Our winter issue is out now. Editor Alison McEvoy writes on two of the most vital elements for human health, Water and Salt. Dive on in to find out more…
Water & Salt
Vital For Health And Healing
by Alison McEvoy
There are many things we know we ‘should’ do. And by should I don’t mean things anyone is looking over our shoulder about – this isn’t a homework situation – it’s life.
As I write, I imagine I am talking to my toddler, thinking how I would express to him the importance of the ‘little’ things in life – which are in fact its foundations. ‘You should’ or ‘You have to’ only cuts it for a number of years. When we hit semi-adulthood, no one is looking over our shoulder any longer to see when we go to sleep, what we eat, how much water we are drinking and exercise we are taking… and things can go awry.
“You have to ask ‘Why?’”
We are on the topic of WATER today and the above are wise words from Barbara O’Neill of Misty Mountain Health Retreat in Australia. ‘Why’ is the key which unlocks the door to motivating our own willpower into choosing the health giving elements of life, every day.
“Who’s the doctor? We are!”
Each of us being our own personal doctor, we would do well to get some knowledge or ‘qualification’. This is where people like Barbara come in – willing and able to put the simple science of our bodies into words that all of us lay men and women doctors can understand and act upon.
Here is Barbara’s crash course on WATER and its ally, SALT.
Water is the second most vital element needed for life. Humans can go just a few weeks without it. At every stage, water is needed for all our bodily functions. The hormones we excrete, the stomach acid which breaks down our food, the blood in our veins which transport nutrients and oxygen all around the body, the insulin which our pancreas creates to balance our
sugar levels…the list goes on. All of these very specialised liquids our body creates contain, and thus require, water. As you can see, we are talking foundations here when it comes to drinking water, especially since “we have no reserve tank…the only water that goes in is the water we put in.”
The water we drink needs to reach our cells if it is to be absorbed into the body and be used in all these functions. If it doesn’t get absorbed into the cell, it passes out through the kidneys, in the form of urine.
This leads us to the third most vital element needed for life – Salt. Water and salt are natural allies – they come together
to form the oceans and seas. Seawater has the highest amount of sodium (salt) in nature – 30% of its minerals are sodium and 50% are chloride. In order to create table salt, companies cause the sodium and chloride to crystallise by evaporating the water element away. They then mix in aluminium so that the salt does not remain crystallised but runs freely. This, says Barbara “is a dangerous salt…it contains two very harsh minerals.” Table salt (sodium + chloride + aluminium) is so
harsh that it actually kills the taste buds over time. That is why people end up using more and more of it, along with other taste enhancers such as sugar, as they can no longer taste their food.
Understanding the cell
You can help your cells ‘pull in’ the water you drink by putting a crystal of Celtic Salt (or other good quality salt such as Himalayan) onto your tongue before you drink your glass of water. The magnesium in the salt is taken right to the cell membrane where it fulfils a function of ‘pulling’ the water into the cell. Cells need a constant supply of water in the fluid surrounding them (i.e. the state of being hydrated). Many conditions are contributed to as a result of not having enough water in the cell (dehydration), such as high blood pressure, allergies, asthma and diabetes. These can be read as signals that the body is crying out for more water.
Ways to drink your water
1. Sip slowly – “It’s like watering a plant. Look at how God sends the rain – little by little by little… So remember that with your body. Taking it little by little is the best way.”
2. At the right time – In between meals is best. 60 to 90 minutes after eating, so that your food has time to be digested. Also, stop drinking water 30 minutes before your meals, so that your stomach acid is not being diluted down, making it less effective in its work of digesting your food.
3. Eight glasses a day – Spread out your glasses from morning to evening. If you perspire more, remember you will need to drink more to replace the water lost through sweat.
4. Alone – Tea, coffee and sugar all contain dehydrating agents, so adding water to these doesn’t add to your daily dose. Instead, Barbara comments that you’d need an extra few glasses of water to make up for the dehydrating effects of a cup of tea with sugar!
5. BEFORE you get thirsty – “Thirst only comes with almost a crisis of dehydration. So thirst is not a good sign.”
What water will do for you
For those who wish to go even deeper down the rabbit hole and discover the fascinating world of water in our bodies, Barbara points us in the direction of former Iranian political prisoner, Dr. Fereydoon Batmanghelidj. Dr. B’s book, Your Body’s Many Cries for Water reveals the depth of water’s ability to help and cure a vast range of health issues. Whilst imprisoned in Iran, the people of the prison turned to Dr. B for help. His only resource being water, he began giving patients glasses of it, little by little, and he actually found people were getting better. When he was set free, he chose to remain in the prison to conclude what had become a fascinating and mind-exploding research project. Other subtitles to his book became ‘Don’t treat thirst with medication’ and ‘He’s not sick, he’s thirsty’. There is no better place than his book to start your journey of understanding the second most vital element for human health.