No Salt? No Life!

Hundreds of millions of years ago, an ocean existed on Earth allowing the creation of life. The planet was changing in the same way as it had over billions of years. Not instantly but over millennia – seas, mountains and volcanoes came and went, forming Earth into what it is today.

Himalayan crystal salt At a time when the land was growing hotter this ocean gradually dried out, forming vast plateaus of minerals in the form of rock salt. Not just the sodium chloride that we buy in supermarkets, but most of the minerals to be found in our world – in pristine condition. As the earth constantly moved, the pre-Cambrian ocean was subjected to enormous pressure as the Himalayas were formed. This action created crystal from rock and the Himalayas have nurtured the crystal for around 250,000,000 years. It is clean, pure and completely uncontaminated – this is Himalayan crystal salt.

Life can only be brought into existence when water is added to salt so in storage, it will not support microbial life. When you add it to your food you are replenishing the minerals that the body loses naturally each day (and bear in mind how depleted the soil has become from over-farming) and you are adding them exactly as nature intended. It has been said that when some primitive life-forms crawled out of the sea, in order to live, they had to take the sea with them – in their simple circulatory systems. That would be us then! Himalayan crystal salt appears an attractive pink colour – this may be due to the range of minerals present or possibly the remains of the harmless salt-loving algae that lived in the primordial sea.

In nature today, some animals will travel miles to lick natural salt – they instinctively know that they need it. Even domestic animals are given “salt licks” as it is known that they need the extra minerals it provides. If you consider it, an animal would only take something offered, if it was needed, so perhaps we should do the same. In fact, I give “salt licks” to some of my clients who are for whatever reason, poorly nourished. I just supply them with a Himalayan crystal salt lump and tell them to lick it whenever and for however long they need to. (Do not do this with other salt.) If you use the right stuff, you would be hard-pushed to consume too much because your body would tell you “enough is enough”.

When minerals are taken like this they act together to rid the body of toxins, balance fluid retention and excretion and equalize acidity and alkalinity. They are needed for the essential electrical conductivity in heart and other muscle and in nerves. They are vital for the proper formation and function of stomach acid and enzymes and much more. We should get all these minerals from our food but so much of our soil is exhausted and the produce of this land will be lacking too.

Himalayan Crystal Salt is regarded as gourmet salt and is highly prized by some of our leading chefs (Jamie Oliver for one).This may boost salt’s reputation but basic as it maybe, it is a food, ie something which if ingested helps promote healthy life. Fortunately, the salt mines are enormous and salt will be mined in the Himalayas for several hundreds of years yet.

Celtic grey salt is also very good and has a slightly different mineral profile – less of some and more of others. As it is damp, there is more iodine which is essential for thyroid function. It does not grind as well as Himalayan salt, so use it in cooking and leave the Himalayan salt for the grinder. Sprinkling these on your food has to be THE best way to ensure that you obtain some of all the minerals that you need for health.  Rather than just adding saltiness, they enhance the natural flavours – and it’s much cheaper and safer than taking pills!

Both of these natural salts are available online, health food stores or organic shops.

“Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea”– Pythagoras 580 – 500BC

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Salt and Vinegar With Those?

Yet again we’re being manipulated. Whoever heard of chips without salt? Why does the government have to interfere – especially when they are giving misguided advice.

Think about it – what are chips? Potato, fat and salt. Just that. I am not advocating chips as a health food but they could be a lot healthier than they are. And anyway, life is for living and nothing (just a couple of exceptions) is wrong as long as the nutrients that the body needs are provided.

I remember as a child, my mum taking my sister and I for our check-up at the dentist or if we had to visit the doctor, who practiced in the same street, we always called in at the fish and chip shop on the walk back home. It was a treat. We never had chips otherwise. Fish and chips cooked the proper way and eaten out of newspaper was divine!

At that time, we didn’t “know that animal fat caused heart disease”. And it doesn’t, but that’s another story.  So in our great wisdom, it was decided that we should swap the lard for seed oils to fry the chips. What a disaster. Potatoes fried in lard offer not just superior taste, but all the fat-soluble vitamins – A, D, E and K. Vegetable oils supply vitamin E only but please don’t believe for a moment that this makes them OK. Seed oils are harmful in many ways and they were created about 150 years ago (for industry) whereas animal fat has been eaten by humans since the beginning of our existence. I know which I choose – if there was a choice.

As the government are giving their orders to food producers, our food is becoming more and more tasteless. Now the salt is to be reduced. OK, sodium chloride is not ideal, but I know people who have lived to be centenarians using this daily on their food. If you want a salt that is truly a food, buy Himalayan crystal salt or Celtic grey salt – and notice the difference!

Salt is not bad – our diets are.

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Winter Bugs

The cold weather is here! It can be miserable at this time of the year – no sun, it’s cold, windy and wet, Christmas is looming. We do not want to be ill! Here are a few precautions and some things you can do to head the bugs off at the pass!

Prevention: this is the most important aspect of your health and there is no substitute. To maximise the efficiency of your immune system, you should increase intake of fish and shell fish, meat and its fat, eggs, offal and green leafy vegetables. Make bone broth as a basis for soup and consider taking a supplement of krill or cod liver oil (preferably fermented). Remember that a diet high in carbohydrate foods, adds sugar to your body as all carbs are broken down to glucose – the simplest form of sugar. Having a constantly raised glucose level, slows down the action of our white cells, which combat infection.

Hand washing is imperative as a control of infections. In our daily lives we shake hands with people, open doors, use toilets, press lift buttons, use telephones, push shopping trolleys and more. These are all potential sources of infection. There is no need to be paranoid but we should all be careful. Wash and dry your hands thoroughly and frequently during the day, but always before eating or preparing food, after using the loo and when returning home from work, shopping etc. Perhaps wear gloves when out and about.

Have a couple of baths a week using essential oils to boost your immune system. Add a total of four drops from any of these; marjoram, thyme, tea tree, eucalyptus, lavender, and cinnamon. A mixture is best. Epsom salts in the bath will boost your magnesium levels – needed for immune health, and this can also induce sound sleep – another boost.

A few teaspoons of coconut oil and fresh sauerkraut each day will help balance your gut microbes – the foundation of the immune system.

So what do you do if you get a bug? Go to bed. Sleep as much as your body requires. Drink plenty of water/herb teas/broth and only eat if you are hungry. A teaspoon of raw honey -manuka, lavender, rosemary (but all raw honey can help) and a pinch of (Himalayan crystal or Celtic grey) salt dissolved in a litre of warm water is helpful if you have a stomach bug. Sip over 6-8 hours. If you are able, take baths as before. Try to stay away from others especially children, the elderly and those who have compromised immunity – eg. those who have been ill recently or are on medication.
If you feel you need something to help with symptoms, paracetamol may help but try to keep it to night time so that you get a good sleep.

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The body is quite able to repair itself and fight infection without help but if you are worried or the illness does not seem to be improving, get advice from your doctor by phone. You will not be welcome at the surgery!

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