Most of us are familiar with the health risks of excess salt in our diet – yet at the same time, it’s something that our bodies, and our world, cannot do without.
There are more than 14 000 known uses of this common household condiment, and it is certainly not limited to the kitchen and home.
Salt is used in the manufacture of textiles, pulp, paper, soaps, detergents, hides and leather, to name just a few. In snowy climates, salt is use to de-ice footpaths and highways.
One of the newest uses for salt – Himalayan rock salt to be exact – is to add essential oils, so you can enjoy aromatherapy without a diffuser. What a great idea!
Clearly, if you have only ever thought of salt as a flavour enhancer, it’s time to discover how else it can enhance your life!
Salt for Health
- Gargling half a teaspoon of salt in a glass of water brings relief to a sore throat. Salt not only has antiseptic properties, but soaking in salt water relieves aches, itches, stings and fatigue.
- Got aching feet? No need for expensive spa products. Simply soak your feet in warm water, to which a handful of salt has been added. Rinse in cool water and pat dry.
Salt for Beauty
- After a shower, rub your body with dry salt before towelling off, to remove dead skin cells and aid circulation.
- Or pamper yourself with a facial, using equal parts of salt and olive oil.
Salt for Cleaning
- A paste of salt and vinegar is great for removing tea of coffee stains from cups, burnt food from aluminium pots, and also for polishing brass, chrome and copper.
- Or, use the paste to whiten bone and ivory items such as knife handles.
Around the Home
- Keep cut flowers fresh, by add a dash of salt to the water in the vase.
And of course, Salt in the Kitchen …
- Before refrigeration, meat was salted to help prolong its life.
- Prevent food from discolouring. Soak peeled potatoes in salt water until you’re ready to use them; to prevent apples from browning, soak in salt water for five minutes and then rinse.
- Did you know that a tiny pinch of salt added to egg whites will strengthen meringue?
- To stop fish sticking whilst frying, heat two teaspoons of salt in the pan and wipe away before cooking.
- After chopping onions, rub your hands with salt and rinse clean.
- Most cooks know that salt draws out the bitter juice before cooking eggplant, but did you know that a pinch of salt added to brewed coffee will also rid it of that bitter taste?
- Soak walnuts overnight in salt water and shelling will be a breeze!
- Salt is great for deodorising smelly thermos bottles and jugs, decanters and other closed containers.
So even if salt is not on the menu for your health’s sake, it is something that no home should be without!