(Health Secrets) The body’s capacity for detoxification of environmental pollutants is not endless. Daily our exposure to toxic substances is on the rise as new materials and substances are synthesized in chemical laboratories. These chemicals end up in our air, water and food. On average U.S. citizens have residues from over 400 toxic compounds in their bodies according to the EPA. The U.S. water supply contains 2,100 chemicals, including pesticides, herbicides, PCBs, and medications such as synthetic hormone drugs, antidepressants, and synthetic recreational drugs. Approximately 80,000 metric tons of carcinogens are released into the air annually, and genetically modified ingredients are found in over 80% of our foods. There are 82,000 man-made chemicals in use daily but only a fourth have been tested for toxicity. What is the best defense for all of this? The answer is probably salt.
The liver is the main cleansing organ of the body. It removes toxins and metabolic waste by converting them into water-soluble compounds. These compounds are eliminated from the body through urine. Non water-soluble compounds are transformed by the liver and excreted into bile, which is transported to the intestines and excreted. Toxins that are not eliminated or completely removed by either of these processes are eliminated via sweating through the skin, considered the third kidney. This is why saltwater soaking is so beneficial for a healthy body.
There is nothing new about salt. Different kinds of salts, their uses, and methods of extraction were studied in China around 2700 years BCE. Hippocrates encouraged his fellow healers to use salt water for the treatment of various ailments by immersing patients in seawater. Ancient Greeks continued this practice. In1753 Charles Russell, English author and physician, published the book “The Uses of Sea Water”, and during the19th century, Father Sebastian Kneipp, Bavarian priest and holistic healer, formalized the idea of “hydrotherapy”,which is therapeutic water soaking.
Saltwater soaking can:
- Ease stress and improves sleep and concentration
- Help muscles and nerves function
- Regulate activity of enzymes
- Help muscles and nerves function properly
- Improve oxygen use
- Flush toxins
- Improve absorption of nutrients
- Help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins
- Help prevent or ease migraine headaches
Hydrotherapy for body detoxification is a remedy that anyone can perform in the comfort of home. According to naturopath Dr. Hazel Parcells, hot water draws toxins to the skin’s surface, and as the water cools it pulls toxins from the skin. While soaking the body absorbs minerals from the water.
Salts are highly alkaline and cleansing. Typical salts used in hydrotherapeutic baths include sea salt, baking soda, clay, and Dead Sea salts. Epsom salts, which are magnesium based, supports detoxification by causing you to sweat. Sea salt baths are often recommended for treating a wide range of medical conditions.
Sea salts, the relaxing effects of hot water, and essential oils are a synergistic combination. Aromatic baths provide relief from stress and anxiety, assist with muscle and joint pain, and treat the symptoms of more severe skin conditions.
There are many salt baths to experience
Himalayan Salt, or Jurassic sea salt, was formed 150 million years ago during the formation of the great mountain ranges of today. These ancient sea salt deposits were preserved and protected from pollutants by layers of volcanic eruptions, and typically contain 84 valuable trace minerals that create its beautiful natural pink coloring.
Atlantic Sea Salts are collected from deep clean ocean waters. The seawater is channeled into large clay trays and allowed to evaporate and dry with the sun and wind. This white bath salt is naturally absorbent and perfect for adding coloring or scent.
Dead Sea Salt differs greatly from other sea salts in mineral content, being made up of only 8% sodium chloride with a high percentage of magnesium, sulfates and potassium. It is rumored that Cleopatra had a spa constructed on the shores of the Dead Sea, and its salt is known to aid in the treatment of common dry skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis, as well as reducing pain and inflammation from arthritis and rheumatism.
Dendritic Salt is a highly purified sodium chloride that is crystallized and commercially manufactured. Dendritic salt is highly absorptive and holds essential oils more intensely and for longer time. It is used as a preservative for bath salt blends.
Epsom Salt benefits those who are magnesium deficient. Magnesium deficiency contributes to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive problems, and chronic fatigue. Epsom salt is most easily taken into the body through the skin.
Mediterranean Sea Salt is a perfect salt for adding straight to the tub, and as a raw ingredient blended with essential oils for scrubs and body treatments.
Grey Breton Salt is unwashed, unrefined, and additive-free. Grey salt is traditionally hand-harvested in Guérande, France in the Brittany region. The salt’s natural trace minerals absorbed from its sea origins create the distinctive gray color. Because it is unwashed, unrefined, and additive-free, it maintains health-enhancing nutrients that include calcium, potassium, copper, zinc, iron and others.
Hawaiian Red Salt, also known as Alaea sea salt, is a natural, unprocessed salt. The distinctive red color comes from purified volcanic red Hawaiian clay, which is high in iron oxide. The therapeutic benefits of Hawaiian red salt baths include healing wounds, body aches, and muscle sprains.
Indian Black Salt is a pinkish gray, sulfur salt, harvested in the Pakistan and India volcanic regions. This bath salt is beneficial for a wide variety of conditions including skin infections, inflammations, and respiratory problems. This unrefined sulfur salt is a natural disinfectant, which has a strong purifying and re-mineralizing effect on the body. Black salt is a central ingredient in classical Ayurvedic healing therapies.
With a basic understanding of the various salt varieties, you can create spa baths personalized to your health needs. When buying salt for therapeutic soaking, it is more economical to buy bulk quantities from the internet. Buy food grade salt from a reputable dealer as the purity is guaranteed. You can then use the salt for cooking as well as soaking, getting the full benefit of the mineral content.
Homemade bath salts make easy and fun personalized gifts.
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Photo by Nomadic Lass