History of Salt
From ancient times, salt has been an integral part of human history and is a cause for countless civilizations. Salt was used for religious offerings and was traded between Phoenicians and their Mediterranean empire. The chemical compound was highly valued, and the production was legally restricted.
The word salary was derived from salt as it was highly valued and used as a method of trade and currency. This simple white granular seasoning is an essential element not only for humans but also for animals and even plants.
In the present scenario, salt is readily available at low cost, but in ancient times, there were many restrictions in using salt. In some civilizations of history, salt was minted and used as a basic currency. Sometimes this compound became more valuable and was traded for gold. Due to the massive demand, most of the emperors tried to control and taxed it. The taxes financially helped most of the empires to survive, but also encouraged the black market, smuggling, riots, and even revolutions.
As a precious commodity, salt has been the base for many economies throughout history. The famous researcher M.R.Bloch concluded that most of the civilizations began near deserts due to the natural deposits of salt. It is also believed that the world’s first-ever war was fought due to this white crystal element. Most of the emperors levied taxes on salt to support themselves financially, and Greek slaves were bartered for salt. Roman legionnaires were often paid in salt, called salarium, thus leading to the Latin word salary.
Even the great British empire supported itself by high salt taxes, leading to the burst of a black market for this white crystal. In Britan, about 10,000 people were arrested yearly for smuggling of salt. Protesting this rule of taxing salt, Mahatma Gandhi led a march to the Arabian Sea to collect untaxed salt for the poor of India.
History of Salt in Religion
Greek worshipers used salt in their rituals and Jewish included in it their temple offerings. Catholic churches used salt in purification rituals, and until Vatican II, a small taste of salt was placed on the lips of the baby at his or her baptism. In the “Last Supper,” Judas has spilled over a bowl of salt, which was considered as bad luck or portent of evil. In Buddhist, after attending a funeral, salt is thrown over the shoulder before entering the house, to ward off devils that might be behind you. Traditional Sumos also throw salt on the center to drive off evil spirits. In 1933, Dalai Lama was buried sitting on a bed of salt.
Sources Of Salt
Oceans have once covered the earth, making them rich in underground deposits of pure salt, not polluted by humans. Crystalline salt is found on every continent and oceans contain about four and half million cubic miles of pure salt deposits. Room-pillar and solution mining are the main basic methods used to extract salt from mines or oceans.
Importance of Salt for Humans
Like air and water, salt is essential for human survival, and each person has about 8 ounces of salt present in his body. Salt helps in maintaining the blood pressure for humans and keeps the correct balance of water around the body. It is also necessary for the proper function of nerve fibres, plays an important part in the digestion of food, and is essential in making the heartbeat correctly. Sodium, which is part of salt combines with calcium, magnesium, and potassium to regulate body metabolism. Lack of sufficient sodium chloride can cause muscle cramps, dizziness, exhaustion, and, in extreme cases, convulsions and death.
Significant Roles of Salt on Humans
1. Human Survival
An average person can be able to survive without food for some days. But without water and salt, the survival of humans is not possible. Without water and salt, our cells will die quickly of dehydration. Sodium, an essential part of common salt, helps in maintaining the optimal extracellular fluid level and also cardiovascular health.
2. Preservation of Food
Salt has the unique property of drawing water from bacteria in food and prevent them from reproducing. So salt is the safest and effective method of preserving food.
3. Digestion of Protein
Our stomach produces hydrochloric acid for digesting the food taken. The acid also digests the proteins and makes sure that vitamins are more assimilable. Salt contains chlorine, which helps in the formation of acid and so the proteins are digested to be used by the body.
4. Human Life
The saliva formed in the human mouth is the main enzyme in the digestion process, and salt is the main element needed to activate saliva. Sodium is also needed for every human life and should be balanced with other minerals like calcium, potassium, magnesium, and other trace elements.
Serotonin and melatonin are the two hormones responsible for releasing the stress in humans, and the correct intake of salt preserves these. Many pieces of research also have found that salt has been effective in relieving various types of distress and pressures.
6. Healthy Skin
It is recommended to use a pinch of salt in bathing water to get relief from dry and itchy skin, Salt added to bathing water opens up the pores of the skin thus helping in healing, circulation, and hydration of the skin. This amazing chemical is also useful in managing serious conditions of eczema and psoriasis.
Salt is an essential mineral in human life. History reveals that there are many battles fought to get hold of salt deposits, and many taxes were levied. At present, the situation has changed, and there are many salt deposits producing salt that can be used for many purposes. In North America, salt is mainly used for multiple purposes like ice and snow melting, food processing, water softening, etc.
Canada Salt Group Ltd is a trusted bulk and bagged salt distributor. We provide a range of quality salt products, which include rock salt, Epsom salt, food-grade salt, treated salt, water softener salt, and pool salt. We do have storage and delivery facilities at multiple locations in North America. Contact or call our sales and customer team at 866-321-7258 for more details or to request a free quote.