The Role Of Salt For Green Cleaning & Natural Remedies
Salt (Sodium chloride) is one substance that has been recognized throughout history for its versatility and effectiveness. There have been old wives tales all attesting to various uses of salt; some myths, and others holding some measure of truth.
Aside from being a basic seasoning, salt was a well-known preservative before the advent of technology. One other factor that makes salt very popular is the fact that it is very cheap and can be accessed easily. In light of this, there is a particular function that has been attributed to it and indeed holds some water.
This is the role of salt as a disinfectant.
Why Can Salt Serve As a Disinfectant?
Salt is known to kill some types of bacteria due to its highly concentrated nature. When salt comes in contact with these bacteria, it sucks the water out of them thus rendering them dead.
The process by which this is done is known as osmosis. The water exits the bacterium so that it can bring a balance to the concentration of salt on either side of its cell membrane.
In the absence of water, bacterial proteins such as enzymes cease to function and the cell ends up collapsing on itself. Salt is also effective at getting rid of some forms of fungi.
Salt has many uses around the home and is a great ingredient to have in your kitchen cupboard as part of a green cleaning routine. It can remove grease from kitchen utensils and also help with stain removal on clothes. Using salt water and a toothbrush you can also help protect your wicker furniture by gently cleaning the furniture with a salt solution and then leaving it in the sun to dry.
How To Use Salt as a Disinfectant
Salt is a natural cleansing product and is therefore very handy for cleansing wounds. In order to use salt as a disinfectant, it has to be mixed in water, preferably warm water. Here are some steps to follow:
- Run water from the tap until it warms up
- Fill an 8-ounce cup with the water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt
- Stir vigorously so that all the particles dissolve
- Get a cotton ball and saturate it with saltwater from the cup
- Dab on the wound gently with the cotton ball to remove seepage or dried blood
- Pat dry with a clean cloth and cover-up if possible
The salt would draw moisture away from the injured area, thereby clearing away bacteria and fungus. This singular action would also serve to reduce pus and the area can be disinfected with warm salt water a few times daily.
Other Uses of Salt
Salt has a multitude of other uses and these uses have very practical applications. Here are some you most likely didn’t know about.
As a Gargling Agent
Apart from being a natural cleansing product, salt is also known for being an effective oral irrigator. A 2010 Mayo Clinic study showed that salt water is very effective at reducing cold symptoms.
One of such symptoms, namely sore throat, can be relieved when salt is used as a gargling agent. In order to do this, you should once again fill an 8-ounce cup with warm water and add 1/2 teaspoon of salt. When the mixture is thoroughly dissolved, fill your mouth halfway with the mixture.
Next, tilt your head backward and gargle for about three seconds straight. Afterward, spit the liquid out and repeat the process at least three times every day until your symptoms subside.
It can also be used for treating canker sores, gingivitis or post oral surgery. In this case, you should ensure that the saltwater circulates in your mouth while paying more attention to the affected area. In the case of gingivitis, ensure that your mouth muscles are pulling the liquid between your teeth. After doing this for about 30 seconds, spit it out and repeat after every meal for a week.
Of course, if you do not see any changes, you should contact your doctor immediately.
Halotherapy or salt therapy is another one in the long list of the uses of salt. Halotherapy is based on the medical qualities that salt offers. It mainly involves sitting around in a salt lounge and breathing in air that is rich in salt. The aim of this therapy is to leave the recipients feeling a lot more energized with better skin as well as the possible alleviation of certain respiratory conditions.
It is touted to be effective at treating conditions such as bronchial asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, chronic bronchitis, nasal asthma as well as allergic rhinitis and other allergic diseases.
In addition to these, there are a number of other benefits from halotherapy.
Exercising or intense physical work, especially in hot environments can cause you to lose a lot of fluid and salt in the form of sweat. This can result in sharp pains especially in regions such as your stomach, arms, and calves. To prevent or alleviate this, a significant intake of fluids and salt is necessary.
Eating salty food with water or taking a sports drink are some practical methods. However, if you need a very effective method, you can make your own sports drink by adding a teaspoon of salt to a litre of water.
Although salt is an extremely useful substance, you need to regulate your intake. Although it has quite a number of benefits, excessive salt intake can cause certain health problems like hypertension and kidney problems. Therefore, you need to monitor your intake very carefully.