The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly Salt

By Ekaterina Morrissey

Once upon a time there was a king who had three beautiful daughters.  One day, he wanted to know which one loves him the most so he can leave his kingdom to her.

He called all of them and ask each of them how much they loved him.

The first one said: “Dearest father, I love you more than my heart, eyes and freedom!”

The second daughter said: “I love you more than the sun!”

The third daughter said: “Dear father, I love you as much as people love salt!”

The king was displeased when he heard this “You love me as salt?! The simplest spice in the kingdom?!  You could have said saffron or sugar, which cost more money.  But Salt??  That means you don’t love me at all!”

The angry king dismissed his youngest daughter and banished her from the kingdom.  She left the kingdom with nothing but a small box filled with salt and walked for days until a near kingdom where she become a shepherdess.   As soon as she crossed her father’s kingdom border, strange things started to happen.  Salt started to disappear.  Supplies of salt could not make it through the border for some mysterious reason.  People fell ill and died.  The king fell ill and grew weaker and weaker.  The royal physicians puzzled about what could be wrong and finally realized that he lacked salt. Until then, nobody knew that salt is necessary for life.  As the news of the king’s mysterious illness travelled beyond the kingdom border and from town to town, it reached the shepherdess’ ears.  Straightaway she rushed to the kingdom carrying the box of salt.  She walked for many days and nights until she reached her father’s palace.  The princess found her father sleeping, near death.  She kissed his pale cheek and sat beside him.  She then cut some bread, buttered it and sprinkled salt on top.  The princess somehow managed to sit her father up and made him eat the bread.  The king was so weak that he fell asleep again.  Later, the Princess ordered some broth and sprinkled salt in it too, then fed it to her father.  He was regaining his strength and health slowly.  He wept and hugged his daughter closely: “My Dear daughter, can you forgive a foolish father?”

“Of course father!  I love you very much!”

From that moment on, salt came back to the kingdom in the same mysterious way it has disappeared.  The king never looked down on salt again and knew that his youngest daughter loved him the most, because she loved him more than what gives life – SALT.


Salt has been exceptionally important to humans for thousands of years.  It has been a foundation of human civilization based on its ability to preserve food which made transportation of food over long distances possible.  Salt has been considered such a highly valued trade compound that in many ancient civilizations, like the Roman Empire, people were paid in salt as a form of currency.  Today the word “salary” still exists and its roots comes from the salt exchange.  The earliest known town in Europe – Solnitsata, which was built around salt production facility approximately six thousand years ago, is located in present day Bulgaria, my native country, not far from the Black Sea coast.

Generations ago, people often turned to salt and mineral water to find remedies for many chronic illnesses.  Many clinics were establish near places with salt mines and natural mineral water sources to deliver salt based treatments, called speleotherapy, for sufferers of chronic conditions.  Salt has been used for centuries to dry bronchial tubes and clean sinus cavities from bacteria.  Today, the Himalayan Salt Lamp is a natural evolution of these remedies.  It produces negative ions from the salt crystals which bond with the dust in the air and eliminates it.  Any room of the house would be the perfect spot to place a lamp like this, especially the bedroom, to clear your sinuses during the night when your body’s defense system is most relaxed and receptive.  Himalayan salt is light years away from the chemically-altered salt reduced to a sodium and chloride mix found in the conventional supermarket shelves.

The two choices we have in today’s market when it comes to salt is: unrefined and refined.  Unrefined salt could be freshly dried from the sea, as is Celtic Sea Salt, or mined from the deep inland ocean beds as is the Himalayan Salt.  In either case, you will get a naturally occurring complex of 84% of sodium chloride and 16% other minerals.  Himalayan salt particularly, contains 84 minerals and trace elements, such as calcium, magnesium and iron.  The redder the color, the higher the mineral content.

However, if you are like the majority of North Americans today, chances are the salt on your table has nothing in common with the salt that gave the king’s life back in the famous fairytale.  The table salt most often found on the shelf of the local supermarket is a refined and most ordinary mixture that will take your life rather than give it back to you.  It has been stripped and depleted of all of its valuable minerals and natural elements, contains added additives such an aluminum, which is highly toxic to your brain and nervous system, and one of the primary causes of Alzheimer’s disease.  Since the natural salt has been stripped of its natural iodine, our genius chemical companies along with the food manufacturers, have created and added synthetic iodine, which, just like refined sugar and refined salt, cannot be properly digested and metabolized by the body.  Synthetic iodine should be avoided at all costs since it creates serious health problems, such as acne, hormonal imbalances and Thyroid disease.  So, after being highly refined and heavily processed, this one-time lifesaving spice, has become a mixture of about 95% sodium chloride, aluminum, synthetic iodine, anti-caking agents, such as magnesium carbonate, sodium aluminosilicate and sodium ferrocyanide, fluoride and dextrose, which is the fancy name for sugar.  That’s right, sugar is in the table salt too.

Did You Know That Unrefined Salt Is:

  1. A strong natural antihistamine.  Histamines are produced by the body in reaction to toxins or allergy triggering substances.
  2. Very important for the proper function of the adrenal glands.
  3. Contrary to popular misconception that salt causes high blood pressure, salt is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure when combined with water, and in the right proportions.  Salt also stabilizes irregular heartbeat.
  4. Critical to nerve stimulation, brain function and the communication of nerve cells.
  5. Vital for clearing the lungs of mucus and phlegm, especially in asthma.
  6. Vital for balancing sugar levels in the blood and critical for diabetics.
  7. A natural hypnotic and vital for sleep regulation.
  8. Vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs.
  9. Absolutely critical for making the structure of our bone firm.  Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of the lack of salt and water in the body.
  10. Essential for preventing muscle cramps, because it plays a big role in muscle contraction and expansion.

However, when most people communicate with their doctor, they are advised to limit salt intake for health reasons.  They are often prescribed synthetic potassium to repair the damage caused by the synthetic iodine added in refined salt most people consume today.  Most frozen meals, sauces, salad dressings, pizzas and restaurant food is loaded with “dead” salt to make up for their bland taste, since salt is a natural taste enhancer.  Can you imagine what a frozen dinner will taste like after sitting in the freezer for months if it only had 1/4 tsp salt?  Or how the food in some mediocre restaurant would taste based on the chef’s lousy mood that night and the cheap conventional ingredients used?  But, it doesn’t end there.   A lot of those frozen dinners, jars, dressings, and soups now say “sea salt” on the label so people feel safe and think they are making a healthy choice.  “Sea salt” is simply salt that came from the sea and has been refined.  Unless it says “Hand harvested, sun dried whole salt. Free of chemicals and additives,” don’t fall for the misleading claim on the label.

How much salt a day a person really needs?

That depends on your age, health condition and climate.  People who drink large amounts of water need to take higher dose of natural salt daily, to prevent electrolyte imbalance which can lead to sodium deficiency.  The average person loses 10 glasses of water a day under normal circumstances.  In hot or dry climate, extreme work conditions or exercise the amount of water loss may double.  A healthy person in normal circumstances needs about a quarter to half of a teaspoon a day.  Health problems are observed with the excessive use of processed and junk food which is loaded with sodium, and as a result, promotes bone loss and osteoporosis to name a few issues.

Keep in mind, that most foods already contain sodium naturally, especially root vegetables and meats.

Interesting Facts About Salt: Did You Know That…

1. In past times governments were financed with salt taxes.  Chinese Emperor Hsia Yu (2,200 B.C.) was the first to tax salt.

2. Salt bars were used as currency for more than 1,000 years in Ethiopia.

3. Hippocrates (450 B.C.) recognized the healing powers of salt.  He recommended many salt remedies for clearing congestions, curing diseases of the spleen and healing infections.

4.  Salt must be used sparingly as it becomes poisonous when consumed in large quantities, so much so, that in China it used to be a way of committing suicide.

5.  Ever since the Bronze Age, salt roads were developed, ancient trails that used to be used to transport salt and are now tourist attractions, like the famous via Salaria that runs through Rome, Italy.

6. In Japanese theaters it used to be customary to throw salt on stage before each performance, to drive evil spirits away.  It is still used today by Sumo wrestlers prior to their matches for the same purpose.

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