If you’re in your seventies or beyond, there is a chance that your doctor has attributed your feeling of fatigue, your balance problems or sometimes dizziness to the fact that you are “getting older”. However, the real culprit could be a low level of sodium in the blood, called hyponatraemia. Several years ago, research showed that a surprising number of seniors suffer from this. It occurs because many elderly people have avoided salt throughout their lives, having been told it was a cause of high blood pressure. However, on the contrary, low sodium intake may actually increase a risk of heart attack and death.
In my practice, working with seniors, I have constantly warned them against not having enough salt in their diet. However, they were understandably sceptical. I tried to persuade them to start using salt in small amounts with little success. One day, Bronwyn, one of my clients who had not been well for a while, went for a medical check-up where she received a hyponatraemia diagnosis. For so many years she had avoided salt like the plague, thinking she was doing the right thing—and now she was paying the price.
In his reports on this subject, Dr McCarron, a professor at the University of California stated, “There’s currently no reliable evidence that supports the recommendation to reduce intake of salt for heart health. My view is that it is very likely that low salt will ultimately prove to be another public health disaster. There is already sufficient evidence to suggest that low salt could actually result in an increased risk of cardiovascular disease.”
Apart from being a food product, salt has amazing healing properties. Let’s check some of them. Take common salt, as an example. A 1:10 salt-water solution can be used for cleaning wounds and injuries, gargling and clearing the nose, refreshing the internal mucous lining and supporting better breathing. In yoga practices, it is recommended as a preventive and cleansing measure for protecting our respiratory system. As an anti-bacterial agent, salt can be used for treating cuts and wounds by applying a cloth saturated in the solution directly.
During the Second World War, in Russian military hospitals, surgeons used water from the Barents Sea as a natural bactericidal solution. There was a shortage of antibiotics and medications, but the trusty saline solution saved hundreds of soldiers’ lives. After a few days under saline bandages, wounds would be cleared of pus and fever would subside.
The fact is that the saline solution absorbs discharge with its pathogenic microbial content, and sucks out all the dirt and toxins, clearing the wounds. With all the arsenal of medications available from the chemist, we tend not to bother with natural solutions. But health-conscious people often ask themselves: what are the actual content of these medications? Are they based on hormones, antibiotics or strong chemicals? Are they human-friendly substances? How do we know? In my view, it is time to get back to basics.
Mother Nature is kind to us. She has gifts for us, including clever remedies against many ailments. Natural and folk therapy treatments are easily available and simple to use. Saline solution can relieve inflammation, clear our nose and throat, and heal cuts and wounds.