The salt shaker which we reach for so casually on our table is the result of millennia of human endeavour, laden with history, symbolism and ritual. Salt has run through the unrecorded and recorded past of humans, such a constant companion that we can track the development of civilisation and the creation of the modern world by its presence.
Nelson Mandela, in his first speech to the South African nation in 1994, said there were three things every person needs on the table:
Water, Salt and Bread.
Ocean brine contains the precious minerals our bodies require. Each cell of our body needs salt for optimum functioning and our blood has a salt content that almost exactly matches that of the ocean (unless it is refined table salt which is pure Sodium Chloride and is without any trace elements). It is hardly surprising, then, that as creatures of the sea, we should need to constantly replenish our bodies with sea salt, and that it should be an essential ingredient in the food we eat.
Salt, the essence of the sea, that body of water that all life came from, comes from the residue of lost oceans and seas (as is the case in the sea-aquifer from which Khoisan Trading obtains its richly mineralised brine); and from the evaporating edges of living ones.
Medical and scientific studies condemning table salt examine only refined salt. In the industrial refining process as many as 82 trace minerals and essential macronutrients are forcibly removed. Worldwide, table salts are refined to the point that they are almost 100% Sodium Chloride. All trace elements and minerals, which natural unrefined sea salt should contain, have been washed out in the refining process. Chemicals are then added to keep salt free-flowing and dry. Some salt pans bleach their salt if it is of poor quality. The high technology methods inherited from the era of the Industrial Revolution is geared for mass production, mainly for industry, and was never designed to produce mineral-rich food grade salt.
Humans need whole, pure, ocean salt daily: medical and biological facts support this. Salt has many uses but we also love salt for its own taste, one we first acquired from eating seafood gathered by the shore and from the uncooked flesh of animals. But we also love it for the particular magic that occurs when salt is added to other foods, causing their flavours to blossom fully and to unify in finished dishes.
Khoisan’s unrefined, hand harvested sea salt is a more labour intensive and gentler process allowing all sea salt minerals and trace elements to remain intact. Some of these, such as magnesium, calcium and iron, are particularly good for health and occur in relatively high concentrations in unpurified sea salt. Its’ taste differs tremendously from refined table salt, with a stronger and more delicious taste. This South African sea salt, harvested on the West Coast, is a revelation, with its distinct mineral taste and a roundness of flavour, texture and unparalleled whiteness – it will never look completely dry as it has no added anti-caking agents.
What are the basic roles of Natural Sea Salt?
Natural sea salt is the most basic of condiments. It possesses the power to rejuvenate the body’s bio-systems. Clean, unrefined, natural sea salt offers countless health benefits because of its complex beneficial minerals and bioelectric power and by maintaining a physiological electrolyte balance: it balances alkalinity/acidity levels, restores good digestion, relieves allergic symptoms and skin diseases. Natural unrefined sea salt provides renewed energy and at the same time gives higher resistance to infections and bacterial diseases. Proper electrolyte balance in the body is achieved by maintaining a relatively high potassium content inside the cell and a high sodium concentration in the fluid outside the cell. In centuries past, salt, the universal necessity, was also appreciated as an effective medicine. It was used either alone as an energiser and detoxifying agent, or in conjunction with healing plants.
Why is Khoisan Natural Salt different?
Khoisan’s sea salt source is free from pollutants and is unrefined and unprocessed. It is produced using only the natural elements of sun, wind, sea and plants from the unpolluted sandveld. Khoisan’s edible sea salt is packed with trace elements and minerals, giving this salt its distinctive and delicious taste. This supercharged sea salt has none of the anti-caking additives of over processed, de-mineralised table salts made to industrial requirements. It is pure and natural just as nature intended it to be.
Why is unrefined salt hard to obtain?
Pure, unrefined sea salt is hard to obtain as it is a lot more labour intensive and goes through a gentler production process allowing all minerals and trace elements to remain intact. Thus its taste differs tremendously, with a stronger and more delicious taste. One can recognise it by its taste and texture. It will never look completely dry as it has no anti-caking agents in it. Today, salt is mass produced by large companies that are catering for the industrial markets. They generally harvest out of very large crystallisers once a year. The salt then goes through an intensive program to get it to meet industrial standards i.e. 99.9% Sodium Chloride. Important minerals are washed out due to extensive washing and the intense heat that the salt is subjected to in the ovens destroys most of the trace elements.
Why is Seaweed so important?
Scientists have discovered that the mineral content of sea water is almost identical to that of the human body and that sea plants contain proteins, fats and sugars similar to our own. Stress and tension creates an imbalance in minerals and trace elements found in the body which are hard to replace by nutrition alone. Seaweed contains iodine, which acts on the thyroid to regulate the body’s metabolism. The properties of seaweed also improve circulation and assist in the elimination of toxins.
In modern times, and for centuries before, traditional uses of natural sea salt have included the storing, preservation and pickling in brine of all manner of perishable foodstuffs. Salt, the universal necessity, was also appreciated as an effective medicine. It was used alone, as an energiser and detoxifying agent, or in conjunction with healing plants.
Saline solutions are used in every hospital in the world as an anti-bacterial aid and to restore essential electrolytes to traumatised and depleted bodily functions.
Natural sea salt is one of the most basic condiments used. Khoisan’s clean, unrefined sea salt possesses the power to rejuvenate and offers a higher resistance to infections and bacterial diseases. Proper electrolyte balance in the body is achieved by maintaining a relatively high potassium content inside the cell and a high sodium concentration in the fluid outside the cell.
Infections can be prevented at source by using Khoisan Sea Salt crystals in liquid form. Modern science does not endorse all of the traditional uses of salt but it is, and has over the centuries, been used for therapeutic purposes:
- A saturated solution used regularly for cleaning the teeth helps to improve the gums and prevents infections of the mouth. (Ask your dentist!)
- Use of a saline solution to gargle with as an anti-bacterial treatment for oral and throat sores/infections.
- Irrigating the nostrils and sinuses with saltwater provides relief to congestion and allergy symptoms.
- A pinch of salt rubbed on a mosquito, fleabite or bee sting allays pain and irritation.
- Irrigating skin wounds with saltwater sanitises and prevents the transmission of bacteria.
- Bathing in water with added sea salt (± twice a week) acts as a tonic and is antibacterial.
- Use natural sea salt crystals on their own (without artificial perfumes and coatings) as a body scrub/exfoliate.
- A saturated solution of sea salt crystals in a bidet to relieve the symptoms of piles and genital infections.
- With new, resistant virus infections proliferating, washing your hands in salt water in the morning and afternoon is a natural way of preventing the transmission of bacteria.
- Splash/spray sea water on your face every morning – a saline solution is eminently hostile to germs.
Bathing in salt water and how much do you use?
Khoisan bath salt crystals contain a high level of minerals and vitamins that can be absorbed by the skin in much the same way as aromatherapy oils. As you soak in a bath of KHOISAN’S SEA SALT CRYSTALS (use a cupful), these not only soften the water, but ease away any aches or infection while stimulating and detoxifying the skin. The addition of essential oils to some ranges adds to the powerful effect of the sea salt.
Use Natural Sea Salt in your Swimming Pools
Use natural sea salt in your swimming pool! No more eye and ear infections, dry skin and hair, and best of all, the chlorine manufactured by a salt chlorinator is wholly natural, and has no potentially carcinogenic by-products, such as chloroform.
Sea Water is a Natural Fertilizer
Use either unwashed seaweed, cut in small pieces and add to compost, and/ or dilute one cup of seawater to three litres of water. Spraying it on your vegetables every two months or so is like treating them to a vitamin and mineral supplement, and they’ll love you for the boost. It will also restore valuable nutrients back to the soil.
The Book: SODIUM CHLORIDE by KAUFMANN, has ±700 pages dealing with all aspects of NaCl – Sodium Chloride.
Standard Specification for Salt defines Refined Salt as Technical Types A & B (SABS: 638-961)
- Type A has a NaCl content % by dry weight of 99.2%.
- Type B has a NaCl content of 98.5%.
The salt as produced by solar evaporation of sea water brine, mechanically harvested and stockpiled into heaps is known as CRUDE SALT.
To refine this Crude Salt to a NaCl purity of 99.8% on a dry basis, it is re-washed up to 7 times by a partially treated controlled brine plus some fresh water. It is allowed to dry for a day or two in bins. Thereafter it is conveyed to a rotary hot-air dryer fired by gas, and heated to 365 degrees F, reducing moisture content to a few hundredths of 1%, and charring all organics by flame impingement. This industrial salt emerges as a sterile product, passing into a rotary cooler, then to grinders/crushers and electric screens, to be graded into various sizes for packing and shipment.
The abovementioned pure Sodium Chloride is defined as ‘REFINED SALT’, used for industrial purposes such as boilers, meat packing, fish curing, canning, water softening and many other purposes. However, it is also sold for human consumption.
In the case of Khoisan’s Solar Sea Salt products, the salt is not refined to this extent, is eco-friendly and has a low carbon footprint.
The NaCl content varies from 97% for natural hand-harvested salt; to 99% for washed, Grade I Coarse salt, which is defined as Crude Salt by Kaufmann.
There are other ways of producing Refined Salt directly from sea brine, but not using solar energy. The manufacturers use gas or electricity and therefore have a large carbon footprint, namely, Vacuum Pan Salt and Grainer Salt, which are used in areas where solar energy is not feasible due to weather conditions.
Imported Pan-Heated Salts also have a high carbon footprint and are not eco-friendly.