The Dirt on Salt (and water)
Expert Advice from one of Australia’s leading himalayan salt importer
Salt is a vital substance for the survival of all living creatures, particularly humans. Water and salt regulate the water content of the body. Water itself regulates the water content of the interior of the cell by working its way into all of the cells it reaches. It has to get there to cleanse and extract the toxic wastes of cell metabolism.
Salt forces some water to stay outside the cells by balancing the amount of water that stays outside the cells. There are two oceans of water in the body; one ocean is held inside the cells of the body and the other ocean is held outside the cells. Good health depends on a most delicate balance between the volume of these oceans and this balance is achieved by salt – unrefined salt.
When water is available to get inside the cells freely, it is filtered from the outside salty ocean and injected into the cells that are being overworked despite their water shortage. This is the reason why in severe dehydration people can develop an “edema” and retain water.
The design of our bodies is such that the extent of the ocean of water outside the cells is expanded to have the extra water available for filtration and emergency injection into vital cells. The brain commands an increase in salt and water retention by the kidneys. This is how we get an “edema” when we don’t drink enough water.
Initially, the process of water filtration and it’s delivery into the cells is more efficient at night when the body is horizontal. The collected water, which mostly pools in the legs, does not have to fight the force of gravity to get into the blood circulation.
If reliance on this process of emergency hydration of some cells continues for long, the lungs begin to get waterlogged at night and breathing becomes difficult. The person needs to sit upright to sleep. This condition is a consequence of dehydration. However, you might overload the system by drinking too much water at the beginning. Increases in water intake must be slow and spread out until urine production begins to increase at the same rate that you drink water.
When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of the salt that was held back. This is how we can get rid of “edema” fluid in the body; by drinking more water – not diuretics, more water!
In people who have an extensive “edema” and show signs of their heart beginning to have irregular or very rapid beats with least effort, the increase in water intake should be gradual and spaced out, but not withheld from the body. Naturally, salt intake should be limited for two or three days because the body is still in an overdrive mode to retain it. Once the “edema” has cleared up, salt should not be withheld from the body.
Salt has many other functions other than just regulating the water content of the body. Here are just some of the more vital functions of salt in the body:
- Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heart beats and is essential to the regulation of blood pressure (despite what we’re told)
- Salt is vital to for the clearance of the lungs of mucous (essential for asthma cases)
- Salt is vital for the rapid healing of infection and viral overwhelm
- Salt is vital for balancing sugar levels in the blood (an important element for diabetics)
- Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in the cells (the body’s power source)
- Salt is vital for the absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract
- Salt is essential for preventing muscle cramps
- Salt is critical for making the structure of the bones strong (osteoporosis is largely the result of a shortage of water and salt)