Salt is consumed by us as a flavouring or condiment; it is produced in different forms: unrefined salt (sea salt), refined salt (table salt), and iodized salt (table salt mixed with a minute amount of various salts of the element iodinewhich helps prevent iodine deficiency.
Salt: It’s Properties
Salt is crystalline solid, white, pale pink or light gray in color, normally obtained from sea water or rock deposits. Edible rock salts may be slightly grayish in color because of mineral content.
Salt or Sodium Chloride (NaCl) has many uses. Some of which are for cooking, preserving, flavouring, as a table condiment traditionally with the ubiquitous black pepper, etc.
Salt is a mineral essential to the human body, yet we tend to think of it as a spice essential to cooking. It sharpens flavour and stimulates the tastebuds, helping make other food tastier and more appetising, and is an important preservative. In countries where salt is not added directly to food, other ingredients (such as soy sauce and other fermented pastes and liquids) add a salty component.
Too much or too little salt in the diet can lead to dizziness muscle cramps and can cause electrolyte disturbance which leads neurological problems, or death. Drinking too much water, with insufficient salt intake, puts a person at risk of water intoxication hyponatremia.
Fatalities can occur by ingestion of large amounts of salt in a short time (about 1 g per kg of body weight) Deaths have also resulted from attempted use of salt solutions as emetics (purges) forced salt intake, and accidental confusion of salt with sugar in child food.
Salt is also thought to have magical properties and is mentioned in religious holy books and pagan rites
The Hebrew Bible quaotes the story of Lot’s wife, who was turned into a pillar of salt when she looked back at the cities of Sodam & Gomorrah Genesi 19:26) as they were destroyed. The Book of Job contains the first mention of salt as a condiment. “Can that which is unsavory be eaten without salt? or is there any taste in the white of an egg?” (Job 6:6)
In the Christian New Testament, six verses mention salt. Jesus in His Sermon on the Mount referred to his followers as the “Salt of the earth” Paul the Apostle encouraged Christians to “let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt” (Colossians 4:6).
In one of the Hadith recorded in Sunan Ibn Majah the Islamic Prophet Muhammad is reported to have said that: “Salt is the master of your food. God sent down four blessings from the sky – fire, water, iron and salt”
Salt is mandatory in the Catholic rite of the Tridentine Mass Salt is used in the third item (which includes Exorcism)
Salt is considered to be a very auspicious substance in Hinduism, and is used in particular religious ceremonies like housewarmings and weddings. In Jainism, devotees offer raw rice and a pinch of salt before a deity to signify their devotion.
In Judaism it is recommended to have either a salty bread or to add salt to the bread if this bread is unsalted To preserve the covenant between their people and God, Jews dip the Sabbath bread in salt.
In th pagan Wicca, salt is symbolic of the element Earth. It is also believed to cleanse an area of harmful or negative energies. A dish of salt and a dish of water are almost always present on an altar. For consecration salt is mixed with the water producing a holy water. This mixture is used in a wide variety of rituals and ceremonies.
Did you know?
Our body contains 4 oz of salt.
Huixocihuatl in Aztec culture was a fertility goddess who presided over salt and salt water.
The ancient Egyptians, Greeks and Romans invoked their gods with offerings of salt and water.
Too much in your diet can cause puffiness of the face and body and can lead to health issues.
If you have an unwanted visitor, be sure to pour down salt on your doorsteps after the visitor had gone. The salt will ensure the visitor won’t be back. 😉
Sprinkling salt on the front doorsteps keeps evil away.
We are now familiar with horror movies where a magic circle of salt will prevent evil forces and demons from getting to you.
Anyway a superstition from the medieval period believed that a bag of salt should be placed in a cradle next to a child who has not been baptised to protect it from witches.
For the relief of pain:
Apply a small bag of salt, which has been heated in the oven, to the affected area. The heated salt retains its temperature for a long time and can give considerable pain relief!