History of Aromatherapy
What are Essential Oils?
Is All the Hype True?
Tips for Beginners
chloride or common salt is the chemical compound NaCl. Salt occurs
naturally in many parts of the world as the mineral halite and as mixed
in salt lakes. Seawater has lots of salt; it contains an
average of 2.6% (by weight)
NaCl, or 26 million metric tons per cubic
kilometer (120 million short tons per cubic
mile, an inexhaustible
supply (note: seawater also contains other dissolved solids;
represents about 77% of the Total Dissolved Solids). Underground salt
deposits are found in both bedded sedimentary layers and domal deposits.
Deposits have been found to have encapsulated ancient microorganisms
including bacteria. Some salt is one the surface, the dried-up residue
seas like the famed Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah. Salt even
arrives on earth from
outer space and its presence on the planet Mars
makes scientists think life may
exist there. Conversely, surface salt
depositions and man-made saltworks can be
seen from space.
Sodium chloride crystals are cubic in form. Table salt consists of tiny
bound together through ionic bonding of the sodium and
chloride ions. The salt
crystal is often used as an example of
crystalline structure. It can be modified by
types of crystal have different uses, as for food.
It varies in color from colorless, when pure, to white, gray or
brownish, typical of
rock salt (halite). Chemically, it is 60.663%
elemental chlorine (Cl) and 39.337%
sodium (Na). The atomic weight of
elemental chlorine is 35.4527 and that of sodium
Properties of salt are collected in the U.S. Occupational Safety and
Health Administration (OSHA) Chemical Sampling Information database.
of Pure Sodium Chloride:
weight - NaCl
weight - Na
weight - Cl
point of eutectic mixture
or specific gravity
density, approximate (dry, ASTM D 632 gradation)
of repose (dry, ASTM D 632 gradation)
C (1,473.4° F)
humidity at 20 °C, (68° F)
of aqueous solution
Sodium chloride is sold in several different particle sizes (gradation)
depending on the intended end use. Discrete crystals can be
seen in rock salt
used for deicing. Fine granules are typical of table
salt and even finer popcorn
salt. Kosher salt, pickling salt and ice
cream salt are slightly coarser. Small
compressed pellets are used in
water softeners and large salt blocks are used
as salt licks for
livestock. When viewed under strong magnification, all sodium
chloride is crystalline. Very large cubic crystals, of two, three or more inches
size, can be seen in some salt mines. They are transparent and cleave
perfect cubes whenstruck with a hard object.
Purity of rock salt produced in North America varies depending on the
type of salt
(evaporated, rock, solar) and on the source. Rock salt
typically ranges between
95% and 99% NaCl, and mechanically evaporated
salt and solar salt normally
exceed 99% NaCl. Evaporated salt made with
purified brine has the highest purity,
in some cases 99.99% NaCl.
Voluntary standards, such as those developed by
the American Society for
Testing and Materials (ASTM), the American Water
Works Association (AWWA)
assure appropriate quality for the intended use.
specifications for food grade, drug/medical and analytical use include
Food Chemicals Codex, U.S. Pharmacopoeia, and Reagent Grade Chemicals.
Special devices, refractometers, are used to measure salinity.
Common salt or sodium chloride is considered by the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration as safe for its intended use as a food additive. This
(generally recognized as safe) classification, and the universal
use of sodium
chloride since antiquity, affirms its safety. The Merck
Index refers to sodium
chloride as "not generally considered
poisonous." Many substances in everyday
use can be toxic in high
concentrations, even water. Toxic levels of sodium
chloride are reported
Oral toxicity (The Registry of Toxic Effects of Chemical Substances,
Human; TDLo: 12,357 mg/kg/23 D-C
Mouse; LD50: 4,000 mg/kg
Rat; LD50: 3,000 mg/kg
Rabbit; LDLo: 8,000 mg/kg
Acute aquatic toxicity (U.S. EPA, Ambient Water Quality Criteria for
Rana Breviceps (frog); No observed effect concentration (NOEC):
Daphnia pulex 48-hour LC50 or EC50: 1,470 mg/L
Daphnia magna (water flea); 48 hour EC50: 3,310 mg/L
Myriophyllum spicatum (water milfoil); Phytotoxicity (EC50
for growth): 5,962 mg/L
Pimephales promealas (fathead minnow); 69-hour LC50: 7,650
Lepomis macrochirus (Bluegill) LC50 or EC50: 7,846 mg/L
Anguilla rostrata (American eel) 48-hour LC50 or EC 50:
EPA says that the chlorides of calcium, magnesium and potassium are
more toxic to fresh water species than sodium chloride. Some
depend on salt to protect them against the cold.
History Of Salt:
Most people probably think of salt as simply that white
granular food seasoning found in a salt shaker on virtually
every dining table.
It is that, surely, but it is far more. It is an essential
element in the diet of not only humans but of animals, and
even of many plants. It is one of the most effective and most
widely used of all food preservatives (and used to preserve
Egyptian mummies as well). Its industrial and other uses are
almost without number. In fact, salt has great current as well
as historical interest, even the subject of humorous cartoons
and poetry and useful in film-making. Sometimes, however, we
need to separate the salt to get the history.
The fact is that throughout history, salt--called sodium
chloride by chemists--has been such an important element of
life that it has been the subject of many stories, fables and
folktales and is frequently referenced in fairy tales. It
served as money at various times and places, and it has been
the cause of bitter warfare. Offering bread and salt to
visitors, in many cultures, is traditional etiquette. It is
used in making pottery. While we have records of the
importance of salt in commerce in Medieval times and earlier,
in some places like the Sahara and Nepal, salt trading today
gives a glimpse of what life may have been like centuries ago.
Salt was in general use long before history, as we know it,
began to be recorded. Some 2,700 years B.C.-about 4,700 years
ago-there was published in China the Peng-Tzao-Kan-Mu,
probably the earliest known treatise on pharmacology. A major
portion of this writing was devoted to a discussion of more
than 40 kinds of salt, including descriptions of two methods
of extracting salt and putting it in usable form that are
amazingly similar to processes used today. Chinese folklore
recounts the discovery of salt. Salt production has been
important in China for two millennia or more. And the Chinese,
like many other governments over time, realizing that everyone
needed to consume salt, made salt taxes a major revenue
source. Nomads spreading westward were known to carry salt.
Egyptian art from as long ago as 1450 B.C. records
Salt was of crucial importance economically. A far-flung trade
in ancient Greece involving exchange of salt for slaves gave
rise to the expression, "not worth his salt."
Special salt rations given early Roman soldiers were known as
"salarium argentum," the forerunner of the English
word "salary." References to salt abound in
languages around the globe, particularly regarding salt used
for food. From the Latin "sal," for example, come
such other derived words as "sauce" and
"sausage." Salt was an important trading commodity
carried by explorers.
Salt has played a vital part in religious ritual in many
cultures, symbolizing immutable, incorruptible purity. There
are more than 30 references to salt in the Bible, using
expressions like "salt of the earth." And there are
many other literary and religious references to salt,
including use of salt on altars representing purity, and use
of "holy salt" by the Unification Church.
Tips For Salt Use:
Besides making foods delicious, it's believed there are more than 14,000
salt, and our grandmothers were probably familiar with most of them.
these uses were for simple things around the home before the advent of
chemicals and cleaners. However, many uses are still valid today and a
cheaper than using more sophisticated products.
We thought you might like to share some of these fascinating
applications of salt.
We make no guarantee about the results if you try any of them, but there
something to them since they have been handed down over the years in
households. Most of these uses have stood the test of time.
The most familiar use of salt undoubtedly is in the kitchen and on the
Salt accents the flavor of meat, brings out individuality of vegetables,
into bland starches, deepens the flavor of delicate desserts and
of melons and certain other fruits. No other seasoning has yet been
found that can
satisfactorily take the place of salt. But there are other uses around
the home, too.
Salt is an excellent cleaning agent, by itself or in combination with
A solution of salt and turpentine restores the whiteness to yellowed
bathtubs and lavatories. A paste of salt and vinegar cleans tarnished
copper. a strong brine poured down the kitchen sink prevents grease
collecting and eliminates odors.
Salt helps destroy moths and drives away ants. A dash of salt in laundry
keeps the iron from sticking and gives linen and fine cottons a glossy,
finish. A thin paste of salt and salad oil removes white marks caused by
dishes or water from wooden tables.
A box of salt is an important item in many bathrooms. In mild solutions,
it makes an
excellent mouthwash, throat gargle or eye-wash; it is an effective
dentifrice; it is an
effective antiseptic; and it can be extremely helpful as a massage
We offer these other tips:
Boiling Water - Salt added to water makes the water boil at a
temperature, thus reducing cooking time. (It does not make the water
Peeling eggs - Boiling eggs in salted water will make eggs peel
Poaching eggs - Poaching eggs over salted water helps set the egg
Testing egg freshness - Place the egg in a cup of water to which
teaspoonfuls of salt has been added. A fresh egg sinks; a doubter will
Preventing browning - Apples, pears and potatoes dropped in cold,
salted water as they are peeled will retain their color.
Shelling pecans - Soaking pecans in salt water for several hours
shelling will make nut meats easier to remove.
Washing spinach - If spinach is washed in salted water, repeated
will not be necessary.
Preventing sugaring - A little salt added to cake icings prevents
Crisping salads - Salting salads immediately before serving will
Improving boiled potatoes - Boiled potatoes will be given a fine,
texture by sprinkling with salt after draining, then returning them to
the pan and
shaking them back and forth quickly to get rid of the excess moisture.
Cleaning greasy pans - The greasiest iron pan will wash easily if
you put a
little salt in it and wipe with paper.
Cleaning stained cups - Rubbing with salt will remove stubborn
tea or coffee
stains from cups.
Cleaning ovens - Salt and cinnamon take the "burned
food" odor away from
ovens and stove burners. Sprinkle spills while oven and burners are
when dry, remove the salted spots with a stiff brush or cloth.
Cleaning refrigerators - Salt and soda water will clean and
sweeten the inside
of your refrigerator. It won't scratch enamel either.
Extinguishing grease fires - Salt tossed on a grease fire on the
stove or in the
oven will smother flames. Never use water; it will only spatter the
Improving coffee - A pinch of salt in coffee will enhance the
flavor and remove
the bitterness of over-cooked coffee.
Improving poultry - To improve the flavor of poultry, rub the
fowl inside and out
with salt before roasting.
Removing pinfeathers - To remove pinfeathers easily from a
chicken, rub the
chicken skin with salt first.
Cleaning tarnished silverware - Rub tarnish with salt before
Cleaning copper pans - Remove stains on copper pans by salting
scouring with a cloth soaked in vinegar.
Cleaning coffee pots - Remove bitterness from percolators and
pots by filling with water, adding four tablespoons of salt and
boiling as usual.
Removing onion odors from hands - Rub fingers with salt moistened
"Sweetening" containers - Salt can "sweeten"
and deodorize thermos bottles
and jugs, decanters and other closed containers.
Cleaning sink drains - Pour a strong salt brine down the kitchen
regularly to eliminate odors and keep grease from building up.
Brightening cutting boards - After washing them with soap and
bread and cutting boards with a damp cloth dipped in salt; the boards
lighter and brighter.
Fixing oversalted soups - If soup has been oversalted, cut up a
raw potato or
two and drop into the soup. The potato will absorb the salt.
Cleaning dried-on egg - Salt not only makes eggs taste better,
but it makes
"eggy" dishes clean easier. Sprinkle salt on dishes right
after breakfast; it makes
them a whiz to clean when you have time.
Preventing food from sticking - Rub a pancake griddle with a
small bag of
salt to prevent sticking and smoking. Sprinkle a little salt in the
skillet before frying
fish to prevent the fish from sticking. Sprinkle salt on washed
skillets, waffle iron
plates or griddles, heat in a warm oven, dust off salt; when they are
foods will not stick.
Preventing mold - To prevent mold on cheese, wrap it in a cloth
with saltwater before refrigerating.
Whipping cream and beating egg whites - By adding a pinch of
will whip better and egg whites will beat faster and higher.
Keeping milk fresh - Adding a pinch of salt to milk will keep it
Setting gelatin - To set gelatin salads and desserts quickly,
place over ice that
has been sprinkled with salt.
Cleaning brass - Mix equal parts of salt, flour and vinegar to
make a paste, rub
the paste on the brass item, leave on for an hour or so, then clean with
a soft cloth
or brush and buff with a dry cloth.
Cleaning wicker - To prevent yellowing, scrub wicker furniture
with a stiff brush
moistened with warm saltwater and allow to dry in the sun.
Cleaning grease spots on rugs - Some grease spots can be removed
solution of one part salt and four parts alcohol and rubbing hard but
avoid damage to the nap.
Extending broom life - New brooms will wear longer if soaked in
before they are first used.
Removing wine stains - If wine is spilled on a tablecloth or rug,
blot up as much
as possible and immediately cover the wine with salt, which will absorb
remaining wine. Later rinse the tablecloth with cold water; scrape up
the salt from
the rug and then vacuum the spot.
Removing rings from tables - White rings left on tables from wet
or hot dishes
or glasses can be removed by rubbing a thin paste of salad oil and salt
spot with your fingers, letting it stand an hour or two, then wiping it
Restoring sponges - Give sponges new life by soaking them in cold
after they are washed.
Settling suds - If a washing machine bubbles over from too many
salt on the suds to reduce them.
Brightening colors - Wash colored curtains or washable fiber rugs
saltwater solution to brighten the colors. Brighten faded rugs and
rubbing them briskly with a cloth that has been dipped in a strong
solution and wrung out.
Removing perspiration stains - Add four tablespoons of salt to
one quart of
hot water and sponge the fabric with the solution until stains
Brightening yellowed cottons or linens - Boil the yellowed items
hour in a salt and baking soda solution
Removing blood stains - Soak the stained clothing or other cloth
item in cold
saltwater, then launder in warm, soapy water and boil after the wash.
(Use only on
cotton, linen or other natural fibers that can take high heat.)
Removing mildew or rust stains - Moisten stained spots with a
lemon juice and salt, then spread the item in the sun for bleaching; and
rinse and dry.
Color-matching nylons - Good nylons that don't have a match can
the same color by boiling them a few minutes in a pan of lightly salted
Fixing sticking iron - Sprinkle a little salt on a piece of paper
and run the hot
iron over it to remove rough, sticky spots.
Health & Beauty:
Gargling - Stir 1/2 teaspoon salt in an 8-ounce glass of warm
water for use as a
gargle for sore throats.
Cleaning teeth - Mix one part salt to two parts baking soda after
salt in a blender or rolling it on a kitchen board with a tumbler before
whitens teeth, helps remove plaque and it is healthy for the gums.
Washing mouth - Mix equal parts of salt and baking soda as a
mouth wash that
sweetens the breath.
Bathing eyes - Mix 1/2 teaspoon of salt in a pint of water and
use the solution to
bathe tired eyes.
Reducing eye puffiness - Mix one teaspoon of salt in a pint of
hot water and
apply pads soaked in the solution on the puffy areas.
Relieving tired feet - Soak aching feet in warm water to which a
handful of salt
has been added. Rinse in cool water.
Relieving bee stings - If stung, immediately wet the spot and
cover with salt to
relieve the pain.
Treating mosquito and chigger bites - Soak in saltwater, then
apply a mixture
of lard and salt.
Treating poison ivy - Soaking the exposed part in hot saltwater
the end to poison ivy irritation.
Relieving fatigue - Soak relaxed for at least ten minutes in a
tub of water into
which several handfuls of salt has been placed.
Removing dry skin - After bathing and while still wet give
yourself a massage
with dry salt. It removes dead skin particles and aids the circulation.
Applying facial - For a stimulating facial, mix equal parts of
salt and olive oil
and gently massage the face and throat with long upward and inward
Remove mixture after five minutes and wash face.
Removing tattoos -CAUTION-
This is a medical procedure that can be done
only by a physician. It is called salabrasion and requires several
rubbing salt on the tattoo. Healing is required between treatments, but
virtually no scarring.
Extinguishing grease fires - Keep a box of salt handy at your
stove and oven
and if a grease fire flares up, cover the flames with salt. Do not use
grease fires; it will splatter the burning grease. Also a handful of
salt thrown on
flames from meat dripping in barbecue grills will reduce the flames and
the smoke without cooling the coals as water does.
Drip-proofing candles - Soak new candles in a strong salt
solution for a few
hours, then dry them well. When burned they will not drip.
Removing soot - Occasionally throw a handful of salt on the
flames in your
fireplace; it will help loosen soot from the chimney and salt makes a
Cleaning fish tanks - Rub the inside of fish tanks with salt to
remove hard water
deposits, then rinse well before returning the fish to the tank. Use
only plain, not
Invigorating goldfish - Occasionally add one teaspoon of salt to
a quart of
fresh water at room temperature and put your goldfish in for about 15
Then return them to their tank. The salt swim makes them healthier.
Cleaning flower vases - To remove deposits caused by flowers and
rub with salt; if you cannot reach the deposits to rub them, put a
strong salt solution
in the vase and shake, then wash the vase with soap and water.
Keeping cut flowers fresh - A dash of salt added to the water in
a flower vase
will keep cut flowers fresh longer.
Holding artificial flowers - Artificial flowers can be held in an
arrangement by pouring salt into the container, adding a little cold
water and then
arranging the flowers. The salt will solidify as it dries and hold the
flowers in place.
Keeping patios weed-free - If weeds or unwanted grass come up
patio bricks or blocks, carefully spread salt between the bricks and
sprinkle with water or wait for rain to wet it down.
Killing poison ivy - Mix three pounds of salt with a gallon of
soapy water and
apply to leaves and stems with a sprayer.
Keeping windows frost-free - Rub the inside of windows with a
dipped in a saltwater solution and rub dry; the windows will not frost
sub-freezing weather. Rubbing a small cloth bag containing salt that has
moistened on your car's windshield will keep snow and ice from
Deicing sidewalks and driveways - Lightly sprinkling rock salt on
driveways will keep snow and ice from bonding to the pavement and allow
easy removal. Don't overdo it; use the salt sensibly to avoid damage to
Deodorizing shoes - Sprinkling a little salt in canvas shoes
take up the moisture and help remove odors.
and Good Health:
Salt is essential not only to life, but to good health. Human blood
salt (sodium chloride) -- the same concentration as found in United
Pharmacopeia (USP) sodium chloride irrigant commonly used to
wounds. Salt maintains the electrolyte balance inside and outside of
of our salt comes from foods, some from water. Doctors often
replacing water and salt lost in exercise and when working outside.
hikers know the importance of salt tablets to combat hyperthermia.
rehydration involves replacing both water and salt. Expectant mothers
advised to get enough salt. Increased salt intakes have been used
to combat Chronic Fatigue Syndrome. Dramatic deficiencies (e.g.
in India) or "excessive" sodium intakes have been associated
conditions and diseases, such as hypertension and stomach cancer.
salinity of perspiration is a good test for cystic fibrosis; scientists
cystic fibrosis is caused by a deformed protein that prevents chloride
cells from attracting needed moisture.
The National Academy of Sciences recommends that Americans consume
minimum of 500 mg/day of sodium to maintain good health. Individual
however, vary enormously based on their genetic make-up and the way they
their lives. While individual requirements range widely, most Americans
trouble reaching their minimum requirements. Most consume
above and beyond that required for proper bodily function. The kidneys
process this "excess" sodium in healthy people. Experimental
studies show that
most humans tolerate a wide range of sodium intakes, from about 250
over 30,000 mg/day. The actual range is much narrower. Americans
about 3,500 mg/day of sodium; men more, women less. The very large
of the population consumes 1,150- 5,750 mg/day which is termed the
safety range" of sodium intake by renowned Swedish hypertension
Dr. Björn Folkow. Chloride is also essential to good health. Every
including water, can be toxic in certain concentrations and amounts;
this is not a
significant concern for dietary salt.
Salt and Cardiovascular Health
For 4,000 years, we have known that salt intakes can affect blood
through signals to the muscles of blood vessels trying to maintain blood
within a proper range. We know that a minority of the population can
pressure by restricting dietary salt. And we know that elevated blood
hypertension, is a well-documented marker or risk factor for
events like heart attacks and strokes, a silent killer.
Cardiovascular events are
a major cause of premature death and cost Americans more than $300
every year in increased medical costs and lost productivity. Reducing
pressure can reduce the risk of a heart attack or stroke depending
on how its
Some have suggested that since salt intakes are related to blood
since cardiovascular risks are also related to blood pressure, that,
intake levels are related to cardiovascular risk. This is the salt
sodium hypothesis. Data are needed to confirm or reject
Blood pressure is a sign. When it goes up (or down) it indicates an
health concern. Changes result from many variables, often still
High blood pressure is treated with pharmaceuticals and with lifestyle
such as diet and exercise. The anti-hypertensive drugs are all approved
regulatory authorities such as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. To
approved, these drugs must prove they work to lower blood pressure.
they also work to lower the incidence of heart attacks and strokes has
the test to gain approval (it would take too long to develop new drugs),
National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute has invested heavily in such
Salt and Human Health:
of life, being one of the elements the human body cannot do without. It is present
for 2/3 in the extra-cellular liquids and for 1/3 it is primarily fixed within the bones.
Every imbalance in the extra-cellular hydration is connected to anomalies in the
presence of sodium (that is, of salt). In the US, the consumption of sodium is on an
average about 3 grams a day, corresponding to the ingestion of 7-8 grams of salt.
A certain amount of salt must be incorporated daily in our diet, not only because
it is very rapidly eliminated by our organism and also because it enhances the
taste of our food, but above all because the identification of salty taste triggers the
production of the saliva and the gastric juices, essential for food digestion. In
addition, the presence of sodium and chlorine is essential in the digestive
processes, since they are both present in the gastric juices, in the saliva, in the
pancreatic juice and in the bile. The sodium and the chlorine act then at different
levels, along the digestive track, since sodium contributes to the absorption of
glucides, while chlorine, in the form of hydrochloric acid, is essential for the
digestion of solids.
The kidneys regulate the sodium balance. They are able to quickly adjust the
sodium balance, when the quantity of salt varies between 1 and 16 grams a day.
Under these conditions, there are no variations in the extra-cellular volume or in
body weight. With quantities of salt higher than 16 grams a day, kidney adjustment
requires 3-5 days, during which time an increase in the extra-cellular volume and
in body weight is evident. After this period of time, the two values stabilize
themselves to the new acquired levels.
Sodium chloride can also be used as treatment:
In cases of glandular problems causing obesity, for instance, salt baths are very
useful, even in cases of hypo function or hyper function of the thyroid.
The application of dry or wet salt compresses reduces the excess liquid
present in the tissues.
For relief of swollen and sore feet, immerse them in a basin of warm water with a
handful of salt.
To reduce bags under the eyes apply compresses soaked in a teaspoon of
salt dissolved in a 4 cups of warm water.
Gargling with some salt and bicarbonate of soda dissolved in water disinfects
the mouth, leaving a fresh breath.
The inhalation of salt-water steam through the nose can relieve bothersome
cases of phlegm or of inflammation of the respiratory mucosa.
For an all natural peeling, try mixing a cream with honey and salt and massage
it gently over the interested parts of the face.
- Healing with Water
excerpt is reprinted from Healing Spriings, The Ultimate Guide to Taking
Waters, by Nathaniel Altman.
One of the most important activities that takes place at a traditional
balneotherapy, a natural approach to health and healing that uses hot
water, gases, mud, and climatic factors (such as heat) as therapeutic
Simple Solution: In addition to bathing, modalities such as
therapy, physical therapy, massage, steam baths, physical exercises,
of water vapor, and drinking mineral water are often used as part of a
therapy for both health and preservation and treating disease.
Over the past four centuries, the science of balneology has evolved into
medical specialty in Europe and Japan, where special courses in
are offered to both physicians and nurses by major medical schools.
believe that thermal springs facilitate healing in a number of important
Eight ways Balneotherapy Heals:
* Bathing in hot springs gradually increases the temperature of the
killing harmful germs and viruses.
* Thermal bathing increases hydrostatic pressure on the body, thus
blood circulation and cell oxygenation. The increase in
blood flow also helps
dissolve and eliminate toxins from the body.
* Hot springs bathing increases the flow of oxygen-rich blood throughout
bringing improved nourishment to vital organs and tissues.
* Bathing in thermal water increases body metabolism, including
secretions of the intestinal tract and the liver, aiding
* Repeated hot springs bathing (especially over 3- to 4- week period)
normalize the functions of the endocrine glands as well as
the functioning of the
body's autonomic nervous system.
* Trace amounts of minerals such as carbon dioxide, sulfur, calcium,
and lithium are absorbed by the body and provide healing
effects to various
body organs and system. These healing effects can include
stimulation of the
immune system, leading to enhanced immunity; physical and
the production of endorphins; and normalized gland
* Mineral springs contain high amounts of negative ions, which can help
feelings of physical and psychological well-being.
* The direct application of mineralized thermal waters (especially those
sulfur) can have a therapeutic effect on diseases of the
skin, including psoriasis,
dermatitis, and fungal infections. Some mineral waters are
also used to help the
healing of wounds and other skin injuries.
Indications for Balneotherapy:
Over the several hundred years during which the science of medical
has developed, physicians have been able to identify the health
can best be treated by healing springs. The following list of
balneotherapy is based on the research of Yuko Agishi, M.D.
Chronic rheumatic diseases
Functional recovery of central and peripheral neuroparalysis
Metabolic diseases, especially diabetes, obesity, and gout
Chronic gastrointestinal diseases
Chronic mild respiratory diseases
Circulatory diseases, especially moderate or mild hypertension
Peripheral circulatory diseases (affecting the hands and feet)
Chronic skin diseases
Psychosomatic and stress-related diseases
Autonomic nervous system dysfunction
Vibration disorder (a middle ear disorder affecting balance)
Sequela of (conditions resulting from) trauma
Chronic gynecological diseases
If you have any illnesses or diseases, or are pregnant, consult with
before using spa therapy.
Avoid soaking in a hot spring alone, caution and the elderly should use
caution, don't use a spa if you are under the influence of alcohol or
especially heart medications, don't overheat, drink plenty of cool
water, and use
private pools if you have a skin disease.
This excerpt is from the Aromatherapy Companion
Balneotherapy is the art of water therapy, and one of aromatherapy's
There is nothing quite so soothing and relaxing as a leisurely soak in a
As the warmth of the water cradles your physical body, providing relief
constant pull of gravity, your psyche is refreshed and restored, the
weight of the
world momentarily lifted. Add a few drops of well-selected essential
oils and you
Water is nature's greatest and most effective solvent. It acts as a
suspension, carrying a variety of minerals and chemicals, depending on
source. When we immerse our bodies in a warm bath, our skin rapidly
absorb chemicals that are suspended in the water. These chemical
can make their way to our bloodstream in as little as 2 to 15 minutes.
It will take a
normally healthy person from half an hour to three hours to eliminate
most of these
chemicals through the expired breath and urine. In unhealthy or obese
this process may take up to 10 hours. That is why adding essential oils
to a bath
is such an effective aromatherapy treatment.
The premise of balneotherapy is built on this solvency. Just as we
essential oils we intentionally add to the water, we absorb a variety of
chemicals and minerals suspended in our water. No two waters are exactly
same. Spring waters, often thought of as pure, actually contain a
minerals. It is the presence of these minerals, from the depths of the
makes certain spring waters highly valued for their curative properties.
The amazing virtues of water have been sung throughout the ages. Ancient
featured countless sea nymphs, mermaids, and water goddesses. It's no
that most ancient gods and goddesses associated with water were believed
be sources of life, fertility, and fecundity. Water is our element. We
evolved from aquatic creatures -- and in any event, our first months of
spent floating in an amniotic bath. In our dreams water symbolizes the
flow of our emotions. We use water for cleansing, refreshing, and
is the basis for our body's evaporative cooling system. It flushes out
plumps up our cells, and lubricates our moving parts. Water is crucial
survival. Without it we would literally dry up and blow away.
A Brief History of the Bath
Although the Romans may not have invented the bath, they raised bathing
high art. Roman citizens lingered for hours in communal hot baths, where
lavish baths wherever they found natural hot springs. The remains of
baths are still evident throughout Europe, the Mideast, and North
The Roman reverence for bathing has survived in Turkey, where patrons
public baths to be soaped, steamed, and scrubbed clean by
Meanwhile, a highly ritualized bathing culture has evolved in Japan as
towns exist as destination resorts around Japanese natural hot springs.
harried Japanese make annual visits to these springs, and in between
for frequent visits to the "Sento" -- the local communal
hot-tub house. Japanese
homes are for the most part poorly heated, and the family bath becomes
important source of warmth in winter.
With the fall of the Roman Empire, bathing fell out of favor in Europe.
For the next
few centuries the practice was considered suspect and unhealthy,
frightening and distasteful experience. Washing was an unpleasant and
necessity, to be carried out quickly and furtively, with a basin of cold
Water therapy as practiced today was introduced in Austria in the 19th
the Reverend Father Sebastian Kneipp. Father Kneipp believed in the
properties of water and prescribed treatments that included drinking
waters, soaking in hot springs, taking cold showers, and walking
barefoot in the
early-morning dew. Healing spas that subscribed to Father Kneipp's
sprang up all over Europe, and "taking the waters" became a
pastime for the rich and privileged.
Today health spas abound throughout the United States, Europe, and
Mediterranean. Modern spas have evolved beyond mere mineral-water
treatments to offer many other complementary therapies as well as
fitness, relaxation training, and nutritional counseling. Aromatherapy
universally adopted as a valuable synergistic component of most spa
You can create your own spa experience with just a few essential oils
and a tub of
hot water. An aromatherapy bath is the ultimate luxury. Experiment with
3 to 5 drops
of several different, complementary oils, adjusting the total amount to
individual taste. You can add the oils directly to the bath or, for
disperse them in a cup of milk first. Essential oils combine well with
all other bath
additives. Add Epsom salts, sea salts, and algae to mineralize the water
increase buoyancy. Add oatmeal or honey to soothe and nourish the skin.
bicarbonate of soda to "soften" the water. Add fresh or dried
herbs and flower
petals for their aesthetic and therapeutic qualities.
- from The Aromatherapy Companion by Victoria Edwards.
and Human Nutrition:
Sometimes the two terms, "salt" and
"sodium" are used interchangeably, but
technically this is not correct. "Salt" is sodium chloride. By
weight, it is 40% sodium
and 60% chloride. Sodium is an essential nutrient, a mineral that the
manufacture itself but which is required for life itself and good
health. Because of
sodium's importance to your body, several interacting mechanisms guard
under-consumption of salt and its threat to your body's nerves and
interference with the sodium-potassium "pump" which adjusts
extra-cellular pressures. If your salt intake varies widely, these
activate to assure that your body remains healthy, maintaining a
constant blood pressure. Chloride, too, is essential to good health. It
acid-base balance in the body, aids potassium absorption, supplies the
of digestive stomach acid, and enhances the ability of the blood to
dioxide from respiring tissues to the lungs. Salt should be part of
food storage program. Salt has been a valuable weapon in our public
campaign against iodine deficiency disorders (IDD), iodizing salt has
eliminated IDD in North America and many other areas although the World
Organization has targeted elimination of IDD globally as a top priority.
public health authorities do not fluoridize water, adding fluoride to
salt is common
as in France, Switzerland and Latin America.
Years ago we thought that different societies have wide variations in
Current research shows that where salt is readily available, the vast
majority of the
world's population chooses to consume about 6-10 grams of salt a day.
naturally occurring sodium in foods, people worldwide consume about
milligrams (mg) of sodium, Americans included. Some remote primitive peo
dietary sodium do have almost unbelievably small levels of sodium
below that judged by the National Academy of Sciences to be safe for
Americans. But for the rest of the world, our average intakes are
typical. The National
Academy of Sciences recommends that Americans consume a minimum of
mg/day of sodium. The European Union Population Reference Intake for
aged 18 years (an "acceptable range of intakes") is 575-3500
mg. Nutrition is
important to good health. Salt is part of a healthy diet, a fact
recognized by the public.
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