Over the past couple of decades, salt has gotten a bad rap. Studies have shown that lowering salt intake can help improve a variety of health conditions. Reducing sodium in the diet is linked to lower blood pressure and less risk of cardiovascular disease. One study even suggests that people who consume seven-plus grams of salt per day have a significantly higher risk of death than those who consume just three to six grams.
While there are certainly negative health risks associated with consuming large amounts of salt, the reality is that salt plays an important role in keeping our bodies functioning and balanced.
Furthermore, most people don’t realize that salt isn’t just for the kitchen. There are many other uses, including:
1. Sore Throat Gargle
Have a sore throat? Gargling with warm salt water can provide some relief. “You’re creating a high-salt barrier and you’re pulling out a lot of fluids from the tissues in the throat area, so you’re washing the virus out,” says Dr. Sorana Segal-Maurer. “The salt functions as a magnet for water. It’s good for symptomatic relief. And you end up swallowing some of it, so it’s sort of helping you with dehydration as well.”
2. Rust Remover
Rust is a pain to remove. Many people simply give up after a while and discard rusted items. But the truth is, most items can be saved with a simple salt-based rust remover.
Just combine some salt and lemon juice until you have a nice paste. Now, apply this to the affected area – whether it’s a bicycle, tool, etc. – and watch in amazement as the rust lifts right off.
3. Sting and Bite Reliever
When other medicines and solutions aren’t available, salt can be used to lessen the pain and discomfort associated with a variety of insect bites, stings, and even poison ivy. For a bee sting, wet the sting with water and then cover with salt. This reduces the swelling and mitigates the pain. For chigger or mosquito bites, soak the area in salt and then apply a small amount of vegetable oil. For poison ivy, soak the affected area in hot salt water for itch relief.
4. Ant Prevention
Are ants infiltrating your home? You can quickly stop them in their tracks by using salt as an interceptor. When placed at the point of entry – such as on a windowsill or beneath a door – ants will become discouraged and won’t cross the barrier.
Don’t Shy Away From Salt
While it’s wise to consume sodium only in moderation, don’t attempt to avoid salt in your diet altogether.
And as you can see, the value of salt goes far beyond the table. Find ways to strategically incorporate salt into your life and you’ll enjoy numerous benefits.