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Blog 2015-02-05 Pinch of Salt - Ellies and the Salt Cave

A while back I watched a documentary on African elephants. They walked miles and miles to a specific cave they knew in order to feed on salt licks at night. All wild vegetarian animals seek out salt to lick; it balances out their biochemistry. Carnivore animals get their quota of salt by drinking blood!

Over the past few years we have heard murmurings from the media and doctors to reduce our intake of salt, but as usual this has left us more confused. Just what sort of salt are we talking about?

The answer is TABLE salt. This is a refined substance containing just 2 components – sodium and chloride. It is produced in kilns with temperatures reaching 1200 degrees F, which radically changes the salt’s chemical structure. Like all refined foods, it no longer contains all the cofactors needed for its proper digestion and utilisation in our bodies and instead puts more stress on our cells. In naturopathy it is seen (alongside sugar) as a white poison. It causes water retention, and thus high blood pressure, as well as inflammation and cellulite!!

Many moons ago, I was actually advised to take salt out of my diet. After some time, I couldn’t understand why my mouth was extremely dry, so much so that I found swallowing difficult, because I couldn’t generate enough saliva. It took a lot of investigation on my part to work out what the problems was. The answer: salt!! It goes to show that some advice should literally be taken with a pinch of salt!!

Like elephants, we do need salt – just not the refined sort.

The best salts for humans are natural crystal salts – Himalayan, Sea salt, and Celtic salt. They contain 84 chemical elements – all of the minerals and trace minerals found in the human body. Of these, I would say Himalayan is the purest salt available.

Often when we crave salt, it can be a sign that our adrenals are flagging. In Traditional Chinese Medicine, the taste associated with the kidneys is saltiness. In our stress-filled lives, our kidneys and adrenals get a hammering, so by using a little REAL salt, we can give them the support they need.

Health writer Phillip Day recommends half a teaspoon of Himalayan Salt per 10 glasses of water consumed per day. I put a pinch of salt in my morning water and then add pinches here and there during the day in salads and soups.

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