The Real and Raw Scoop on Salt
In todays world when the topic of salt is brought up it's normally about the negative implications of processed table salt (sodium chloride) on the human body. This form of salt is heavily refined and more often than not contains added iodine as well as anti-caking agents such as magnesium carbonate or aluminum silicate. While most salt starts with sea water, refined table salt is stripped, chemically cleaned, and heated at temperatures reaching over 1,200 degrees F. This process results in a very different product than the natural salts derived directly from the Earth and Sea. Pure sodium chloride is a chemical form of salt that the body has a hard time dealing with, and can cause serious issues for many people such as water retention (even severe swelling and edema) as well as elevated blood pressure. The retention of fluid can be especially harmful by contributing to kidney and gallbladder stones, rheumatism, gout, arthritis as well as an issue that frustrates many women: cellulite. All of that being said, todays issue with salt is not in fact an issue with natural salt found in nature and needed by our body, rather the issue is with chemically altered salt we have grown accustomed to eating through processed foods.
What Does Salt Do for Us?
There is an important reason why our bodies crave salty foods. Salt is in fact one of the most critical compounds which we consume and aids our body in a variety of ways; helping us regulate fluid levels for optimal hydration, produce hydrochloric acid for digestion, and nourishes our glands which produce numerous hormones (such as the thyroid). Salty junk foods do have an additive quality to them, but the bodies natural desire for salt doesn't come from a place of addiction, it comes from a place of pure necessity and physiological need. A trip to a gourmet salt shop will overwhelm you with endless options to choose from. Textures will range from coarse rock salts to finely ground powders and you may find colors ranging from creamy white to darkest of black. You can find both red and black salt coming out of Hawaii, absolutely loaded with a rich supply of volcanic minerals. The best salts to choose are ones which come directly from a pristine area of the world, are low temperature dried (preferably by the sun) and are handled in a gentle manner. Two of the most commonly used salts in the raw food community are Himalayan salt and Celtic sea salt; both are fantastic options and will enhance your health and the flavor of your recipes alike. Himalayan crystal salt in particular contains 84 elements essential to our health and well being.
While table salt has a dehydrating effect on the body, natural salt will actually help your body maintain balanced water levels throughout. This is due to its natural electrolyte mineral content. If you live in a dry desert climate and are constantly dealing with dehydration, or are an athlete sweating day after day, one of the best remedies is to add a pinch of high quality salt such as Himalayan or Celtic to your water supply. It is amazing how quickly you will notice a difference! This is a great way to not only stay hydrated, but also to remove acidosis within the body and move into a more alkaline state of being.
Salt also acts as an antioxidant within the body, working to annihilate free radicals. Free radicals are described as molecules with missing electrons. Within the human body free radicals source out those missing electrons from anywhere they can, even the phospholipid membranes of our very own cells. The creates havoc within the body, weakens the structure and integrity of our cells, and can even lead to chronic degenerative disease. Salt to the rescue! Real unrefined natural salt is highly charged with energy, an abundance of electrons, and actually fixes many free radicals within the body so they don't have to steal from our cells. For an ultra powerful free radical fighting elixir try making a Electron Lemonade, recipe included below.
Keep in mind also that many vegetables, especially if grown organically in mineral rich soil, contain fair to exceptional levels of mineral salts. A tall glass of green vegetable juice with plenty of dark leafy greens, lettuces, sprouts and a base of celery juice will provide your body with charged electrons, plenty of mineral salts, and structured water which is easily accepted by the body and quenches dehydration like nothing else. Natural coconut water is also structured and contains many mineral salts and electrolytes for hydration. It is preferable to drink coconut water fresh from the coconut before it is ever pasteurized or put into a can. And let's not forget one of the most amazing sources of natural salt on the planet: sea vegetables! You can receive the benefits of sea salt by making sea veggies like dulse, kelp, sea spaghetti, nori and wakame a regular addition to your diet.
Salt and Our Energy Body
Aside from the obvious physical benefits of salt there are also highly energetic properties. Salt naturally holds a perfect crystalline structure and can therefore absorb, reflect, and transmute energy very easily. This is one of the reasons why it is so important for our bodies; an abundance of mineral salts in the diet and within the body will definitely help energy to flow freely. We are electric, salty beings! We have to deal with all sorts of energy every single day, and the ability to transmute and release energy in a balanced way will only serve to help us achieve higher states of health. A mineralized body will be less likely to hold onto negative energy, thus creative chi blockages, aches and pains, tension, and perhaps even disease.
Other Uses For Natural, Unprocessed Salt
Hair: - Are you a fan of that wavy, just-got-back-from-the-beach hairstyle? Try mixing 1/4 a tsp of high quality sea salt with 4-6 oz of purified water and maybe a drop or two of your favorite essential oil in a spritzer bottle. Once the salt has fully dissolved spray on dry hair and let dry. Voila! Instant beach do. If this recipe proves to be too drying for your hair you can add a few drops of natural vegetable glycerin and baobab or argan oil, just make sure to shake your bottle before spritzing to blend the water with the oil.
Bath: No natural mineral hot springs in your area? don't distress! Try making your own mineral soak with a blend of sea salt and MSM (natural sulphur) powder. If you're feeling extra indulgent you can add dried lavender, rose petals, calendula, chamomile, peppermint, or whatever herbs your in the mood. Another great addition, especially for dry irritated skin, is a piece of cacao or shae butter. If your bath is hot enough it will melt away and nourish your skin with soothing moisture.
Exfoliation: Feeling a bit "rough" these days? Your skin is constantly renewing itself and giving it some extra love via a thorough, dead skin cell cleansing exfoliation is never a bad idea! Try using a blend of fine ground salt with a medium coarse grind, and make your own simple scrub by mixing in a blend of honey and natural olive or avocado oil.
Household Cleansing: Have you ever wondered why beach wood never seems to decay? Salt in high enough concentrations acts as one of the most effective antimicrobials around. If you're dealing with mold issues in your bathroom, especially your shower area, try making a concentrated salt solution and spraying the problem areas after use. The water will evaporate leaving behind a nice layer of salt, making an environment unsuitable for the likes of mold and fungus. If you deal with mold growth on any of your wooden cutting boards it is also a great idea to do a salt encrustation. Simply coat you cutting board in a layer of salt after washing and draining off any access water. Let the salt dry with your cutting board and keep encrusted for an entire day if you can. The salt will soak into the wood and greatly empede the growth of mold, fungus and bacteria. This is great to do once a week or so.
4 Cups of Spring Water (Direct from the earth is the best for this recipe!)
The juice of 2-3 juicy lemons
1/2 Cup soaked Incan berries (or you can use goji berries)
1 Tsp camu camu berry or acerola cherry powder
2 Pinches Himalayan or Celtic sea salt
3 Tbs Wild Rata or Manuka healing honey
1/2 Tsp E3 Live or spirulina extract
Blend water and soaked incan berries together in a high speed blender and strain. Place back in blender, add additional ingredients and blend on a low speed until thoroughly mix.