Salt, an essential mineral, can teach us a lesson or two about life. This magical compound is made possible by a connection between Sodium (Na+) and Chloride (Cl-) coming together to from an ionic bond—the result of oppositely charged ions joining forces. Commonly found in ocean water, salt is one of the most common crystals on the planet, taking shape in underground deposits and making up approximately 3% of sea water by weight. Salt is the only rock that humans eat, and we’ve been using this natural element as a way to flavor and preserve foods for many generations.
Historically (and currently), salt can be found in shallow pools, where exposure to sunlight will evaporate the water leaving dried salt which is gathered, cleansed, and sifted. The process is lengthy and difficult, which explains why salt used to be as valuable as gold. In fact, ancient Roman cultures paid soldiers in salt (hence the term salary).
The complexity of salt lives in its natural formation known as crystal cubes. Crystals are an arrangement of patterns which create repeated geometric shapes (i.e. sugar crystals are made of oblong rectangles, while quartz or sand is made of hexagons). There is an inherent wisdom to crystals, as they are regularly symmetrical mirror images, each with its own level of strength.
Thanks to our chemist ancestors, we are better able to understand the many health benefits that salts provide. One such benefit includes salt baths, which have been utilized by various cultures throughout history. Common ingredients in salt bathing products include Epsom salt, Himalayan salt, and Dead Sea salt. Modern uses and benefits of salt baths include stress relief, soothing muscle aches, wound healing, supporting the absorption of magnesium into the body, and relieving skin conditions such as acne and eczema.
If you’re like me, you revel in the thought of drawing a nice warm bath with lovely smelling salts, complete with a generous layer of bubbles. Light those candles, turn on some jazz or classical tunes, and you’ve just created your own little spa. Foot soaks are just as awesome, relaxing, and beneficial for the spirit. I find that soaking (any part of my body) in warm salt water helps me gain peace of mind, and things suddenly become crystal clear.
Featured image via The Beauty Mantra.