water content throughout your body

  • Balances excess acidity from your cells, particularly your brain cells

  • Balances your blood sugar levels and helps reduce your aging rate

  • Assists in the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in your body and absorption of food particles through your intestinal tract

  • Helps clear mucus plugs and phlegm from your lungs – particularly useful in asthma and cystic fibrosis

  • Acts as a strong natural antihistamine to help clear up congestion in your sinuses

  • Prevents muscle cramps

  • Makes the structure of your bones firm – osteoporosis can occur when your body needs more salt and takes it from your bones

  • Regulates your sleep – it is a natural hypnotic

  • Maintains your libido

  • Prevents varicose veins and spider veins on your legs and thighs

  • Stabilizes irregular heartbeats – in conjunction with water, [salt] is actually essential for the regulation of your blood pressure

These claims are backed by evidence. Barbara Hendel MD and Peter Ferreira cover most of it in Water and Salt, The Essence of Life (available through Amazon). World renowned water guru, Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj’s Water and Salt, Your Healers From Within, available through Credence, contains much of the Iranian physician’s decades of studies into the building blocks of life. The manufacturers of FIJI water, as another example, remark on their web-site:
A nine-week, double-blind university study undertaken in 2003 at the Inter-University of Graz, Austria, examined the effects of drinking a minimum of 1.5 liters of tap water per day with common table salt vs. a minimum of 1.5 liters of FIJI Water with Original Himalayan Crystal Salt on physical and psychological functions of the body. In the study, patients who drank FIJI Water together with the Original Himalayan Crystal Salt saw significant positive changes in respiratory, circulatory, organ, connective tissue and nervous system functions. Patients also reported increases in the quality of sleep, energy and concentration levels, brain activity, weight loss, enhanced consciousness and noticeable nail and hair growth.’ 1
The medical orthodoxy is not kind to any notion of a super-salt, crying ‘commercialism’ and ‘quackery’, indubitably the pot calling the kettle black. My advice? Switch to Himalayan salt or at least a whole salt. Table salt is just that – sodium chloride. Himalayan salt is sodium chloride plus 82 other minerals in its natural, crystalline form, all ready to feed metabolic processes the way Nature intended. There are other advantages.
Get Sole and slap it all over
Topical applications and baths in whole salt solutions have been found to help with psoriasis, eczema, toe-nail fungus, insect bites, rheumatism and arthritis, acne, ear infections, nasal congestion and sore throats. The solution used is known as sole, (pronounced so-lay). Take a container of water and start mixing Himalayan salt crystals into it, stirring well, until the salt no longer dissolves. The solution is now 26% saturated and sterile, so can be re-used. Sole in a hot water bowl can be inhaled as a decongestant for blocked sinuses since it is antiseptic and ideal for bacterial/fungal/yeast conditions.


Salt – the benefits
Dr Fereydoon Batmanghelidj writes:

  • Salt is a strong, natural antihistamine. It can be used to relieve asthma by putting it on the tongue after drinking a glass or two of water. It is as effective as an inhaler, without the toxicity. You should drink one or two glasses of water before putting salt on the tongue
  • Salt is a strong ‘anti-stress’ element for the body
  • Salt is vital for extracting excess acidity from inside the cells, particularly the brain cells. If you don’t want Alzheimer’s disease, don’t go salt-free, and don’t let them put you on diuretic medications for long!
  • Salt is vital for the kidneys to clear excess acidity and pass the acidity into the urine. Without sufficient salt in the body, the body will become increasingly acidic
  • Salt is essential in the treatment of emotional and affective disorders. Lithium is a salt substitute that is used in the treatment of depression. To prevent suffering from depres­sion, make sure you take some salt
  • Salt is essential for preserving the serotonin and melatonin levels in the brain. When water and salt perform their nat­ural antioxidant duties and clear the toxic waste from the body, essential amino acids, such as tryptophan and tyrosine, will not be sacrificed as chemical antioxidants. In a well-hydrated body, tryptophan is spared and gets into the brain tissue where it is used to manufacture serotonin, melatonin, and tryptamine—essential anti-depression neurotransmitters
  • Salt, in my opinion, is vital for the prevention and treatment of cancer. Cancer cells are killed by oxygen; they are anaer­obic ‘organisms’. They must live in a low-oxygen environ­ment. When the body is well hydrated and salt expands the volume of blood circulation to reach all parts of the body, the oxygen and the active and ‘motivated’ immune cells in the blood reach the cancerous tissue and destroy it. As I explained in my book on lupus, dehydration—shortage of water and salt—suppresses the immune system and its disease-fighting cells’ activity in the body
  • Salt is vital for maintaining muscle tone and strength. Lack of bladder control in those who suffer from involuntary leakage of urine could be a consequence of low salt intake. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure—in conjunction with water. Naturally, the pro­portions are critical. A low-salt diet with high water intake will, in some people, actually cause the blood pressure to rise. As a secondary complication, it can also cause asthma-like shortness of breath. The logic is simple. If you drink water and do not take salt, the water will not stay in the blood circulation adequately to completely fill all the blood vessels. In some, this will cause fainting, and in others, it will cause tightening of the arteries—and eventu­ally constriction of bronchioles in the lungsto the point of registering a rise in blood pressure, complicated by breathlessness. One or two glasses of water and some salt— a little of it on the tongue—will quickly and efficiently qui­eten a racing and ‘thumping’ heart, and in the long run,will reduce the blood pressure and cure breathlessness
  • Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic. If you drink a full glass of water, then put a few grains of salt on your tongue, and let it stay there, you will fall into a nat­ural, deep sleep. Don’t use salt on your tongue unless you also drink water. Repeated use of salt by itself might cause nose bleeds
  • Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics. It helps balance the sugar levels in the blood and reduces the need for insulin in those who have to inject the chemical to regulate their blood sugar levels. Water and salt reduce the extent of secondary damage associated with diabetes
  • Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in all of the cells in the body. It is used for local power gen­eration at the sites of energy need by the cells
  • Salt is vital to the communication and information pro­cessing of nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work—from the moment of conception to death
  • Salt is vital for the absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract
  • Salt is vital for clearing the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma, emphysema and cystic fibrosis sufferers
  • Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs
  • Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and sinus congestion
  • Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis
  • Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps
  • Salt is vital in preventing excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage
  • Osteoporosis, in a major way, is the result of salt and water shortage in the body
  • Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm
  • Salt is vital for maintaining self-confidence and a positive self-image—a serotonin- and melatonin-controlled ‘per­sonality output’
  • Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido
  • Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the sali­vary glands increases and the blood vessels become ‘leaky’ in order to supply the glands with more water to manufac­ture saliva. This ‘leakiness’ spills to areas beyond the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck
  • Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs
  • Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. For instance, ordinary table salt has been stripped of its companion ele­ments and contains additive elements such as aluminium sil­icate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminium is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease
  • As much as salt is good for the body in asthma, excess potassium is bad for it. Too much orange juice, too many bananas, or any ‘sports drink’ containing too much potas­sium might precipitate an asthma attack, particularly if too much of the drink or too many bananas are taken before exercising. It can cause an exercise-induced asthma attack. To prevent such attacks, some salt intake before exercise will increase the lungs’ capacity for air exchange. It will also decrease excess sweating
  • It is a good policy to add some salt to orange juice to balance the actions of sodium and potassium in maintaining the required volume of water inside and outside the cells. In some cultures, salt is added to melon and other fruits to accentuate their sweetness. In effect, these fruits contain mostly potassium. By adding salt to them before eating, a balance between the intake of sodium and potassium results. The same should be done to other juices
  • I received a call one day from one of the readers of my book to tell me how he had unwittingly hurt his son. Knowing that orange juice was full of vitamin C, he forced his son to drink sev­eral glasses of it every day. In the meantime, the young boy developed breathing problems and had a number of asthma attacks until he reached college and moved out of the sphere of influence of his father. His asthma cleared and his breathing became normal. The father told me he had to call his son and apologize for having given him such a hard time when he was younger. The more the son had rebelled against orange juice, the more the father had insisted he should take it, convinced a large amount was good for him
  • As a rough rule of thumb, you need about 3 grams of salt—a half-teaspoon—for every 10 glasses of water, or a quarter teaspoon per quart of water. You should take salt throughout the day. If you exercise and sweat, you need more salt. In hot climates, you need to take even more salt. In these climates, salt makes the difference between survival and better health and heat exhaustion and death
  • Warning! You must at the same time not overdo salt.You must observe the ratio of salt and water needs of the body. You must always make sure you drink enough water to wash the excess salt out of the body. If your weight suddenly goes up in one day, you have taken too much salt. Hold back on salt intake for one day and drink plenty of water to increase your urine output and get rid of your swelling
  • Those in heart failure – or kidney failure requiring dialysis – MUST consult with their doctors before increasing salt intake.

The Essential Guide to Water and Salt by F Batmanghelidj MD and Phillip Day
Himalayan salt (coarse crystals) – 500 g
Himalayan salt (fine ground) – 500 g