Salt has been used by humans since before recorded history. While there are many uses of salt (from industrial application to water sanitation), there are several lesser-known health benefits as well.
We know that sodium is necessary to maintain life (it helps balance your body’s fluids and aids in transmitting nerve impulses), but most of us consume too much salt in our diets. However, beyond the dietary aspects of salt, there are several healing benefits of salt you might not be aware of:
1. Relieves burns or minor injuries in the mouth
The pain from burning the inside of your mouth (hot coffee, anyone?) or a minor injury like accidentally biting your tongue can be relieved by swishing salt water.
2. Helps reduce gum swelling
Salt is a known disinfectant and can help reduce swelling in your mouth, which is why many Dentists recommend rinsing your mouth with salt water after oral surgery.
3. Provides allergy relief
A saline solution (basically sterilized salt water that you can buy over the counter or make at home), can help reduce allergy symptoms in the nose and sinus cavities. The salt helps thin mucus, allowing it to clear bacteria from your nasal passages and reduce inflammation brought on by allergic reactions. Saline solutions are typically administered with a nasal spray.
4. Reduces pain from bee stings and bug bites
Applying a bee sting with salt water can help reduce the pain. Other bug bites (such as from mosquitos and chiggers) can be bathed in salt water to reduce itchiness and swelling. If you are allergic to bee stings or other bug bites, it’s important to seek immediate medical attention.
5. Helps clear up poison ivy
You can also reduce itching and skin irritation brought on by poison ivy by soaking the affected area in salt water. You may even find greater relief by taking a salt-water bath.
6. Helps keep skin moisturized and healthy
A sea-salt bath, apart from being extremely pleasant, has been shown to improve skin hydration and improve your skin’s “barrier function.”
7. Helps soothe a sore throat
A salt water gargle can help loosen mucus buildup, reduce swelling, and soothe the pain of a sore throat.
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