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Dec 16

Sea Salt

Salt is funny in that everyone uses it and few understand it, but it is critical for the body’s water balance. The classic salt most Americans use is iodine infused sodium chloride. 97% of salt is used in the chemical industry. The remaining 3% which American’s consume, made by mixing chlorine gas to sodium in a reactor and then treated by adding iodine which tends to sublimate or go directly from solid to gas. This is then locked in, by using sugar as a sealant, and finally the entire thing gets bleached white because iodine tends to be a brownish purple and people like snow white salt. Then aluminum is added to prevent caking. The resulting material is more a drug than a food .

This can be contrasted with traditional salt making techniques, which include either mining it or harvesting it from the sea. Mined salt is better than the aforementioned synthetic salt, but it is not a live food. Salt deposits may be millions of years old and contain little or nothing alive.

My favorite is traditionally harvested salt, which pointedly does not include the use of heating for evaporation purposes (which speeds vaporization but damages the salt). With traditionally harvested salt, which to my knowledge, is limited to France, Portugal and Hawaii, one gets a living food. One can add this type of salt to distilled water, and in the proper concentration, salt water fish will thrive. Any other type of salt will kill the fish, unless real sea water is added.

So we know that there is something alive in both sea water and properly harvested salt. There is close to 90 different elements in real salt, including potassium, which has been shown to lower blood pressure. I often tell patients to get vitamins from food and their minerals from salt. The advantages of a living food are countless.

This office recommends the Celtic Grain and Salt Society, which we have no commercial relationship with. The phone number is 1-800-TOP-SALT, and the brand I recommend is the “Grey Brand” for your basic salt. Additionally, one should buy a small salt grinder as real salt tends to cake. Gourmets may try some of the other finishing salts. Farway, Whole Foods carry this salt as well as many health food stores.

For people with a tendency to dehydrate approximately 1/4 of a teaspoonful of salt should be added to a quart of water. One cannot taste it, and it will tend to help one hold their water, instead of urinating it out immediately. Too much water and not enough salt can be dangerous and even fatal causing a condition known as hyponatremia. For the water, the most inexpensive and safe option, is tap water that has been filtered through a carbon cartridge filter which is changed periodically. Plastic bottles especially if exposed to high temperatures, can result in phthalein being leached into it, which can acts as an uncontrolled xenoestrogen.

I believe that the typical American synthetic salt is not health promoting and should be avoided. Traditional sea salt is a health food and almost everyone should salt to taste. This will help your adrenals and in many cases increase your vitality.11

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