The uses of salt

On one of my cleaning days, I ran out of cleaning products and remembered Mom would clean with baking soda and salt. For example, salt and baking soda sprinkled on a damp sponge is an excellent solution for cleaning refrigerators, counters, stoves, and sinks. Burned-on food on the stovetop can be removed with a salt and cinnamon mixture that also gives a pleasant smell and will cover up the burnt odor.

My Mother would have us gargle with warm saltwater to ease a minor sore throat and to gargle with salt, baking soda and water will freshen your breath. I then started looking up other ways we use salt and remembered salt dough bread baskets we made years ago (wondered what happened to mine)? I guess we spend lots of money on cleaning supplies, toothpaste and beauty stuff when all we have to do is look into our pantry and use the old standbys: salt and baking soda, and vinegar. Just few more little tidbits: you can remove the odor of onion from your hands by sprinkling on salt and a little bit of vinegar — rub then rinse. How easy is that? A salt-baking soda paste mixture applied on a bee sting can relieve the itch and pain. Of course, salt been a symbol of value and from watching the History Channel, I have learned that salt has been used as payment for wages, used to confirm agreements and in the Bible, that salt was a symbol for purity, perfection, wisdom, hospitality, durabiltiy and fidelity. According to President Theodore Roosevelt, “No man is worth his salt who is not ready at all times to risk his well-being, to risk his body, to risk his life, in a great cause.”

Salt is one of the most versatile natural substances in the world. We can use salt to freshening up fish just home from the market, fix clogged drains, fix small plaster holes in the wall, and use a salt and olive oil mixture as a skin toner. We humans require sodium for life and health, but our body cannot make it on its own. Our muscles (the heart being a very important muscle) require sufficent salt to work properly. We know too much is bad for us, but we cannot live without salt. So, I will add the salt to my food with moderation, for it does give added flavor to it, and when told gossip by friends will take it “with a grain of salt”.

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