There is a lot of advice out there on how to stay healthy these days. So many miracle cures to whatever ails you. And I have tried a lot of them over the years – trust me! From drinking olive oil and lemon juice to mashed up stems and berries… The one thing that has made the biggest difference in my over all well-being however is something so simple – I start my day by drinking SALT WATER SOLE. Drinking salt water? YES. Every day. And this is how we start the day on ON RETREAT too!
Let’s begin by noting that I am not talking about table salt here, which is made up of only sodium and chloride. What I am talking about is combining mineral-rich, unrefined natural salts and water to make a electrolyte-dense brine that is taken as a supplement every morning.
An electrolyte is a compound that ionizes when dissolved in liquid, meaning it becomes a charged molecule. Different types of electrolytes include sodium, potassium, chloride, bicarbonate, calcium sulfate, magnesium, and phosphate.
When we combine natural salt and water, the positive ions of the salt surround the negative ions of the water molecules and vice versa, creating a totally new structure with an electrical charge that is more absorbable for the body. When ingested into the body, the electrical charge of the solution helps the body to send electrical signals from one cell to another and assists the kidneys in maintaining fluid balances in the body.
Two of the most common salts used to make sole are Grey Atlantic Sea Salt(sometimes called Celtic Grey) and Himalayan Pink Salt. There are, however, many other great mineral-rich salts to choose from. I personally use Himalayan Pink Salt
WHY I DRINK SALT WATER SOLE
1. DRINKING SALT WATER SOLE HELPS MY BODY HYDRATE WITHOUT BECOMING TOO DILUTE.
We are often encouraged to drink copious amounts of water ( esp. as a Bikram teacher/practitioner) to stay hydrated and to “flush out toxins.” This however, crazy enough, can be detrimental to our health. Over-drinking and becoming over-dilute actually lowers our metabolism and stresses out our bodies. Our bodies and our cells rely on a certain concentration of minerals and electrolytes to function properly. When we guzzle large amounts of plain water, our extracellular fluid become dilute causing a stress response in the body, activating stress hormones, like adrenaline, that are usually meant to deal with acute and immediate stressors.
A few years ago, I had re-opened my Bikram Yoga studio. I was back in the hot room 7 days a week practicing and teaching. I was leaching minerals and not replacing. My joints were so achey- my hands puffy – I thought that I had acquired arthritis or something worse – it was totally crazy!!! until a girlfriend asked me – have you TRIED SOLE?! I mean, sure I will pretty much try anything so lets see?.. Less than a week later all symptoms gone and over time I have found so many other benefits. Just a few below…I was 100% guilty of over hydrating & de-mineralizing – TOTALLY OVER HYDRATING. Check out Matt Stone, in his book Eat For Heat: A Metabolic Approach to Food and Drink, goes into great detail about over-diluting our bodies. His well-researched book explains how we can maintain our internal balance by modifying what we eat and drink. With some careful observation of our own body’s signals, we can begin to learn when our bodies actually need fluids and when they don’t.
Consider this scenario: You guzzle plain water, you get overly dilute, your kidneys respond by making you pee a lot, then you feel thirsty again. Sound familiar? It’s like watering a bone dry plant. It all pours out of the bottom without actually absorbing into your cells. Drinking water with a bit of salt in it allows your body to absorb and assimilate the fluids that you are taking in… that was me!!!
So, drink your water, but don’t go overboard. You don’t need your eye balls to be floating in your head. Drink when you are thirsty. Replace fluids when you sweat. And start your day with a bit of salt water sole ( and I add a squeeze of lemon to that to get the digestive juices flowing too!)
2. NATURAL, UNREFINED SALTS ARE RICH IN VITAL MINERALS.
“YOU CAN TRACE EVERY SICKNESS, EVERY DISEASE, AND EVERY AILMENT TO A MINERAL DEFICIENCY.” – DR. LINUS PAULING, TWO-TIME NOBEL PRIZE WINNER
Minerals are the most basic of building blocks for proper nutrition and health. Without minerals, nothing else works. Vitamins and other nutrients do not get broken down and absorbed when amino acids and enzymes do not work due to the lack of vital minerals. And mineral deficiencies are getting more common now due to our depleted soils and poor diets.
A sole made with unrefined, natural salts is an amazing source of vital minerals. For example, grey Atlantic Sea salt supplies all 82 trace minerals needed by the human body. After sodium chloride (salt), the main mineral in unrefined sea salt is magnesium, which virtually everyone needs more of. Other minerals found in unrefined salt include barium, bismuth, boron, chromium, cobalt, molybdenum, rubidium, selenium, titanium, vanadium and zinc.
3. SALT WATER SOLE IMPROVES DIGESTION.
Beginning in the mouth, the salt water will activate your salivary glands, releasing amylase. This is the first step in digestion. In the stomach, salt stimulates hydrochloric acid in the stomach as well as an enzyme that digests protein which assists in the further breakdown of food. It also stimulates secretions of the intestinal tract and liver, aiding the process of digestion. Who could use a bit of help with digesting their food – or kick starting your engine first thing in the morning.. right ? ALL OF US!!
4. SALT IMPROVES YOUR QUALITY OF SLEEP.
The abundance of trace minerals in natural salt will have a calming effect on the entire nervous system. Salt is known to reduce stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline in the body, helping you settle in for a better night’s rest. Many folks wake up between the hours of 2 am and 4 am when adrenaline spikes in the body. Matt Stone recommends a sprinkle of salt and sugar to calm the nervous system. Find out more HERE about Matt Stone. In addition, the proper ratio of water and salt consumption can help to prevent the need to urinate during the night.
5. SALT WATER SOLE HELPS GIVE YOU BEAUTIFUL, CLEAR SKIN.
Like I said before, minerals are awesome. And they can help your skin look amazing.
- Chromium – Fights acne & reduces skin infections
- Zinc – aids in healing of the tissues and helps prevent scarring. It helps prevent acne by regulating the activity of oil glands. Zinc also promotes a healthy immune system and the healing of wounds.
- Iodine – helps in healing skin infections by increasing oxygen consumption and the metabolic rate of the skin.
- Sulfur – keeps skin clear and smooth. Dry scalps, rashes, eczema and acne are often due to deficiencies of this mineral.
HOW TO MAKE SALT WATER SOLE
- Fill a 1 quart glass mason jar about 1/3 full of unrefined, Himalayan Pink Salt. Then fill jar with filtered water, leaving at least 2 inch gap at top. Cover with a non-reactive cap (LIKE THIS). Give it a good shake and allow to sit for 24 hours.
- After 24 hours, if all the salt crystals have dissolved, add a few more salt crystals to the water. Your sole is ready when the salt no longer dissolves, meaning the water has become fully saturated with the salt. (There should always be undissolved salt crystals on the bottom of the jar. This is your visual proof that the water is totally saturated with salt.)
- Store, covered, on the counter or cupboard. The sole will last indefinitely because of salt’s natural anti-bacterial and anti-fungal properties.
NOTE: It is important to avoid using metal whenever possible when making and using sole as this de-ionizes the salt. I use plastic caps LIKE THIS for my mason jars and a wooden spoon (LIKE THIS) for my daily dosing.
HOW TO USE SALT WATER SOLE
Each morning, on an empty stomach ( even before you brush your teeth) add a small amount of sole to a small (about 8 oz.) glass of filtered water. The amount will vary depending on your bodies needs and your sole concentration. (I use warm water and a squeeze of lemon in mine)
Your tongue will tell you exactly how much sole to add to your water. Start with 1/2 tsp – 1 T of sole. When you add your sole to your glass of water, taste it. If it tastes the way you believe salt water tastes, then it is perfect. If it tastes too salty, then pour a little water out and dilute the solution with more plain water until it tastes correct. If it doesn’t taste salty enough, you may need to add more than a tsp of sole until the balance is correct for you. Your sense of taste will let you know what your kidneys need and you may find that each day your needs are different.
NOTE: ***This article is in no way intended to give medical advice or to treat medical conditions. I am only sharing what I have learned from personal experience. Please ALWAYS consult your primary care person when making changes to your diet or self-care routine.