Soothing Health Benefits of Salt

Make your own beauty products and reap the health benefits of salt for great summer skin.

| June/July 2012

  • Whip up beauty products with salt for great summer skin.
    Photo by ElenaGaak
  • Tint your bath salts with food coloring.
    Photo by Daria Minaeva/Fotolia

Salt, the rock we eat, was money before money came into existence. We are talking about a building block of human civilization when we talk about salt—a substance entwined with ancient practices on a level the sheer ordinariness of table salt makes it difficult for us to understand.

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The History of Salt

Salt was so valuable it is believed to have been part of a Roman soldier’s wages, and ancient governments controlled its movement. France only ended its unpopular salt tax, begun in 1286, in 1790. Salt, not easy to access before industrial production, was important to our ancestors because it could be used to preserve food in a refrigerator-less world. But it is more than a kitchen staple.

It has also been used for centuries to cleanse, soften and treat the skin and hair. The Egyptians and Romans made salt rubs by massaging a mixture of salt, herbs and natural oils into the body to cleanse and refresh. Hippocrates was one of the first to promote the use of salt in the bath to heal and soothe the body. Today salt is still a popular beauty ingredient, and can be found in many natural and commercial products. You will see salt listed as sodium chloride on product labels.

Did you know? Prehistoric and historic trading routes called salt roads were used to transport the mineral to areas without salt.

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