Both sea salt and rock salt were well known to the ancient Greeks who noted that eating salty food affected basic body functions such as digestion and excretion (urine and stools). This led to salt being used medically. The healing methods of Hippocrates (460 BC) especially made frequent use of salt. Salt-based remedies were thought to have expectorant powers. A mixture of water and salt was employed as an emetic.
Drinking a mixture of two-thirds cow's milk and one-third salt-water, in the mornings, on an empty stomach was recommended as a cure for diseases of the spleen. A mixture of salt and honey was applied topically to clean bad ulcers and salt-water was used externally against skin diseases and freckles.
Hippocrates also mentions inhalation of steam from salt-water. We know today that the anti-inflammatory effects of inhaled salt provide relief from respiratory symptoms.
Thus, 2000 years ago, Greek medicine had already discovered topical use of salt for skin lesions, drinking salty or mineralized waters for digestive troubles and inhaling salt for respiratory diseases!
The doctor and alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541 A.D.) introduced an entirely new medical concept. He believed that external factors create disease and conceived a chemically oriented medical system which contrasted with the prevalent herbal medicine. Only salted food could be digested properly: 'The human being must have salt, he cannot be without salt. Where there is no salt, nothing will remain, but everything will tend to rot.'
He recommended salt water for the treatment of wounds and for use against intestinal worms. A hip-bath in salt water was a superb remedy for skin diseases and itching: 'This brine - he said - is better than all the health spas arising out of nature.' He described the diuretic effect of salt consumption and prescribed salt preparations of different strengths that were used for instance against constipation.
'In recent years there has been much publicity about the need to reduce salt consumption in societies where salt is added to many processed foods (Denton 1984, 584-7).
It has tended to be forgotten that some salt intake is absolutely necessary; that people need salt, sodium chloride, to survive: The chemical requirements of the human body demand that the salt concentration in the blood be kept constant. If the body does not get enough salt, a hormonal mechanism compensates by reducing the excretion of salt in the urine and sweat. But it cannot reduce this output to zero.
On a completely salt-free diet the body steadily loses small amounts of salt via the kidneys and sweat glands. It then attempts to adjust this by accelerating its secretion of water, so that the blood's salt concentration can be maintained at the vital level. The result is a gradual desiccation of the body and finally death.' Roy Moxham
An eight-year study of a New York City hypertensive population stratified for sodium intake levels found those on low-salt diets had more than four times as many heart attacks as those on normal-sodium diets -the exact opposite of what the 'salt hypothesis' would have predicted. (1995)
Dr. Jeffrey R. Cutler documented no health outcomes benefits of lower-sodium diets. Salt Institute
A past president of the American Heart Association, Dr. Suzanne Oparil of the University of Alabama-Birmingham, said her personal view is that the government may have been too quick to recommend that everyone cut back. 'Salt restriction as a solitary recommendation for the population for the prevention or the treatment of hypertension.
An abundance of the ingredients in unrefined real salt are as synonymous with life today as they were a billion years ago before single cells appeared here. Lack of them is synonymous with birth defects, organ failure, decay, diseases, premature aging and death at a young age.
The problem with salt is not the salt itself but the condition of the salt we eat - refined! Major producing companies dry their salt in huge kilns with temperatures reaching 1200 degrees F, changing he salt's chemical structure, which in turn adversely affects the human body.
The facts are that in the heating process of salt, the element sodium chloride goes off into the air as a gas. What remains is sodium hydroxate which is irritating to the system and does not satisfy the body's hunger and need for sodium chloride. Sodium and chloride are two of the 12 daily essential minerals.
In countries which do not alter their salt supply, heart disease and arthritis are so rare that many doctors have never seen a case. Their salt is dried from the ocean by the sun. Many people believe that salt is harmful to the human body.
The truth is we cannot live without sodium or chloride-salt. From salt the body makes sodium bicarbonate which is one of the essential compounds for alkalizing the food we eat. Also, from salt the body makes iron for producing the hemoglobin of the red blood cell.
Cl + O Mn + H Fe or
chloride + Oxygen = Manganese + Hydrogen = Iron.
There is not enough natural salt in our foods, so we must supplement our diet. When salt is withheld, weakness and sickness follow.
Try this experiment: Mix a spoonful of salt in a glass of water and let it stand overnight. If the salt collects on the bottom of the glass, it has been processed.
NATURAL SALT DISSOLVES! Salt that will not dissolve in water cannot dissolve in your body. Any foreign substance that collects in the body organs and tissues will eventually result in malfunctioning of essential body processes: heart disease, arthritis, hardening of the body tissues and arteries, calcium deposits in the joints, etc. Natural organic salt (saline) will not cause calcification in your body. Real sea salt can dissolve damaging calcium deposits in the body.
Science and medicine have tried to define the precise roles of salt in the healthy and diseased human organism. Blood, sweat, and tears all contain salt, and both the skin and the eyes are protected from metabolic acids from the effects of salt. When salt is added to a liquid, particles with opposite charges are formed: a positively charged sodium ion and a negatively charged chloride ion.
This is the basis of osmosis which regulates fluid pressure within living cells and protects the body against excessive water loss (as in diarrhea or on heavy sweating).
Sodium and chloride ions, as well as potassium ions, create a measurable difference in potential across cell membranes. This ensures that the fluid inside living cells remains separate from that outside. Thus, although the human body consists mainly of water, our 'inner ocean' does not flow away or evaporate. Sodium ions create a high pressure of liquid in the kidneys and thus regulate their metabolic function.
Water is extracted through the renal drainage system. The body thus loses a minimal amount of essential alkaline water. Out of 1500 liters of blood which pass daily through the kidneys, only about 1.5 liters of liquid leave the body as urine.
Salt is 'fuel' for nerves. Streams of positively and negatively charged ions send impulses to nerve fibers. A muscle cell will only contract if an impulse reaches it. Nerve impulses are partly propelled by co-ordinated changes in charged particles.
Fish from the ocean will die quickly if placed in a solution of refined salt and water. The sodium chloride, in its form as it comes from the refinery, is actually poisonous to them. Bottom line, is that yes it can be harmful to consume too much refined salt, but you cannot consume too much natural unrefined liquid real salt.