ONE OF the many things that I enjoyed doing while I was in Italy was cooking. It is not only therapeutic but as well as an opportunity to experiment on different available organic fresh spices in the country. Though we can constantly change the flavors of our dishes according to our cravings, there is one thing that remains constant in it – salt.
Salt or sodium chloride is a crystallized mineral that can be found vastly in the sea water. It is an essential seasoning not only in cooking but in life in general. Our body cannot produce salt, so the only way is to outsource.
The types of salt in the global market: Table salt or commonly called iodized salt, refined in texture and very salty. Sea salt, harvested from evaporated sea water, lightly salty. Kosher salt, light coarse texture, dissolves quicker than other salts. Himalayan pink salt, the purest salt from Himalayan Mountain part of Pakistan. Kala Namak or Himalayan black salt, rock salt combined with activated black charcoal from Nepal Himalayan peaks. Sel gris or Celtic grey salt, from the seacoast of France. Red Hawaiian salt, a sea salt mixed with iron-oxide volcanic clay.
According to the study of the American Medical Association, low consumption of salt, may worsen the condition of the heart that could lead to life threatening heart diseases. In addition, salt maintains the fluid in the body, which keeps our blood pressure normal, regulates muscles and nerve’s function, a great nutrient that aids the digestive system. Though over consuming it is detrimental to health especially to the kidneys and causes hypertension, a proportion of about 3.8 grams a day is recommended.
Salting is the standard way to preserve food. It eliminates bacteria and other harmful parasites that causes decaying. In Scandinavia and Himalayan regions, plentiful of fish, meat, vegetables, are preserved every year, for sustenance during the freezing winter.
For the skin, refined salt is rubbed to the body to exfoliate dead cells. While for sore throat, mixing sea salt with warm water serves a good anti-bacterial mouth wash.
In Japan, it is common to see bowls of salt placed before the entrance of their traditional restaurants and shops. In their famous sumo wrestling contest, handful of salt is thrown on the floor by the sumos before the game starts. The Japanese believe that salt can drive away bad luck and negative vibes.
Father Marciano Bautista added that when he blesses homes or shops, he puts salt in the water that he uses, before sprinkling it over the space to remove the dark presence in the place and to purify it.
In my center, Orissa Holistic Garden, we mix salt with natural oil in small clean silver vessel and chant a powerful oracion (prayer) over the mixture – to treat unexplained illnesses caused by the unknown. It is intriguing that after the ritual, people get well instantly.
There are so much more we don’t know in the Universe indeed. Perhaps, it is better not to know more. Just like salt, too much might damage one’s wellbeing.