Salt is a dietary mineral that is essential for animal life, one of the most
basic tastes and an important food preservative.
Salt is involved in regulating the water content of the body.
Salt cravings can be caused by trace mineral deficiencies in the body, as well as a deficiency of salt itself.
For this reason it is always better to use a natural sea salt rather than refined salt.
To my understanding there are little or no other elements in refined table salt apart from sodium chloride (NaCl) and free flow agents that are added to help prevent the salt clumping. It has also been bleached to give a nice white appearance.
Iodised table salt contains sodium chloride (NaCI) and has a little Iodine added to
help overcome the deficiency of iodine in most New Zealander’s diets.
Celtic salt, however is not white and is not dry and free flowing. This is because it contains many more minerals than just sodium chloride. Sources say that all 84 known elements found in sea water are also found in Celtic salt.
Celtic salt sold in New Zealand (‘Salt of the Earth’) comes from the south of France and the term ‘Celtic’ refers to the method by which it is harvested.
In the Celtic method, sea water is channelled into clay ponds (as opposed to concrete ponds), slowly stirred and harvested by hand using wooden tools. It is naturally dried by wind and sun. No artificial heat, chemicals or preservatives are used. It appears moist because the magnesium present absorbs water.
There are other natural salts that have different mineralities which give each one a different colour and different taste. Natural sea salt can even vary from region to
Himalayan salt is another natural salt, this time a fossil marine salt containing a huge amount of trace elements mined in the mountains of Himalaya. It is a lovely pinkish colour with a great taste.
AS well as being an original method of preservation and flavouring, salt can also be diluted as saline, and used as an antibiotic.
I have often used saline as a mouthwash and to heal mouth ulcers. About 1/2tsp to half a cup of boiled water will do nicely.
As with many things though, if used too heavily or inappropriately it can be harmful.