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The Healing Powers of Salt Water


Himalayan pink salt


For some years I have used a spoonful of natural salt in a glass of water as a gargle for the beginnings of a scratchy, sore throat - and it works every time.

But there are many other health benefits from salt water. In fact, life itself is thought to have originated in the sea as single-celled creatures.

Salt water in the past

Sea water has a history of therapeutic use. Thalassotherapy (originating from the Greek word thalassa) involves warm sea water applied to the body and usually combined with massage. Thousands of years ago, both the Greeks and the Romans recognized the therapeutic effects of warm sea water, penetrating the skin and entering the blood stream with its relaxing, regenerative and stimulating properties.

On the other hand, the American Indians (who resided in the Utah area near the Great Salt Lake) regularly drank small quantities of the inland sea water, enhancing the effects of their herbal remedies. There are so many ways in which you can benefit from natural salt, including swimming in it and drinking it.

Ocean swimming

Floating or swimming in the ocean pumps blood from our lower limbs and to the abdominal region, bringing more oxygen to the brain to make us more alert and active. At the same time the sound of waves alters wave patterns in the brain, lulling you into a deeply relaxed state to rejuvenate the mind and body. Seawater is particularly beneficial to the skin, increasing its elasticity and improving its outer appearance. Studies show that salt water helps in treating skin disorders like eczema, psoriasis and acne.

Although the results are not seen immediately, swimming regularly in salt water will gradually improve the appearance and condition of these three disorders. Swimming in general is a good way to relieve stress and to reduce the inflammation of joints and muscles. Salt water contains bromide and this mineral helps in relieving muscle pains and soreness. Swimming in salt water is not too strenuous an activity but it helps keep you beautiful outside and healthy inside. Even if you live far from the ocean, many pools are now changing from being chlorine based to giving you the salt water swimming experience.

Some healthy side effects of the ocean

Even if you don't get into the ocean, just enjoying the sea air (charged with healthy negative ions that accelerate our ability to absorb oxygen and balance levels of seratonin to improve mood and reduce stress) will help you to sleep more soundly that night.

At the same time, you will benefit from sunlight, promoting your vitamin D levels and enjoying that “feel good” hormone because the heat of the sun affects our endocrine system when those natural chemicals in our body make us feel relaxed and less stressed.

Salt baths

A bath with natural salt added (sometimes known as a Sitz bath) has many of the benefits of ocean bathing because natural salt contains many minerals (including potassium and magnesium) which helps the nervous system, reduces stress and can even relieve water retention. Another plus is bringing about a healthy calcium balance to strengthen bones and nails.

Although salt baths are often recommended for those with health problems, they are cleansing and healthy for everyone, stimulating circulation, hydrating the skin and increasing moisture retention. Salt baths will help heal dry, scaly and irritated skin while reducing any inflammation of the muscles or joints and relieving pain and soreness. They are also invaluable for home treatment of hemorrhoids and anal fissures.

Drinking salt water

A daily glass of water with a little salt added will help
  • Eliminate fatigue
  • Stabilize blood pressure
  • Reduce appetite

But you can go further by drinking salt water when you follow the salt water sole route...

What is salt water sole? (pronounced so-lay)

Sole is essentially water that has been fully saturated with a natural salt rather than a small amount of salt dissolved in water. The water has absorbed as much natural salt as it is able until it cannot absorb any more. The term sole comes from the Latin “sol” meaning Sun.

Here are some of the benefits of salt water sole

  • Helping the body hydrate without becoming too dilute
  • Getting the benefits of the vital minerals found in unrefined salts
  • Improving digestion
  • Improving the quality of your sleep
  • Healthy skin, hair and nails
  • Helping the body detoxify
  • Boosting energy
  • Improving digestion and blood sugar
  • Acting as a natural anti-histamine
  • Helping with muscle cramps
  • Improving bone health
  • Reducing or avoiding vein problems like varicose veins
  • Reducing blood pressure
  • Weight loss by improving digestion and nourishing the body on a cellular level

If you would like to make your own salt water sole, here is the recipe.

As mineral deficiencies become more common, because of depleted soils and poor diets, it becomes more important than ever that you include natural salt in your life.



Kim J, et al. (2019). Global pattern of microplastics (MPs) in commercial food-grade salts: Sea salt as an indicator of seawater MP pollution. DOI:

Sea salt vs. table salt. (2018).
 https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt. (Accessed 4 June, 2021).