What can salt do for our health?
Naturopathy: The underestimated effect of salt therapy
Sugar and salt are unhealthy. Nutrition experts have been calling for a rethink on food production and less sweet and salty ready meals for years. But is salt, in particular, really that dangerous?
As a naturopath, you have to clearly and plainly answer with "yes and no". It is true that too much salt can have a negative impact on your health. In particular, an excess of industrially produced salt, which has been deprived of all its minerals through the refining process, can lead to high blood pressure, stomach cancer and, in conjunction with other factors, even a heart attack.
Nutritional Knowledge - Salt makes food delicious
The industry uses salt as both a preservative and a low-cost flavor enhancer. As with sugar, the addition of salt to ready meals will occasionally improve the otherwise bitter and undoubtedly bland taste. Therefore, no food producer would voluntarily want to do without it. The consumer would immediately turn to competing products for taste reasons.
Yet, the body needs salt. People’s preference for this substance has already developed in the second and third years of life. It is determined here whether a Person prefers more or less salt in his/her food. Because salt is important for a variety of processes in the body.
Properties and the effect of salt
On this point, you can memorize the following phrase in German: "Natürliches Salz kann einem helfen" (natural salt can help you). The first letters of this mnemonic stand for the terms: Nährstoffaufnahme (nutrient absorption), Schlaf (sleep), Knochen (bones), Entgiftung (detoxification), and Haut (skin).
"The salivary glands are activated by salt water so that they produce more amylase. This enzyme helps in the breakdown of starch and therefore supports the digestive process," explains the manager of Naturheilzentrum Bottrop, Farid Zitoun. "Regular consumption of brine promotes regular and healthy bowel movements, and also increases nutrient absorption."
Brine is a salt water solution that is recommended in medical practice within the framework of hydrotherapy or health regimes. The positive properties of salt are utilized for the body through the consumption of natural salts. Because salt isn’t just good for digestion.
What is brine exactly?
The trace elements in unrefined salt can calm the nervous system. Salt reduces the stress hormones, cortisol and adrenaline, which can have a positive effect on sleeping at night. In addition, the minerals in the salt support bone structure and can thus prevent osteoporosis.
Brine water also helps to detoxify the body. As an antibacterial solution, it helps to destroy harmful bacteria and boost the immune system. This has also been corroborated by a study, which was published by Canadian scientists in 2016: "Saltwater vs. Alcohol: 1:1" (https://www.wissenschaft.de/umwelt-natur/salzwasser-gegen-alkohol-11/). They were able to prove here that salt water can destroy bacteria as effectively as alcoholic detergents.
Salt on the skin - help with acne?
"Natural salt contains chromium, sulfur, zinc and iodine as trace elements," as the naturopath, Christian Rüger knows from his daily work at Bottrop’s naturopathic practice. "These substances promote skin health by stimulating the metabolism of the skin, supporting fluid absorption in the largest Human organ, and preventing rashes. Zinc promotes the healing of wounds and also has a positive impact on the immune system."
Therefore, experienced physicians and alternative-medicine practitioners always take the diet of their patients into account before they, e.g. prescribe a therapy with brine. The appearance of the skin can often show an improvement and/or preliminary findings can even be made through the consumption of one glass of brine per day. Basically, however, a detailed diagnosis and guidance by an expert in the field should be obtained beforehand. Self-directed therapy or self-medication is expressly discouraged. Incidentally, the Bottrop-based YouTubers and lifestyle bloggers also have a tip for a healthy brine drink in the video description of the current #nabomade vlog on the subject of brine; "Brine bathing - that's the right way to do it". More on this topic can additionally be found on the blog Naturheilzentrum: "Salt & brine bath - Good for your skin and health?"