Halotherapy - 5 Reasons Salt Is a Powerful Ally In The Winter
Mineral salts give your body the variety of mineral ions needed to balance its functions, remain healthy and heal. With the onset of winter and sudden drop in temperature, many of us fall prey to sore throats, upper respiratory tract infections and skin-related problems. Halotherapy or salt therapy can actually help alleviate all of these conditions, symptoms and more.
Unlike the sodium chloride you find on most kitchen tables, unrefined rock salt contains more than 84 different minerals. Rose-coloured crystals of Himalayan rock salt, or the grey texture of Celtic salt -- both pride themselves on traditional harvesting, avoiding heat treatment or refining methods.
Vital to your existence in crystal salts is the presence of the primary electrolytes of sodium (Na+), potassium (K+), calcium (Ca2+), magnesium (Mg2+), chloride (Cl-), phosphate (PO43-), and hydrogen carbonate (HCO3-), plus other significant mineral salts. The electric charge symbols of plus (+) and minus (-) indicate that the substances are ionic in nature.
The words ions, ionic, and ionized refer to electrical charge or electrical potential. We commonly refer to this as ENERGY. Your body functions on Energy alone and requires a specific and complex combination of electrolytes to maintain the very delicate balance between the intracellular and extracellular environments of your body. It’s the electrolytes that affect and regulate the hydration of the body, blood pH, blood pressure, and are crucial for nerve and muscle function.
These healing properties have long been recognized all over the world, especially in central Europe where entire hospitals have been carved in salt mountains. Asthmatics and patients with lung disease and allergies find that breathing air in the saline underground chambers helps improve symptoms in 90 percent of cases.
Salt Therapy Helps a Host of Winter Ailments
The cold air triggers lot of health problems such as asthma, viral, sore throat, sinusitis etc. and such ill conditions leads to a lot of unnecessary medical attention during the season. During such disorders, many people resort to visits to their medical doctor for medicaiton instead of pursuing simple home remedies and judicious usage of salt for immediate relief.
Halotherapy or salt therapy is clinically proven to help clear mucous build up from the lungs and allowing you to breathe easier. Salt therapy takes the healing properties of salt deep into the respiratory system. It supports and enhance the immune system and provides a natural resistance to disease and reduces susceptibility to colds and flu.
1) Sore throat: Sore throats are common in winter and are almost always caused by viral infections. One quick and easy remedy for a sore throat is to gargle with warm salty water to soothe the throat and the infection in the process. Add 1 teaspoon of fine mineral salt or sea salt to approx. 250ml of warm water, gargle the solution and then spit it out. Repeat 4-6 times a day until symptoms subside.
2) Flu: People are prone to flu in the winter months, which means at least 3-4 days of bed rest for many. The common symptom of flu is blockage of nasal passage that creates difficulties in breathing. Treat that stuffy nose with warm salt water.
While its efficacy for colds has proven valid, daily rinsing can actually end up depleting the nasal cavity from mucus necessary to keep harmful viruses and contaminants out of the body. Skip this daily deed and instead only rinse when you are symptomatic for the best results.
Salt-water rinsing helps break nasal congestion, while also removing virus particles and bacteria from your nose. Mix 1/4 teaspoon of sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon baking soda in 250ml of luke warm water.
Some people use a neti-pot, which looks like a miniature teapot. When using a neti-pot, the solution is poured, rather than squeezed, into the nose. Pour the solution into one nostril and let it drain out the other.
Repeat two times if necessary and then treat the other nostril.
Allimax Nasal Powder Spray is another effective alternative to salt for natural protection from airborne germs and viruses, by coverting allicin in garlic into an extracted, stabilized and concentrated nasal powdered spray.
3) Sinusitis: During the cold, dry winter months, sinus infection too is quite common. The sinuses produce mucus that serve various functions mainly filtering inhaled air. The sinuses are cavities in the head, around the eyes that may become filled with mucus and become blocked, and trapped mucus can then fill the sinuses, causing an uncomfortable sensation of pressure and providing an excellent environment for the growth of infection-causing bacteria. Saltwater washes help keep the nasal passages open by washing out thick or dried mucus.
4) Ear infection: Heat up one cup of salt on a pan for about three to five minutes. Put the hot salt inside a thick cloth or sock. Seal the open end with a rubber band or tie a knot. When it is bearably hot, lay down and put the cloth on the affected ear for 5 to 10 minutes. Repeat this remedy daily as many times as required. The heat generated from the sock will help draw out fluid from the ear and relieve swelling and pain.
5) Dry skin: Dry skin is a common condition and is often worse in winter; one can feel the chapped skin with lines. Bathing in warm water enriched with sea salts is a wonderful way to hydrate and soften dry skin.
Mineral-rich Epsom salt bathwater can also help turn rough, dry skin into smooth, soft skin, especially if you use partially dissolved salt crystals to exfoliate dead skin cells and rough spots away. Taking Epsom salt baths regularly may help keep your skin soft, but the key is to remember to rinse away any salt that is left on your skin after your bath. To keep your skin moisturized, use warm water in the tub and limit your time in the water -- too much water or heat can take away moisturizing oils from your skin. Within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower, pat your skin dry and apply a moisturizer within three minutes of getting out of the bath or shower to lock in water and prevent it from evaporating and taking your skin's natural oils along with it.
Dave Mihalovic is a Naturopathic Doctor who specializes in vaccine research, cancer prevention and a natural approach to treatment.