by Linda Penkala LMT | Contributing Writer
The historical significance of salt is matched only by its health benefits.
Salt emerged as a form of currency before we realized its place in regard to health. Roman soldiers received payment in salt, and the word “salary” is from the Latin “salis” for salt, according to Dr. David Brownstein, who wrote Salt: Your Way to Health. Salt bars served as currency for years with governments collecting taxes in salt.
Indeed, salt was a precious and valuable currency as well as a mineral used globally for centuries as a flavoring, medicine and preservative.
The two types of salt in the market are refined and unrefined. The decades of research linking a high salt diet to high blood pressure is based on refined salt. When salt undergoes this bleaching process, its minerals are removed to make the salt white. As a result, refined salt has less magnesium, according to Salt: Your Way to Health.
However, the magnesium found in unrefined salts, like Himalayan, and sea salt does not have an adverse effect on blood pressure. The intact vitamins and minerals of potassium and magnesium in unrefined salt are part of a healthy, balanced diet. Sodium is integral to many bodily processes, from balancing fluid levels to keeping nerves and muscles operating at a high level.
The various salt solutions one can use are as follows:
- Saline drops for the eyes,
- Nasal irrigation methods,
- Essential oil and salt scrub for exfoliation,
- Hot Epsom salt bath for relaxation.
As a massage therapist, I recommend the salt bath often as an excellent way to get magnesium into the body and help restore muscles post exercise.
A current trend called halotherapy involves staying in a salt room, called a cave, or spa for about 45 minutes to inhale airborne salt that can impact sinuses, respiratory system and allergic symptoms along with skin conditions.
These uses of salt reinforce its contribution to maintaining a healthy lifestyle.
Caption: Sea salt is a type of unrefined salt. Photo courtesy of Willpower Studios via VisualHunt.com.