All About Salt
Himalayan Crystal Salt: The Queen of
Himalayan Crystal Salt: With the Neti
Did You Know?
Symptoms such as digestive issues/constipation, low energy/fatigue, too much or dried mucous (congestion), and, over time, osteoporosis and other issues could be connected to a lack of good usable organic sodium. Shocking, isn't it? Society has been so conditioned to lower salt intake that the message of good salt and how much we need it for good health has been totally lost. In fact, many people are suffering because they lack proper assessment and treatment. Most health care practitioners aren't trained to look for it, and it's so easy to reverse! Our body is always striving to maintain its natural balance.
Salt is NOT Bad for Us?!
There is a real misunderstanding about salt. On one hand, our consumption of salt seems to be killing us. On the other hand, we cannot live without salt. So in order to answer this loaded question we must first explore the differences between table salt and unrefined salt. Table salt has been fired at 1500 degrees so that it is stable in most climates. Once this salt has been chemically cleaned and processed, it becomes inorganic and impossible for our bodies to digest. Unrefined salt is unprocessed and is just like the sodium that occurs naturally in our bodies — it is essential to our daily lives and is most certainly good for us. So to your body, table salt is like poison and unrefined salt is like nectar.
Table salt: the Poison Pill
When table salt is chemically cleaned and processed, the trace minerals and electrolytes that naturally occur in unrefined salt are removed as if they were impurities. Chemically processed table salt is inorganic, which means that the chemical bonds are so strong that it can't be easily broken down or metabolized by our bodies. When you take in an inorganic mineral, your body will either store them or eliminate them. In this case, when you take in table salt your body sees it as a poison and tries to get rid of it as quickly as possible. Unfortunately, most of us take in way more table salt than our bodies can eliminate. When this happens, your body has to do something with the excess salt.
Have You Ever Wondered Why You Feel So Thirsty and Bloated after Eating That Pepperoni Pizza?
Well, that's because your body has been put into a tough position. It can't get rid of the table salt fast enough so it must neutralize it. How does it do that? It is forced to take water from our healthy cells to surround it and as a result, you retain water and kill off healthy cells. Consumption of table salt increases blood pressure, and leads to a number of disorders such as edema (water retention) and excess fluid in the tissues (i.e. cellulite). So of course, your allopathic doctor will tell you to reduce your salt intake. Unfortunately most allopathic doctors have had only one nutrition class in their entire careers. The nutrition class that they take does NOT teach from a healing perspective. In other words, they are not taught about and most of them do not believe in the healing power of food. They are taught to use medication to "cure" an ailment. For this reason, allopathic doctors do not know (and cannot teach their patients) about the healing benefits of unrefined salt.
How Is Unrefined Salt Different?
Think of a diamond. A diamond started as coal, but this coal was subjected to intense pressure over millions of years and as a result the diamond was formed. Salt that has been subjected to this same pressure eventually becomes crystal salt. Our bodies can easily absorb the crystalline structure of salt because our blood has a crystalline structure. As an added benefit, the trace elements trapped within crystal salt are in particles small enough to penetrate human cells for optimal metabolism. So while there are many types of unrefined salts to choose from, crystal salt is my favorite. Many types of sea salts are also beneficial, but due to the pollution of our oceans, and for a variety of other reasons, many sea salt producers are starting to refine their salt. If you purchase sea salt, you have to check the label carefully to make sure that it does not have additives. Chances are, if your sea salt looks too much like table salt you probably want to avoid it.
It's Not Your Body's Fault
Contrary to popular belief, our bodies function perfectly. Your body does exactly what it is supposed to do each moment to keep you alive TODAY. When our body throws up a signal, such as acid reflux or intestinal gas, it is telling you that it is reacting perfectly to something we experienced or ate that does not agree with it.
The Bloody Truth
Our blood must always be slightly alkaline. For optimal health you need for 25% of the foods you eat to digest acidic and 75% of the foods that you eat to digest alkaline. Let's break this down. We are talking about the process that occurs after food leaves your stomach. And you can't go by taste. A lemon tastes acidic but has an alkalizing effect on your blood. Meat doesn't taste acidic but has a very acidic effect on your blood. If the food you eat is overly acidic, it cannot leave your body without being neutralized. Unfortunately, the typical American diet is highly acidic. When you eat a meal that is overly acidic, your body must neutralize the acid and regulate the alkalinity of the blood. Your body neutralizes acids with organic sodium from its alkaline reserves.
Acidic Foods vs Alkaline Foods: What's the Difference?
Well, that is another story … for now, to keep it simple let's just say that all vegetables and most fruits digest alkaline. Most grains, all meats, cheeses, beans and nuts digest acidic. So we need unrefined salt to help our body maintain alkaline blood, right? Not exactly. Your body needs organic sodium to neutralize acid in the blood, but the best source of organic sodium is fruits and vegetables. The average adult needs to eat about 10 pounds or so of fruits and vegetables a week. This is crucially important. Some of us will not eat one piece of fruit in a week! Unrefined sea salt is a wonderful addition to our diets…it requires no effort to digest, gives our food flavor and neutralizes acids. And unrefined salt is so potent, that you only need a very small amount of it. It will not cause edema or make you thirsty when used properly. Let it be your back up to fruits and vegetables.
A Prelude to a ... Bone?
Let's revisit the idea that your body does what it needs to do in this moment, on this day to keep you alive. So today you took in more table salt than your body could eliminate, and it robbed some of your healthy cells of moisture, killing them and diluting the inorganic sodium. In the meantime, you really need organic sodium to neutralize the acid. Your body is now in a dilemma. What can it do today to keep you alive, well and functioning if there are no alkaline reserves (organic sodium) available in your body?
Calcium: The Back-up System You Don't Want Your Body to Use
Your bones regulate the level of calcium in your blood. If your body does not have enough alkaline reserves to neutralize excess acid, your bones come to your rescue! Your bones have a healthy supply of organic calcium and because your body is not concerned with tomorrow—it has to keep you alive today—it takes calcium from your bones to neutralize the acid. What do you think will happen if your body is forced to rob your bones of calcium for years and years? You got it, you will develop porous bones.
It Doesn't Run in You Just Because It Runs in Your FamilyThink about it. We think that bone related health issues such as osteoporosis is just based on family history or comes with old age. I'm going to argue that it is not. How you age is in your hands—dependent on the lifestyle you choose. At this point I'd also like to say that passing on this information is not about judgment. Don't feel bad about what you may have done or are doing. This is a learning process and healing comes in layers. Take in this information and begin to make gradual changes to your daily routine.
Have You Made the Connection?
By now I hope you are coming to the conclusion that many of our problems result from the lack of organic sodium in our diets.
It's All about the Benjamins – Cha Ching!
Given all of the hazards of table salt, why is it on the market? Now that is a loaded question. Think about the almighty dollar. Just about every chemical process requires table salt – from PVC pipes to soda to detergent. Also, table salt is extremely inexpensive and has been a "blessing" to the fast food industry because it cheaply extends the shelf life of food, much to our detriment.
So How Many Different Kinds of Unrefined Salts Are Out There?
There are many types out there, but to keep things simple, let's stick to the types of salt that you can easily find at your health or ethnic food store.
- Himalayan Crystal Salt: the best crystal salt comes from the Himalayan Mountains. It is generally pink-ish in color and you can find it at most health food stores. Try to purchase fair trade crystal salt.
- Celtic Salt: this is a sea salt that contains all of the trace minerals and more and it is grey and clumpy. You can certainly find it at most health food stores.
- Black Salt: this is an example of an unrefined salt that is not tasty. It smells like sulfur and is pink in color. You can usually find it at an Asian or Indian supermarket. It is beneficial because it is very cleansing in nature. It tastes terrible in water, but disappears in food, so if you are trying to cleanse your body of toxins, this is a good one to use. There are other salts that are called "black salt" and are black in color as well, but these salts do not have the sulfur smell or flavor. Some examples are "Black Lava sea salt", "Black Hawaiian sea salt" or "Hiwa Kai" Some black salts are blended with activated charcoal.
Note: please store your salt in glass not metal as metal changes the chemical composition of salt. It is best to use a ceramic grinder because most unrefined salts are clumpy or in larger chunks. You can find ceramic grinders at your local herb store, specialty kitchen stores or at www.cooking.com.
- Internally as sole: for electrolytes and to liquefy plaque (which is dried mucous) in your intestines. Click here for the benefits of and instructions on how to make and use sole.
- Externally as sole: in a neti pot to cleanse the nasal passages which helps heal a wide variety of ailments including allergies and sleep apnea. Click here to learn the benefits of and how to use the neti pot.
- Externally for bathing: (any unrefined sea salt is acceptable) to pull toxins from the tissues, especially when mixed with baking soda and Epsom Salt. Add at least a cup of each to your bath water and soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Externally in scrubs: (any unrefined sea salt is acceptable) to stimulate the lymphatic system and reduce edema. Click here to learn how to make your own salt scrubs.
Salty Fun Facts
These fun facts come from one of my favorite books on salt by Dr. Hendel and Peter Ferreira, Water and Salt… The Essence of Life. I highly recommend this book! It takes more of a biophysics approach to the make up of salt than a chemical approach. I love that because biophysics studies how our bodies react to substances that we take in and the ― "reciprocal nature of living matter." Until recently, we've only been exposed to the chemical perspective which views salt simply as the chemical, sodium chloride
- The human body consists of two primarily elements … water and salt
- Water and salt when combined with light can build proteins.
- Our blood is a 1% sole (water and salt) solution which is the same concentration as the salt of the ocean. Now you know why you love to be in the ocean!
- Salt has a crystalline structure that is electric not molecular (think about the word "electrolytes").
- Salt can neutralize acids in our bodies, but it can also cancel out harmful electromagnetic vibrations in our environment.
- Without potassium (which is stripped from table salt) and sodium, we could not think or act.
- A glass jar
- About 1 cup of Himalayan Crystal Salt
To use sole, you'll need a glass and a wooden or ceramic spoon (metal changes the chemical composition of salt).
Quick and easy sole recipe
- Pour about 1 cup of Himalayan Crystal Salt into your glass jar (so that there is about an inch or two of salt at the bottom of your glass jar). You may use any form of the salt including large chunks.
- Fill your glass jar with artesian or distilled water
- Let the water sit for a day or overnight
- The next day, check your jar to see that there is still salt in the jar. If all of the salt has been absorbed by the water, you need to add more salt. If there is still some salt in your jar, your sole is ready.
Take one teaspoon of the sole solution and add it to a glass of water. Drink the solution first thing in the morning on an empty stomach.
Special Note: This recipe is a guide. Every person is different. Your tongue will tell you exactly how much sole to add to your water. When you add the teaspoon of sole to your glass of water, taste it. If it tastes the way you believe salt water tastes, then it is perfect. If it tastes too salty, then dilute the solution with water until it tastes correct (pour out some from your glass, then add plain artesian or distilled water to dilute). If it doesn't taste salty enough, you may need to add more than a tsp. of sole until the balance is correct for you. Your sense of taste will let you know what your kidneys need and you may find that each day your needs are different.
Short list of benefits of using sole
- Stimulates metabolism and digestion
- Flushes out heavy metal toxins
- Reduces addictive cravings
- Balances acid-alkaline imbalance in your body
- Normalizes blood pressure
- Cleans your intestines (may temporarily give you slightly loose stools until the plaque has been cleaned out)
- Helps heal skin dis-eases
A neti pot is a special kind of ceramic container that you use to cleanse and rejuvenate your nasal passages. The entire process only takes about 2-3 minutes. You can cleanse your nasal passages anywhere, but Dr. Phyl recommends standing over your bathroom sink.
Here's what you will need:
- A neti pot (you can purchase them at any health food stores)
- 1 tsp. sole solution or about a tsp. of high quality unrefined sea salt (Dr. Phyl recommends Himalayan Crystal Salt or Celtic salt)
- About 1 ¼ cups of warm water (preferably distilled or artesian). Water that is about 100 degrees is comfortable for most people.
- Tissues or a towel to blow and dry your nose
2. Add the salt water solution to the neti pot
3. Blow your nose to clear your nostrils of excess mucus. If one nostril is more clogged than the other, begin with the clearest nostril first.
4. Lean forward over your sink and tilt your head to one side. Try to keep your forehead about the same height as your chin.
5. Pick up the neti pot by its handle and gently place the spout in your nostril.
6. Allow the salt water to flow out the other nostril. You may have to adjust your head slightly to assist with the flow.
7. When you have used about ½ of the solution, lower the neti pot and blow and dry your nose.
8. Repeat the process with your other nostril until the liquid is depleted.
9. You have successfully cleansed your nasal passages!
10. Note: if you attempt to use the neti pot, but your nasal passages are blocked or you feel pressure, this means that you have dried mucus trapped in your nasal passages. Be patient. Keep using the neti pot until the blockage is removed. If you have asthma or another COPD (Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Dis-ease)
Dr. Phyl recommends using the neti pot at least 3 times a week.
Short list of benefits of using the neti pot
- Supports and rejuvenates the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems
- Removes excess mucus
- Stimulates the mind and senses (especially useful for helping you wake up and get going in the morning)
- Is used for to relieve sinus dryness and congestion, headaches, colds, allergies, flu, many forms of COPD and many forms of psychological stress
- Improves overall energy and circulation
- Helps with weight loss and detoxifies the body
Dr. Phyl recommends that EVERYONE learn to use the neti pot regularly. For general health and rejuvenation, begin by using the neti pot once a week until symptoms improve. Then for maintenance, cleanse your nasal passages at least once during the change of each season.
- About 4 cups of unrefined Sea Salt (you can find this in the bulk section of your local health food store). For extra detoxification add 1 cup of baking soda and/or one cup of Epsom salt (Epsom salt may be too "rough" for some people)
- About 1 cup of unrefined oil of your choice (Dr. Phyl recommends extra virgin cold pressed olive oil, but unrefined sesame oil, coconut oil or sunflower oil are great alternatives)
- Optional: about 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil. Dr. Phyl recommends Amrita or Wyndmere organic essential oils. Click here to learn more about essential oils or here to contact Dr. Phyl to customize an essential oil blend for your health needs.
Combine all ingredients into a glass bowl. Mix to a paste with a large wooden spoon. You can add more or less oil to mix the paste to the consistency of your choice.
How to give yourself a Radiant Salt Scrub
NOTE: PLEASE BE CAREFUL! THE OIL WILL MAKE YOUR TUB OR SHOWER VERY SLIPPERY. BE SURE TO HOLD ON TO A HANDRAIL AND USE EXTRA PRECAUTION WHEN LEAVING THE TUB OR SHOWER.
In the shower:
- Step into your shower with your bowl of salt scrub
- Beginning at your feet, take small handfuls of the mixture and rub it vigorously in an upward circular motion until your skin turns a little pink. This means that you have increased blood flow to the area.
- Continue to work your way up your body. Be thorough, but avoid the face, genitals and nipples (do work all around your breast).
- Pay special attention to the creases in your groin, your sides, under your breast (especially women) and under your arms as these are important areas where lymph nodes tend to be overlooked and where toxins collect undetected.
- When you have reached up to your neck, remove the bowl and turn on the shower.
- Rinse thoroughly.
- Be careful as you step out of the shower because the area will be oily.
- Pat dry or air dry for extra moisturization of the skin.
- Turn on the water in your tub.
- Spread out a towel on the floor and place your bowl of salt scrub on the towel.
- Step onto the towel and beginning at your feet, take small handfuls of the mixture and rub it vigorously in an upward circular motion until your skin turns a little pink. This means that you have increased blood flow to the area.
- Continue to work your way up your body. Be thorough, but avoid the face, genitals and nipples (do work all around your breast).
- Pay special attention to the creases in your groin, your sides, under your breast (especially women) and under your arms as these are important areas where lymph nodes tend to be ignored and where toxins collect undetected.
- When you have reached up to your neck, your tub will most likely be full. Turn off the water and very carefully step into the tub.
- Soak for at least 30 minutes.
- Pat dry or air dry for extra moisturization of the skin.
Note: You do not need to shower with soap when you use the salt scrub. The salt, baking soda and Epsom salts are very gentle but powerful cleansers of the body and are more effective than using soap.