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Everything you Want to Know about Salt

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Is salt good or bad?

Biologically speaking, salt (sodium) plays a major role in human health. It not only feeds nutritional mineral elements to our cells, it also dissolves, sanitizes and cleanses toxic wastes from our system. It is this latter function that makes salt such a healing substance.  All classic biology textbooks refer to salt as the cleanser of bodily fluids.

Most physiological and biological processes function correctly only when sufficient quantities of sodium are present. For example, the body makes hydrochloric acid from salt. (Hydrochloric acid is one of our essential digestive fluids.) In a healthy person, the quantity of salt retained in the tissues remains constant. Any excess sodium ingested is automatically eliminated through the kidneys. However, if disease is present, this elimination of excess salt is impaired, and excess salt deposits are created; or sudden loss if internal salt can occur.

When stress or infection demand an extra supply of salt, our body reserves are used. Addison's disease, pylorus blockage, ulcers and gastric cancers can create a critical loss of chloride ions and lower the sodium chloride in the digestive system causing a shortage of hydrochloric acid in gastric juices. These losses of chlorine and sodium inhibit the cell's self-cleansing function resulting in the blood becoming loaded with toxins. This, in turn, can act on the nervous system and create a chain reaction of new losses of sodium chloride, which in extreme cases can be fatal.

Salt is also responsible for the balance of acids and bases within the body. When salt enters the body it dissolves into ions (also called electrolytes because they carry electrical current). With this in mind, the water balance role of salt may be easier to understand. Water is a necessary part of all body cells but cells have no way to hold onto water molecules directly. They can only move ions around and water will follow ions. So the cells direct where the ions go, the water follows and this determines where the fluids go.

Why do people think salt is bad?

The problem with salt is not the salt itself, but the condition of the salt. In the 1940s the major salt producers in the USA began to dry salt at very high temperatures.  This changed the chemical structure of the salt.  These changes affect the human body adversely.  In order to make salt whiter, dryer and easier to pour they removed the minerals and other nutrients so that what was left was pure white sodium. Sodium is only one chemical found in salt but it is what we buy in our supermarkets and what we erroneously call salt. 

 

Modern scientists have studied the effect of sodium and salt on the human body.  It is now widely known that certain substances increase our appetite.  Salt is one of the most powerful.  The reason for this lies in the part of our brain called the appestat.  The appestat constantly monitors the nutrient content of our blood and only when 51 specific nutrients are present at their proper levels will we feel full.  Food scientists have found that by adding or subtracting some of these nutrients, they can manipulate our sense of hunger and satiety.  While some of this research is still incomplete, it is believed that adding excess fat, sugar and salt to a food tends to make people overeat.  To simplify, if we eat a partial food or in the case of salt, a chemical, our brains tell us to keep eating until the correct number of nutrients are present in the blood.  Have you ever wondered why you can't eat just one potato chip?

 

Salt that will not dissolve has a tendency to collect in body organs.  Use this test to determine if salt has been processed. Mix a spoonful of salt in a glass of water and let stand overnight. If the salt collects on the bottom of the glass, it has been processed. Natural salt will dissolve.

 

The Function of Salt

To truly understand the function of salt, we need to look to the sea, witness the high level of health of its creatures and compare its composition to that of human body fluids.

Dehydrated sea water contains over 80 elements, most required for the maintenance of the human body. While all salt originates from the sea, refined table salt and almost all sea salts sold in health food stores have none of these elements left. Even in the "natural" salts, refining, washing, boiling or kiln drying has stripped away almost all traces of these minerals. That's why it is white and dry.

Any untreated, natural, whole salt will stubbornly hold on to part of its original water unless kiln or vacuum-pan dried. Even by drying naturally in the sun, salt crystals will not give up all of their moisture. In fact, the more trace and macro-nutrients the salt contains, the less moisture it will release.

True "natural" sun dried salt ranges from light gray or beige to pale pink in color. Unwashed salt obtained by the industrial method yields dark gray (dirty) salt which definitely requires washing. Industrial salt making is designed to obtain a 99% pure chemical--sodium chloride. Only about 8% of industrial salt produced is used for food. The rest goes for industrial and chemical uses and is all totally refined.

Dr. Jacques Loeb, M.D., a biologist renowned for his discoveries on parthenogenesis, did several experiments with protoplasm (living tissue) and salt. When he placed the protoplasm in distilled water, it lived. When he added pure (refined) sodium chloride, it acted as a deadly poison.

In nature, sodium chloride never occurs in pure form. A multitude of essential major and trace elements are in its crystals. Here is a partial list of these minerals and their function in human metabolism.

Sodium: Essential to digestion and metabolism, regulates body fluids, nerve and muscular functions.

Chlorine: Essential component of human body fluids.

Calcium: Needed for bone mineralization.

Magnesium: Dissipates sodium excess, forms and hardens bones, ensures mental development and sharpens intelligence, promotes assimilation of carbohydrates, assures metabolism of vitamin C and calcium, retards the aging process and dissolves kidney stones.

Sulfur: Controls energy transfer in tissue, bone and cartilage cells, essential for protein compounds.

Silicon: Needed in carbon metabolism and for skin and hair balance.

Iodine: Vital for energy production and mental development, ensures production of thyroid hormones, needed for strong auto-defense mechanism (lymphatic system).

Bromine: In magnesium bromide form, a nervous system regulator and restorer, vital for pituitary hormonal function.

Phosphorus: Essential for biochemical synthesis and nerve cell functions related to the brain, constituent of phosphoproteins, nucleoproteins and phospholipids.

Vanadium: Of greater value for tooth bone calcification than fluorine, tones cardiac and nervous systems, reduces cholesterol, regulates phospholipids in blood, a catalyst for the oxidation of many biological substances.

Where in the world can we find good salt?

According to the Grain and Salt Society, all sea water is polluted. Except for a few salt farms in Portugal and some in Morocco, the only coastline that is still relatively unpolluted and whose cottage industry is thriving is the Brittany coast. The Grain and Salt Society selected Brittany as the least polluted seacoast and the Celtic method as the best for harvesting of natural salt for the following reasons:

1) This coastline has almost no industry and no large cities. 2) The prevalent wind dries and crystallizes the salt very rapidly, thus minimizing the accumulation of particulate matter. 3) The deep offshore drop and continental shelf create upwellings that bring minerals from great ocean depths. The resulting salt contains rare trace elements in a very energetic mix. 4) There are abundant and varied beds of seaweeds and micro-algae that contribute to the biologically rich make-up of the shore, and therefore of the salt. 5) The art of Celtic salt-making has been passed down in this place for literally a hundred generations offering a superior philosophy and mastery of the craft.  If you have an interest in obtaining salt from this region, contact the Grain and Salt Society at (800) 867-7258.

According to Dews Twenty First Century Products, there is another place right here in the good old USA that produces a quality natural salt called Piaute Indian Salt-- named after the Indians who first mined it. It comes from an ancient sea bed that dried up thousands of years ago and was buried beneath the earth where it has been protected from various environmental pollutants. If you have an interest in obtaining Piaute Indian Salt, contact Dews at (940) 382-1849.

 

  

 

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