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