The Healing Properties of Sea Salt

Calm brunette lying on towel with salt treatment on back

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Sea salt, unlike the heavily refined commercial product you’re likely to find in your salt shaker, retains its natural trace minerals, which have a neutralizing effect on acids in the body. While it retains those minerals, sea salt lacks some of the chemicals added to table salt largely for cosmetic purposes. Although its differences from table salt seem relatively small, sea salt offers health benefits that commercially refined salt products can’t match.

Speeds Healing of Skin Disorders

The trace minerals in sea salt help to soothe and heal skin that is inflamed, broken out in a rash, itching or even oozing, according to herbalist and nutritionist Stephanie Tourles. Add sea salt to bathwater to reduce discomfort and speed the healing of skin lesions caused by acne, eczema, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and psoriasis. Because salt baths have a drying effect on the skin, Tourles suggests they be limited to two or three a week, after which skin should be patted dry and coated with a moisturizing skin cream. Sea salt also can be used as a natural exfoliant. Make a paste by adding small amounts of glycerin to a cup of sea salt; add only enough glycerin to get the salt crystals to stick together. To exfoliate dry outer layers of skin, take a shower and then apply the sea-salt paste to affected skin areas while your skin is still wet. Leave the paste on your body only briefly before rinsing it away under the shower. This treatment should leave your skin feeling supple and soft.

Promotes Cell Health

In “Seasalt’s Hidden Powers,” author Jacques de Langre, a California-based biochemist, reports that sea salt contains 92 trace minerals, 24 of which have been scientifically proven to be essential to the maintenance of optimal health. According to de Langre, deficiencies of these trace minerals can cause dire consequences for the body’s cells, which lose the ability to control and balance their ions. Resultant cell damage can lead to muscle spasms, brain damage or nervous disorders. Unlike table salt, sea salt allows liquids to pass readily through body membranes, such as blood vessels and the kidney’s glomerulus. If sodium chloride levels in the blood get too high, fluids in adjacent tissues are drawn to that salt-rich blood, after which cells can more readily reabsorb this saline fluid, eventually moving it to the kidneys for removal. Table salt doesn’t facilitate this easy exchange of liquids and minerals and can lead to fluid buildup in the joints, edema and kidney problems.

Bathes Away Joint Pain

Offered at many high-priced spas, sea-salt baths can help to ease the pain of aching joints and muscles. But you can treat yourself to this soothing procedure without paying a high price for the privilege. To help wash away the discomfort of arthritis and other types of joint or muscle pain, herbalist Jude C. Todd recommends adding several cups of sea salt to a tubful of hot bath water. To get maximum pain relief, soak in this sea-salt bath for at least 20 minutes daily, suggests Todd, author of “Herbal Home Remedies.”