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Salt – The History, The Diet, and The Uses

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Salt (NaCl)

A mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride also known as Table Salt or white gold.

The history of salt and the salt trade goes back thousands of years, in fact some earliest evidence point back to 8 thousand years ago in China at a salt works and in Romania where spring water was boiled to extract salt.  Salt was so prized by the Egyptians, Greeks, the ancient Hebrews, the Romans and other ancient civilizations that it became a product for barter, trade and even as currency where Moorish merchants in the 6th century traded salt for gold, weight for weight..  Wars were fought – Venice won over Genoa and it played an important part in the American Revolution. Salt was distributed across the Mediterranean Sea by boat after it was mined and transported via the camel caravan routes across the Sahara Desert on roads that were especially build (salt roads) which is still used today. Trucks have mainly replaced the camels, but still follow the salt route.

Another interesting fact is that the word “salary” is derived from the Latin word for salt as Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt.

Salt is one of the oldest food seasoning as well as a natural preservative. Sodium plays a vital role in the human body as it helps nerves and muscles to function correctly. It is also one of the factors involved in the regulation of water content (fluid balance) in the human body.

Himalayan salt is pure, hand-mined salt found naturally, deep within the pristine Himalayan Mountains. Crystallized over 250 million years ago, ancient sea beds were covered by lava, protecting the salt from modern-day pollution, and lending to the belief that Himalayan Pink salt is the purest salt to be found on earth.

Too much salt in the diet is unhealthy as it increases the risks for Cardio Vascular Disease and reducing the daily sodium intake may result in a significant decrease of pressure in people suffering from High Blood pressure. However the exact daily intake quantity deemed safe, remains disputed in studies conducted in 2013 and 2015.

The reverse is also true, whereas it is believed that Low Blood Pressure sufferers benefit in increasing their salt intake.

Table Salt as used as an aid or alternative in and around the home:

  • Remove wine spills from a carpet – If red wine was spilled, pour some white wine while still wet to dilute the color, clean the spill with a sponge and cold water. Sprinkle the area with salt and after 10minutes vacuum.
  • Cleaning fish tanks & flower vase deposit marks – Rub the inside of fish tank/vase with salt to remove hard water deposits, then rinse well. Use only plain, not iodized, salt.
  • Keeping cut flowers fresh – A dash of salt added to the water in a flower vase will keep cut flowers fresh longer.
  • Brightening cutting boards – After washing them with soap and water, rub cutting boards with a damp cloth dipped in salt; the boards will be lighter and brighter.
  • Shelling pecans – Soaking pecans in salt water for several hours before shelling will make nut meats easier to remove.
  • Prevent browning – Apples, pears and potatoes dropped in cold, lightly salted water as they are peeled will retain their colour.
  • Peeling eggs – Eggs boiled in salted water peel more easily.
  • Remove watermark stains on wood – form a paste of salt and a few drops of water and rub gently over the rings with a cloth until it is gone. Polish your wood as normal.
  • Relieve stings – Unless allergic to bee stings, wet the area and cover with salt. It will reduce the pain and lessen swelling.
  • Itching from mosquito bites – soak in salt water and then apply vegetable oil
  • Poison ivy stings – Soak in hot salt water
  • Removing perspiration stains – Add four tablespoons of salt to one quart of hot water and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains disappear.
  • Deodorize sneakers and canvas shoes – Sprinkle the inside with salt and tap out before the next use. It will soak up excess moisture and freshen at the same time
  • Ants – Sprinkle salt across the doorway and on the windowsill to keep them out
  • Sore throat – Gargle with Luke-warm saltwater
  • Mouth wash -Salt also makes an excellent mouth- and eye-wash as salt is a great antiseptic.
  • Reducing eye puffiness – Mix one teaspoon of salt in 500ml of hot water and apply pads soaked in the solution on the puffy areas
  • Relieving tired feet – Soak aching feet in warm water to which a handful of salt has been added. Rinse in cool water.
  • Relieving fatigue – Soak relaxed for at least ten minutes in a tub of water into which several handfuls of salt has been placed.
  • Massage – Salt greatly improves your complexion if used as gentle exfoliation due to its antiseptic properties and the grains will remove dead skin cells all over

 

As there are believed to be more than 14000 uses of salt, we have literally only touched on a few.

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