Salt is not only critical to your life, but it is one of the basic elements of which your body is made. Like true lovers, the relationship between salt and your health is so intricately involved as to make them impossible to be disentangled or untied. Without salt, you could not exist for a moment. At the fundamental level of the physical body, you are a walking, breathing, salty ocean.
Essentially, every cell in the human body is dependent on the presence of sodium. We find sodium diffused throughout the fluid between cells. Each cell in our body is like a small ocean containing salty water. Inside our cells we find primarily potassium. These two minerals, sodium and potassium need to be in constant, dynamic balance so the cells can exchange incoming energy with outgoing, depleted energy. Your body is constantly monitoring these minerals and working to maintain their delicate balance.
Health Benefits of Salt intake
- Stabilizes irregular heartbeats
- Regulates your blood pressure, in conjunction with water
- Extracts excess acidity from your body’s cells, particularly the brain cells
- Balances the sugar levels in the blood
- Generates hydroelectric energy in your body’s cells
- Increases conductivity in nerve cells for communication and information processing
- Enhances absorption of nutrients through the intestinal tract
- Clears mucous plugs and sticky phlegm in the lungs, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis
- Clears up congestion of the sinuses
- Provides your body with a strong natural antihistamine
- Regulates sleep: It is a natural hypnotic
- Eliminates persistent dry coughs. Put a dash on the tongue
- Prevents gout and gouty arthritis
- Helps maintain sexuality and libido
- Prevents varicose veins and spider veins
- Provides your body with all essential mineral and every necessary trace mineral it needs to thrive
- Helps treat emotional disorders
- Preserves serotonin and melatonin, known antidepressant neurotransmitters
- Helps the kidney to pass excess acidity into the urine
- Is a strong anti-stress element for the body
- Helps maintain muscle tone and strength
- Stops excess saliva production
- Strengthens bone structure. Osteoporosis, in many ways, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body
- Prevents muscle cramps
Strong Immune System – Sea salt naturally helps you to build up a strong immune system so that you can fight off the cold virus, the fever and flu, allergies and other autoimmune disorders.
Alkalizing – Sea salt is alkalizing to the body, as it has not been exposed to high heat and stripped of its minerals, nor does it have any harmful man-made ingredients added to it. Thus it can help you to prevent and reverse high levels of acids in the body, which in turn eliminates the risks for serious and life-threatening diseases.
Weight Loss – Believe it or not, but sea salt can also help you in weight loss. It helps the body to create digestive juices so that the foods you eat are digested faster, and it helps to prevent buildup in the digestive tract, which eventually can lead to constipation and weight gain.
Skin Conditions – A sea salt bath can help to relieve dry and itchy skin as well as serious conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. The bath naturally opens up the pores, improves circulation in the skin and hydrates the tissues so that your skin can heal.
Asthma – Sea salt is effective in reducing inflammation in the respiratory system. Thus the production of phlegm is slowed down so that you can breathe easier again. Some say that sprinkling sea salt on the tongue after drinking a glass of water is just as effective as using an inhaler. But the great thing about sea salt is that it has no side effects when taken in moderation.
Heart Health – When salt is taken with water it can help to reduce high cholesterol levels, high blood pressure and help to regulate an irregular heart beat. Thus sea salt can help to prevent atherosclerosis, heart attacks and strokes.
Diabetes – Sea salt can help to reduce the need for insulin by helping to maintain proper sugar levels in the body. Thus the salt is an essential part of the diet if you are diabetic, or at risk for the disease.
Osteoporosis – Just over 1/4 of the amount of salt that is in the body is stored in the bones, where it helps to keep them strong. When the body lacks salt and water it begins to draw the sodium from the bones, which then eventually can lead to osteoporosis. Thus by drinking plenty of water and consuming salt in moderation you can prevent osteoporosis.
Muscle Spasms – Potassium is essential for helping the muscles to function properly. Sea salt not only contains small amounts of potassium, but it also helps the body to absorb it better from other foods. Thus it is effective in helping to prevent muscle pains, spasms and cramps.
Depression – Sea salt also has shown to be effective in treating various types of depression. The salt helps to preserve two essential hormones in the body that help you to better deal with stress. These hormones are serotonin and melatonin, which help you to feel good, and relax and sleep better at night.
The American Heart Association, have said that everyone, not just those at risk, should aim for that very low sodium level.
But the new expert committee, commissioned by the Institute of Medicine at the behest of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, said there was no rationale for anyone to aim for sodium levels below 2,300 milligrams a day. The group examined new evidence that had emerged since the last such report was issued, in 2005.
“As you go below the 2,300 mark, there is an absence of data in terms of benefit and there begin to be suggestions in subgroup populations about potential harms,” said Dr. Brian L. Strom, chairman of the committee and a professor of public health at the University of Pennsylvania. He explained that the possible harms included increased rates of heart attacks and an increased risk of death.
The committee was not asked to specify an optimal amount of sodium and did not make any recommendations about how much people should consume. Dr. Strom said people should not eat too much salt, but he also said that the data on the health effects of sodium were too inconsistent for the committee to say what the upper limit of sodium consumption should be.
Until about 2006, almost all studies on salt and health outcomes relied on the well-known fact that blood pressure can drop slightly when people eat less salt. From that, and from other studies linking blood pressure to risks of heart attacks and strokes, researchers created models showing how many lives could be saved if people ate less salt.
The United States dietary guidelines, based on the 2005 Institute of Medicine report, recommend that the general population aim for sodium levels of 1,500 to 2,300 milligrams a day because those levels will not raise blood pressure. The average sodium consumption in the United States, and around the world, is about 3,400 milligrams a day, according to the Institute of Medicine — an amount that has not changed in decades.
But more recently, researchers began looking at the actual consequences of various levels of salt consumption, as found in rates of heart attacks, strokes and death, not just blood pressure readings. Some of what they found was troubling.
One 2008 study the committee examined, for example, randomly assigned 232 Italian patients with aggressively treated moderate to severe congestive heart failure to consume either 2,760 or 1,840 milligrams of sodium a day, but otherwise to consume the same diet. Those consuming the lower level of sodium had more than three times the number of hospital readmissions — 30 as compared with 9 in the higher-salt group — and more than twice as many deaths — 15 as compared with 6 in the higher-salt group.
Another study, published in 2011, followed 28,800 subjects with high blood pressure ages 55 and older for 4.7 years and analyzed their sodium consumption by urinalysis. The researchers reported that the risks of heart attacks, strokes, congestive heart failure and death from heart disease increased significantly for those consuming more than 7,000 milligrams of sodium a day and for those consuming fewer than 3,000 milligrams of sodium a day.
There are physiological consequences of consuming little sodium, said Dr. Michael H. Alderman, a dietary sodium expert at Albert Einstein College of Medicine who was not a member of the committee. As sodium levels plunge, triglyceride levels increase, insulin resistance increases, and the activity of the sympathetic nervous system increases. Each of these factors can increase the risk of heart disease.
“Those are all bad things,” Dr. Alderman said. “A health effect can’t be predicted by looking at one physiological consequence. There has to be a net effect.” Medical and public health experts responded to the new assessment of the evidence with elation or concern, depending on where they stand in the salt debates.
Health Benefits of Salt Baths
Magnesium is the second most abundant element in our bodies, and is used in regulating over 300 enzymes and reactions in the body. I’ve written before about how the depleted magnesium levels in our food and water, and the imbalance of nutrients in the foods that we eat have left most of us dangerously deficient in Magnesium.
Most of us also have too much calcium in our bodies, relative to our magnesium levels (thanks to fortified foods and imbalanced soils). Many forms of magnesium are difficult to absorb when taken orally, especially for those with a damaged gut (that is most of us too). Here is where Magnesium Salt Baths and Transdermal Magnesium Oil can make a big difference…
The skin is the body’s largest organ, and as such, has an amazing ability to absorb, filter toxins, and deliver nutrients to the body. It is also a visible sign of the health of the body as a whole. When the skin has rashes, eczema, psoriasis, dry skin, acne, or other problems, this is often a sign of deeper issues within the body. As the skin is also an elimination organ, the body will push out toxins through the skin when the other organs of elimination (gut, liver, kidneys, etc.) are taxed or burdened.
A damaged gut can also make absorbing magnesium and other minerals through the digestive system more difficult, so topical magnesium oil or magnesium baths are a great solution.
Magnesium and Salt Baths Health Benefits
- Stress relief
- Muscle aches
- Increasing insulin sensitivity
- Improving circulation
- Better nutrient absorption
- Headache relief
- Speeding up wound healing
- During illness, especially respiratory illness
- For children to help mineral absorption and improve sleep
- For acne, eczema or other skin problems
- For joint pain relief
- To help relieve poison ivy or skin reactions
- Improving skin hydration
How to Incorporate Magnesium and Salt Baths
Add a cup of epsom salts or magnesium flakes and a few tablespoons of Himalayan salt to your kids baths. When have the time, then take relaxing baths in this mixture also.
When you can’t take the time for a bath, magnesium oil also helps. Amazingly, you shall notice the benefits of transdermal magnesium (baths or magnesium oil) much more quickly than when you take internal forms of magnesium.
Magnesium bath recipe
- 1-2 cups of epsom salts or magnesium flakes (magnesium flakes are absorbed much more easily)
- 1/2 cup Himalayan or Sea Salt
- 1/2 tsp of natural vanilla extract
- 10-15 drops of essential oil of choice (You shall love lavender and mint)
- You may mix the salt and magnesium flakes and then sprinkle with the vanilla and essential oil. The whole mixture gets added to a warm bath, and then soak for at least 20 minutes, though 30 is preferable. You may try to make time for this at least once a week.
- For intensive therapy (illness, eczema, etc.) these baths can be done daily, though you should check with a doctor if you have any medical conditions.