Try these preventive health measures for salt, a historically important food that can act as a great natural remedy. Salt is inexpensive, but it has many uses for your frugal household.
Salt of the earth, not worth its salt, take it with a grain of salt, salted away, salty language.
Salt’s frequent appearance in figures of speech only hints at the importance of salt in human history.
The human requirement for dietary salt and the relative difficulty of producing it built and destroyed empires, determined trade routes and the location of cities, occasioned wars, and inspired revolutions.
Before the advent of pressure canning and freezing, salting/brining and drying were the only means of preserving food and eliminating total dependence on seasonal food production.
While we’re always told to avoid too much salt (and fat, carbs, etc.), the fact is that sodium is also essential for life. It helps regulate our blood volume. It shuttles nutrients into our bodies and brains. It allows our muscles to contract and our nerves to pulse with electricity.
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Salt’s Many Uses in the Household
Beyond its use as a food seasoning, salt has dozens of uses.
For example, salt kills weeds. It extinguishes flames, preserves colors in your wash, removes stains from coffee cups; helps clean your oven, and extends the life of many items from toothbrushes to flowers.
But this common household staple really shines in the domains of preventive health and hygiene. I use non-iodized sea salt for these and other health practices.
Natural Health Remedies Using Salt
1. Flushing Sinuses
Although this use of salt is ancient, modern medical research has shown that flushing the sinus passages with a saline solution can help prevent/relieve sinus infections, relieve postnasal drip.
One caveat: Boil your tap water for a 3 to 5 minutes and then cool until lukewarm before using. I’d sterilize my water for any solution I planned to use in my sinuses, throat, or eyes.
For more ways to clear your sinuses, check these natural remedies for colds.
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2. As an Eyewash
Dissolve ¼ teaspoon of salt in a cup of warm water and used it as a wash for tired, irritated eyes.Be sure to boil your tap water for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool before using.
3. Reducing Under-Eye Puffiness
Dissolve ½ teaspoon of salt in a cup of hot water; soak a washcloth or cotton balls in the solution, and apply to the puffy areas.
4. Cleaning Teeth
Try a mixture of salt and baking soda for your “toothpaste.“ Pulverize sea salt in a blender or crush it with a rolling pin, mix with an equal amount of baking soda, shake, and store in a small glass jar. Mix with a bit of water, and brush as usual. Both salt and baking soda have antimicrobial properties that kill many of the pathogenic bacteria that cause cavities and gum disease.
See more household uses for baking soda.
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5. As a Gargle, Mouthwash, or Breath Sweetener
Mix a teaspoon of the tooth-cleaning mixture in a cup of warm water. (Boil your tap water for 3 to 5 minutes and then cool before using.) Find more natural remedies for curing bad breath.
6. Reducing Fatigue
Soak your tired feet or entire body in a warm, salt-infused bath for a restorative effect.
7. As an Exfoliant
Mix equal parts of sea salt and olive oil and rub gently over the body for an exfoliating, moisturizing scrub. Rinse with warm water. For the face, mix equal parts of salt and honey.
Find more great recipes for homemade facials.
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8. Relieving the Pain of Insect Stings
Mix salt with a bit of water and apply to the sting immediately. Learn how to prevent and treat insect stings.
9. For Poison Ivy
Soak the affected areas in hot salt water to help relieve the itch and dry up blisters. Find out how to treat poison ivy.
Find more helpful household uses for salt.
What is your favorite use of salt? Let us know below!