History of Salt
For thousands of years, salt has been known as a miraculous and curative mineral that is used for therapeutic purposes. Even in the oldest medical scripts, salt is listed as an ingredient in medical formulas. During these times, it was recommended for chest wounds as it is believed that it would disinfect the wound. It was also recognised as a laxative added to wine and water as well as an anti-infective. Salt was distributed in many different forms, including ointments. Ancient Egyptian doctors used salt-based remedies to accelerate childbirth, assist callous skin and also as an eye ointment.
Hippocrates (460BC), recognised for his work in medicine, often used salt for medicinal purposes. He often discussed the benefits of inhalation of steam from salt-water. This discovery is now used today to provide relief from respiratory symptoms. The main recommended uses were for skin diseases, dropsy, infections, callosities, ear-ache, mycosis, digestive upsets, and sciatica. A physician to the Roman Emperor (129-200 AD) used various forms of salt (sea salt, rock salt, salt foam) in formulas to protect against various concerns, including; infectious wounds, skin diseases, digestive troubles and callosities.
Around 980 AD, a well-known Arab doctor and scientist Avicenna highlighted the strong presence of iodine and iron in coastal sea salt.
Doctor and Alchemist Paracelsus (1493-1541 A.D), once quoted: “The human being must have salt, he cannot be without salt. Where there is no salt, nothing will remain, but everything will tend to rot.” He understood the power of salt, and recommended it for numerous uses, including; intestinal worms, itching, constipation and various others.
During war time it was widely known that personnel often struggled with salt deficiency. Unfortunately this deficiency led to inadequate wound healing and also a lower resistance to fighting against diseases. Due to this reason, during the French Retreat many of Napoleon’s troops died when travelling through the harsh terrain from Moscow.
There were salt production plants across North America during the war that played a vital role in integrating salt into soldier’s diet, dye for clothing and also preserving meat. Today, salt is still considered a form of natural healing and is used regularly in salt water baths to allow the body to soak in this powerful element.
Salt in Religion
In religion, salt has represented a variety of different symbolic and spiritual meanings. In Judaism and Islam, salt symbolises an agreement, and loyalty and friendship are sealed with salt because its texture does not change, even after being immersed in water, it can dry back into a crystal form. This unchangeable nature of salt, has also been associated with sealing a bargain in both Islam and also Judaism.
Salt has also been associated in Christianity with longevity and permanence but, by extension, also with truth and wisdom. The Catholic Church also distributes holy salt, the Salt of Wisdom, demonstrating the strong integration of this mineral into Christianity.
It is well documented that they summoned gods with salt and water, which is thought to be the origins of Christian holy water.
Ancient Hebrews considered salt to be the symbol of eternal natural of God’s covenant with Israel. In the Torah, the Book of Numbers, is written, “it is a covenant of salt forever, before the Lord”, and later in Chronicles, “The Lord God of Israel gave the kingdom over Israel to David forever, even to him, and to his sons, by a covenant of salt”.
In Judaism, bread is a symbol of food, which is a gift from God, and dipping the bread in salt preserves it – keeps the agreement between God and his people. On Friday nights Jews dip the Sabbath bread in salt.
Salt in Natural Therapy
Salt has been a well-known commodity in the natural health industry for thousands of years. This is predominately due to its curative and cosmetic purposes that have been utilised extensively throughout history and also today. These salts have been sourced from the mineral goldmines across the world, including various lakes, seas and mines.
One of the best ways to absorb salt infused minerals is by visiting the Dead Sea and soaking in its mineral-rich wonders. The Dead Sea is spread across six countries and is approximately 10 times saltier than other seas, the salt content is 350g/l in comparison to 40g/l to other seas. Due to its remote location, the Dead Sea is often a difficult place to visit, which is why the export of natural deposits from the Dead Sea has become more common. There is a wide selection of minerals found in the Dead Sea, including: calcium, potassium, magnesium, sodium, iodine, zinc, iron and various others.
Salts are commonly used in the form of bath salts in natural therapy to assist in the aid of various conditions, which include; skin conditions, insomnia, headaches, inflammation, dandruff and others.