DIY Mineral-Rich Herbal Salt
It goes without saying that I LOVE herbs. Plants are incredibly rich medicines, and can easily be infused into daily life to reap their many benefits. I am constantly thinking about how I can fit yet another herb into my life. From baths, to beauty care products, to tea time, to culinary herbalism, the possibilities are endless.
BOOM! Mineral-rich Herbal Salt.
In Traditional Chinese Medicine, Winter is represented by the water element, salty taste associated with the season. Historically, there was more famine in the winter months with fewer plants to eat, compensating with preserved food and salted meats. With our modern conveniences, this isn't the case anymore.
It also makes sense from a physiological and conventional approach, using minerals as necessary cofactors for production of stress hormones in increased demand from cold weather and increased likelihoods of colds and flus. Clinically, craving salt may indicate that your adrenal glands (that produce your stress hormones) are in need of a little love.
The typical Western diet isn't shy on salt. Processed and packaged foods are laden with salt to make them appear to taste better. A healthier alternative to refined iodized salt is sea salt.
Sea salt is more of a complex compound, providing a well-rounded mineral profile that is essential for a variety of cellular processes. As always, moderation is key.
Refined salt is "iodized" meaning the element iodine is added. Iodine is an essential nutrient for the thyroid gland. It is used in the conversion of inactive thyroid hormone to its active form. One place to get a natural source of iodine is in sea vegetables.
Talk to your Naturopathic physician if you have a thyroid condition to assess if sea vegetables are right for you.
Sea vegetables have a variety of effects including protection from radiation, or binding stored radiation. It is also apoptotic, meaning normal physiological cell death, for cancer cells. Interestingly, harmful xenoestrogens (estrogens in our environment) are both eliminated and prevented from binding to estrogen receptors via seaweed's rich iodine content.
In addition to sea vegetables, I included Nettles (Urtica dioica) in my herbal salt recipe.
Urtica dioica is one of my favourite herbs. It is an incredibly nutritive herb rich in vitamins and minerals, especially beneficial to the adrenal glands, kidneys and building blood. It serves as a gentle detoxifier, promoting excretion of harmful waste build up in lymphatics and tissues. This makes it an excellent adjunct in formulations for skin conditions, inflammatory arthritis and gout.
I often drink a cup of Nettle tea instead of an afternoon coffee for a gentle pick-me-up.
Herbal Salt Recipe
This recipe is easy-peasy, simply assemble! I used:
- Pre-mixed Harmonic Arts Sea Veg blend (Dulse, Nori, Sea Lettuce, Wakame flakes)
- Dried nettles (Urtica dioica)
- Sea salt
You can use a ratio of 1:1, salt: herbs or adjust your amount of herb to taste.
Keep a little pinch pot beside the stove, or a cute shaker in your lunch bag.
Use as you would sea salt-- on roasted vegetables or my favourite, soups that will preserve the integrity of the nutrient content.
Sea vegetable's nutrients, especially iodine, tend to drop when dried and over time. Mix in small batches and store the remainder in an air-tight container away from light.
Have any other herbs you add to your salt mix? Comment below or take a picture and tag me on instagram @drbrianalutz with #herbinfusedlife.