SALT - The Little Hero
Benefits of Salt
It's all around us..it's been around for centuries even before our time. SALT. With all thine offerings thou shalt offer salt." Moses, "Leviticus"
History Roman soldiers used to get paid with salt. Yes. Salt. That's how the word salary came from - salt rations were given to Roman soldiers - known as "salarium argentum". Europe during Medieval times changed when fishermen were able to salt the cod, preserve them and then sold in Europe. Ancient salt-making is documented in Europe and North America. About 4,700 years ago, Peng-Txao-Kan-Mu published writings discussing 40 kinds of salts, including descriptions of extracting salt.
China started using salt about 4000 years ago. They used bamboo shafts to extract brine and boil it. Salt has been central not only to the historic life of cities and states, but to the culture in society. Salt has served as money and at times, been the causes of warfare. There are many famous quotes that illustrate how it imbues our culture. In essence, this little granular substance, salt, [or sodium chloride, the chemical compound NACI] has been an essential material to our lives and is quite valuable.
Salt - for cooking Move aside white iodized salt. Many of us are now discovering gourmet sea salts. In a tight economy, little things like unique salt, which can be purchased reasonably, can somehow add a little sparkle in our lives. No longer do we use plain old white, iodized salt, there are now different gourmet sea salts including Fleur de Sel, Hawaiian and Himalayan Sea Salts- ranging from pink to black, Gray Salt and more.
Now, there are Fusion Sea Salts - salts that are infused with flavorings to add zest to recipes.
Another one is Fleur de Sel Camargue - salt which is hand raked and harvested in France. This name came about because of the aroma of violets that develops as the salt dries. Only the top layer of the salt bed is used.
Alaea Hawaiian salt - this Hawaiian beauty is rich in trace minerals, and is mixed with red Hawaiian clay (Alae). The Hawaiians used Alaea in ceremonies to cleanse, purify and bless tools and canoes and supposedly, this salt has medicinal purposes.
Himalayan Salt - this salt is pink because it contains many minerals such as Calcium, Magnesium, Potassium and Copper. This is one of my favorite salt as it has a delicate flavor and does not interfere with the flavors of the food, it enhances it. .
Salt - for Beauty Salt scrubs....Dead Sea Mineral salt...we've seen a myriad of these in malls, specialty shops and beauty stores. Why are they beneficial?
Dead Sea Salt- The Dead Sea is known for its therapeutic effects past and present. The waters from the Dead Sea are unique in that they contain 27% of various salts as compared to 3% in normal sea water. The balance of the salts in Dead sea water are magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides.
Magnesium is crucial in fighting stress and fluid retention, known to slow skin aging and calms the nervous system.
Adding Dead Sea Salts to the bath and soaking for at least 20 minutes supposedly can help people suffering from osteoarthritis, tendinitis and even skin problems such as psoriasis and rosacea.
Sea salt scrubs- you can buy these at stores or make your own. These salt scrubs are wonderful in smoothing the skin.
Epsom Salts - Epsom Salt does not dry the skin the way sea salt does. Epsom salts are wonderful in soaking hands and feet and just like the Dead Sea Salt, it draws out toxins from within the body and can improve heart and circulatory health.
Salt - Household use Salt is an excellent cleaning agent, by itself or in combination with other substances. Put a little in your laundry and your linents will come out nice and glossy. Pour hot water mixed with salt into your kitchen sink and this will wash out the grease inside your pipes. Salt, mixed with water into a paste helps in getting the mildew and rust out in bathroom faucets.
Still confused with the difference of TABLE SALT and SEA SALT/? It's the mineral composition. Table salt is 99.9% sodium chloride. Sea salt contains 98% sodium chloride and the remaining 2% are important minerals like iron, magnesium and sulfur which gives its unique color and taste.
Sea Salt Benefits [excerpt borrowed from author Debopriya Bose]
- Sea salt benefits the circulatory system by regulating irregular heartbeats and high blood pressure. If taken in moderate amounts, sea salt has been found to be effective in reducing the incidence of heart diseases and heart attacks.
- One of the various health benefits of sea salt is clearing of the sinus cavities. Sea salt is a strong natural antihistamine. After drinking a glass or two of water put a little bit of sea salt on the tongue. This provides relief from asthma. It is also useful in clearing lungs of mucus plugs and phlegm.
- Sea salt helps in extracting acidity from the cells of the body, specially from those in the brain. It also helps the kidneys to remove excess acidity from the body and excrete it through urine.
- Sea salt helps in maintaining proper balance of electrolytes in the body. This strengthens the immune system and increases energy levels in the body. This is specially helpful for athletes.
- Sea salt improves transmission of information between nerve cells. It is important for proper functioning of the nerves and helps them in processing information received by brain.
- As it is a powerful antihistamine, unrefined sea salt prevents muscle cramps. It also helps in improving muscle tone and strength..
- Sea salt helps in regulating sleep. It is a natural hypnotic that acts as a soporific. Drinking a pinch of salt added to warm water before going off to sleep can induce deep sleep.
- Sea salt health benefits include better absorption of food in the body by the intestinal tracts.
- Sea salt is also used in the cosmetic industry, mainly a natural exfoliant or scrub. Its high mineral content also finds it a place in the manufacture of skin care products and foundations. Sea salt crystals may also be used to make antiperspirants and deodorants.
- The various minerals present in sea salt gives it a certain flavor that is valued by many chefs. Sea salt is often used in French and Thai cuisine. Chefs use sea salt as a crust for baked potatoes.
So....let's say Cheers to our little friend, Salt!