All About Salt
SALT: Mineral Balance from the Sea
As humans, we have an intimate relationship with salt. Not only does salt taste good, it sustains life.
Salt water has a mineral profile similar to our blood, sweat and tears. The oceans of electrolyte salts in our bodies is what harnesses the electrical current in our bodies. It is an element cannot live without.
As the muse for pioneering trade routes across incalculable oceans and vast deserts, salt has been the cornerstone of political alliances, security for great empires, and provocative cause for revolution. Salt has been valued thought human history to preserve and season food, as well as for medicinal values, and even money.
Salt is a stoic element, which in essence does not change. It will dissolve into liquid and dry back into crystals again and again without changing its natural form.
All salt comes from the sea. Sea salt is harvested and dried from ocean water. Rock salt and salt mines are deposits in the earth from where ancient seas once were. Natural sea salt has about 60 trace minerals, which are essential for the needy nuances of our bodies. Rock salt and salt mines are deposits in the earth left from where seas once were. Depending on geography, though, some rock salts may contain other valuable minerals from the earth.
“…All of us have in our veins the exact same percentage of salt in our blood, sweat, and tears that exists in the ocean…we are tied to the ocean…and when we go back to the sea…we are returning from whence we came…” - JFK
BALANCING QUALITIES OF SALT
Salt has a dual nature. It has attributes that are concurrently stimulating and grounding, cooling and warming, moist and dry, strengthening and softening. Salt is best used in balance, both as a seasoning and for health.
Salt stimulates digestion and healthy secretion of hydrochloric acid in the stomach. Both Ayruveda and Macrobiotic systems value the active quality of salt not only for strengthening digestion, but also for overall energy and endurance.
The moist nature of salt helps regulate warmth and coolness to balance the body. Part of this is due to the tonifying and stimulating action that salt has on the kidneys to aid and regulate fluid balance in the body. The right amount of salt promotes healthy fluid metabolism, but too much stimulation can stress the kidneys and dehydrate the body. The moist, stimulating qualities of salt are especially good in the dryness of cool and cold seasons.
The influence of salt on fluid balance can help soften tissue, muscles, glands, intestinal blockages, and abdominal hardness. Too much can raose pressure in the arteries. Because sodium has an affinity for water, excess quantities can settle in vascular fluids and cause arteries to become too firm and hard.
High-quality salt in sensible amounts not only tastes good, but also balances and does the body good.
See Guide to Sea Salts (link) for more info on all sorts of salts
SALT TIME LINE
2700 BCE -Chinese treatise on Pharmacology refers to some 40 varieties of salt, describing in detail production methods, which are still used today for harvesting high-quality salt.
1000 BCE - Salt miners sink shafts 150’ into a salt mine in what is now the Austrian valley of Salzkammergnt, which is still in production
506 BCE - Rome, stung by rising prices charged by foreign salt traders in the Roman ports, takes control of the salt-works for their own profit.
252 BCE- The first brine wells are established in China. Brine (salty water) is pumped through bamboo tubes from deep in the earth to a boiling house where salt is extracted by evaporation.
AD 1789 - The French Revolution is fueled by rage against a crushing salt tax.
1825- The Erie Canal opens, easing the distribution of heavy, bulky salt. It was nicknamed “The Ditch that Salt Built” because it was financed by the State of New York with a ‘salt tax’.
1914 - Morton salt debuts the ‘Salt Girl’, with an umbrella on the label and a slogan proclaiming: “When it Rains It Pours”. The campaign is in reference to the new additive of Magnesium Carbonate, to keep salt from sticking and clumping in humid weather.
1930 - Mahatma Gandhi leads the “Salt March” in India to protest the salt taxation by Britain.