There’s a reason why saying someone is “worth his salt” or that “salt of the earth” is a compliment. It’s because salt is essential. Not only does salt add flavor, but it is also necessary for sustaining life. In fact, the simple chemical compound of sodium and chloride (NaCl) is so powerful that it has helped civilizations survive and has caused brutal conflicts. While you likely have this powerful chemical compound in your pantry, you also need it in your emergency preparedness kit.
Salt through history
From there, salt became so necessary and desirable that it led to major conflicts. How Stuff Works explains, “Salt taxes and monopolies have led to wars and protests everywhere from China to parts of Africa. Anger over the salt tax was one of the causes of the French Revolution.” It didn’t stop there. In the United States, we’ve had our fair share of salt-related conflicts.According to Time, “The history of the world according to salt is simple: animals wore paths to salt licks; men followed; trails became roads, and settlements grew beside them. […] As civilization spread, salt became one of the world’s principal trading commodities.”
During the Revolutionary War, Lord Howe captured General George Washington’s salt supply. Later, during the Civil War, the Union forces went after the Confederate’s salt supplies and destroyed multiple saltworks throughout the south.
Thankfully, today’s salt wars only revolve around scientists and doctors arguing about how much salt is too much.
Why salt is essential for our bodies
Our Fluid Earth explains, “Sodium is essential for nerve and muscle function and is involved in the regulation of fluids in the body. Sodium also plays a role in the body’s control of blood pressure and volume.” Additionally, chloride is necessary for regulating blood pressure and helping the body absorb nutrients. Those who do not have enough sodium in their diets can suffer from a condition called hyponatremia.The current salt war is a battle over how much salt humans need and how much is deadly. Yes, too much salt can kill us. However, not having enough salt can also kill us. Salt is the main way our bodies get the sodium and chloride needed to stay healthy.
However, too much salt can also cause health problems. Too much salt can lead to high blood pressure, increased water retention, dehydration, and an increased risk for kidney disease and heart disease. In America, our salt intake is much higher than what is recommended (averaging 3,400 mg of sodium per day), which is why we see “low sodium” labeling.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration recommends “limiting sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day—that’s equal to about 1 teaspoon of salt.” Most of us don’t have to worry about getting the right amount of sodium daily, but during a crisis, it will be important to maintain sodium intake.
Why salt is essential for survival
Since salt is essential for the body, it is a must-have item for your emergency kit. However, salt is also a must-have for survival because it works as a jack-of-all-trades. Much like vinegar or duct tape, salt can be used for multiple purposes. In addition to helping our physical bodies survive, salt can be used for everything from soothing bug bites to cleaning stains to scaling fish.Today, salt is just as popular, with people spending top dollar for gourmet salts and even visiting salt therapy spas. That’s all fine and good, but when it comes to survival essentials, all you need is regular iodized salt.
Plus, Ready Hour Iodized Salt is long-lasting. You can store it in your pantry or stock it with the rest of your preparedness supplies, and it will last thirty years unopened. Additionally, since the iodized salt is contained in the #10 Ready Hour cans made of durable steel, it is waterproof and rodent-proof. Order it today and learn how to use it in a variety of ways below.
Salt uses for food
One way to make sure you are getting the necessary amount of salt for survival is to add it to your food.
- Flavor – Salt is used to season and flavor bland food.
- Preservation – When you add salt to meat and fish, it takes away the moisture. Since moisture breeds bacteria, salt is helpful for preserving these foods.
- Milk Longevity – You can add a bit of salt to your milk to help it stay fresh longer.
- Decreasing Cooking Times – If you add salt to the water, it will raise the the boiling point of the water, due to a phenomenon called boiling point elevation, which means your food will cook faster.
Salt uses for the home
- Cleans stains and spills – Salt has been used to clean everything from red wine spills to grease spots. A little salt can go a long way when it comes to maintaining your home. Whether you use it for cleaning or safety purposes, salt can be a lifesaver.
- Melts ice – Salt is used to melt away ice on driveways and roads.
- Controls fires – You can use salt to keep the flames of your fire low without distinguishing it.
- Forms plaster – You can combine salt with cornstarch to form plaster that can be used to fill holes.
- Soaks up oil – If you have an oil stain on your driveway or in your garage, you can sprinkle salt on it, and it will make cleaning it easier.
- De-ices windows – You can prevent your windows from frosting up by wiping them down with a sponge soaked in a saltwater solution the night before the freeze.
Salt uses for medical purposes
- Postnasal drip – Saline sprays or drops are commonly used to treat postnasal drip. Saline is simply saltwater. You can make your own using salt, water, and an eyedropper.
- Sore throat – Gargling salt water is a popular household remedy for sore throats.
- Sore gums and tooth pain - Swishing or rinsing with saltwater can provide relief for mouth troubles.
- Bug bites and stings – You can make a paste that will bring relief using just salt and water that can be applied to bug bites and stings.
- Poison ivy – Soak your poison ivy-affected areas in warm salt water to help it clear sooner.
Salt uses for skin
In addition to salt’s healing properties, people have found many ways to use salt for beauty treatments and skincare.
- Exfoliates – Salt is a natural exfoliant. A salt massage exfoliates and smooths your skin.
- Facial toner – You can fight oily skin by making a saltwater toner.
- Bath salts – Bath salts (made of Epsom salts) are used to soothe aches, as well as provide stress relief.
- Foot baths – Soaking your feet in warm saltwater will provide relief, soften calluses, and help prevent fungal infections.
Salt uses in survival situations
In addition to the various uses for salt discussed above, there are other survival-specific reasons why you should include salt in your preparedness supplies.
- Drying and tanning hides – If you are in a long-term survival situation, you will need to dry and tan hides for clothing, blankets, and other purposes. Salt is a key ingredient in the process.
- Scaling fish – If you have to fish for food, salt will come in handy, not only for flavor and preservation, but soaking the fish in a salt solution will also make scaling fish significantly easier.
- Repelling bugs – A salt barrier will help keep ants away from your campsite and food.
- Making toothpaste and mouthwash – Mixing a salt and baking soda paste creates a toothpaste for cleaning and whitening teeth. Plus, add some water, and you can make mouthwash for freshening your breath.
- General cleaning – Salt is abrasive, so it can be used to scrub pots, and it can be used to clean sticky substances from your hands.
Salt seasons, sustains, and preserves. Make sure you always have it on hand, friends.
Preparedness Advisor, My Patriot Supply