From the August 2001 Idaho Observer:
Last month we introduced our readers to the miraculous benefits of the water cure. We have already received dozens of testimonies from our readers who have decided to try this simple remedy for their health problems. What wasn't emphasized last month is the importance of unrefined salt as a key element in realizing the benefits of the water cure. After all, sodium and other trace minerals found in unrefined salt enable our bodies to effectively utilize the water we consume as well as utilize the nutrients in our food.
The proper ratio of salt and water is the key. The following is taken straight from Dr. Batmanghelidj's book, Water: Rx for a Healthier Pain-Free Life and is available at: www.watercure2.com
Unrefined Salt: Another missing link to optimal health
by Fereydoon Batmanghelidj, M.D
Salt is a vital substance for the survival of all living creatures, particularly humans. Water and salt regulate the water content of the body. Water itself regulates the water content of the interior of the cell by working its way into all of the cells it reaches. It has to get there to cleanse and extract the toxic wastes of cell metabolisms. Salt forces some water to stay outside the cells. It balances the amount of water that stays outside the cells. There are two oceans of water in the body; one ocean is held inside the cells of the body, and the other ocean is held outside the cells. Good health depends on a most delicate balance between the volume of these oceans, and this balance is achieved by salt - unrefined salt.
When water is available to get inside the cells freely, it is filtered from the outside salty ocean and injected into the cells that are being overworked despite their water shortage. This is the reason why in severe dehydration we develop an edema and retain water. The design of our bodies is such that the extent of the ocean of water outside the cells is expanded to have the extra water available for filtration and emergency injection into vital cells. The brain commands an increase in salt and water retention by the kidneys. This is how we get edema: not drinking enough water.
Initially, the process of water filtration and its delivery into the cells is more efficient at night when the body is horizontal. The collected water, that mostly pools in the legs, does not have to fight the force of gravity to get onto the blood circulation. If reliance of this process of emergency hydration of some cells continues for long, the lungs begin to get waterlogged at night, and breathing becomes difficult. The person needs more pillows to sit upright to sleep. This condition is the consequence of dehydration. However, you might overload the system by drinking too much water at the beginning. Increases in water intake must be slow and spread out until urine production begins to increase at the same rate that you drink water.
When we drink enough water to pass clear urine, we also pass out a lot of the salt that was held back. This is how we can get rid of edema fluid in the body; by drinking more water. Not diuretics, but more water! In people who have an extensive edema and show signs of their heart beginning to have irregular or very rapid beats with least effort, the increase in water intake should be gradual and spaced out, but not withheld from the body. Naturally, salt intake should be limited for two or three days because the body is still in an overdrive mode to retain it. Once the edema has cleared up, salt should not be withheld from the body.
Salt has many other functions than just regulating the water content of the body. Here are some of the more vital functions of salt in the body:
1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure - in conjunction with water. Naturally, the proportions are critical.
2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.
3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element in diabetics.
4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells in the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites of energy need by the cells.
5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.
6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.
7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.
8. Salt is vital for clearing up catarrh and congestion of the sinuses.
9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.
10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps.
11. Salt is vital to prevent excess saliva production to the point that it flows out of the mouth during sleep. Needing to constantly mop up excess saliva indicates salt shortage.
12. Salt is absolutely vital to making the structure of bones firm. Osteoporosis, in a major way, is a result of salt and water shortage in the body.
13. Salt is vital for sleep regulation. It is a natural hypnotic.
14. Salt is a vitally needed element in the treatment of diabetics.
15. Salt on the tongue will stop persistent dry coughs.
16. Salt is vital for the prevention of gout and gouty arthritis.
17. Salt is vital for maintaining sexuality and libido.
18. Salt is vital for preventing varicose veins and spider veins on the legs and thighs.
19. Salt is vital to the communication and information processing nerve cells the entire time that the brain cells work - from the moment of conception to death.
20. Salt is vital for reducing a double chin. When the body is short of salt, it means the body really is short of water. The salivary glands sense the salt shortage and are obliged to produce more saliva to lubricate the act of chewing and swallowing and also to supply the stomach with water that it needs for breaking down foods. Circulation to the salivary glands increases and the blood vessels become leaky in order to supply the glands with water to manufacture saliva. The leakiness spills beyond the area of the glands themselves, causing increased bulk under the skin of the chin, the cheeks and into the neck.
21. Sea salt contains about 80 mineral elements that the body needs. Some of these elements are needed in trace amounts. Unrefined sea salt is a better choice of salt than other types of salt on the market. Ordinary table salt that is bought in the super markets has been stripped of its companion elements and contains additive elements such as aluminum silicate to keep it powdery and porous. Aluminum is a very toxic element in our nervous system. It is implicated as one of the primary causes of Alzheimer's disease.
22. Twenty-seven percent of the body's salt is in the bones. Osteoporosis results when the body needs more salt and takes it from the body. Bones are twenty-two percent water. Is it not obvious what happens to the bones when we're deficient in salt or water or both?
Where to find real salt
The difference between iodized table salt and unrefined salt is as great as the difference between white sugar and molassas or white flour and stone-ground wheat flour. Below are two sources for quality, unrefined salt. Redmond Minerals, Inc. http://www.redmondminerals.com, gets its salt from Utah salt mines and the Grain and Salt Society, http://www.celtic-seasalt.com, sells salt that is hand raked from the Brittany sea. Natural salt is not white and dry; it is gray with minerals and feels damp. It can be found in some health food stores or by contacting the companies mentioned above.
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