About the amazing response of the body to salt water.
The physical benefits from ocean water have been known for as long as humans exist. Today, science has come so far that it is able to explain a small percentage of all attributed health benefits.
The use of the ocean and sea water for medical purposes, has a name. It is called thalassotherapy. Most, if not all, of the healing benefits of thalassotherapy, can be contributed to the minerals that are present within the ocean water. Sodium, chloride, sulphate, magnesium and calcium, to name the biggest.
These minerals, these electrolytes, are extremely important for the human body. When mixed with water, they can conduct electricity. In the human body, this is important for nerve and muscle function. But that’s not all, electrolytes are important for hydration, acidity and pressure.
Research has long shown what anecdotally has been known for a much longer time. These minerals are able to penetrate through the human skin and communicate with the cells within the body through a process called osmosis.
The very same reason why people have been using ocean water, but also mineral rich hot spring water, as a cure for various illnesses.
Each of these minerals, deserves its own article. Magnesium, my favourite mineral of all time, even deserves a couple!
But here I wanted to talk to you about why salty ocean water, can be so healing for your skin and even deeper under the surface, for your joints.
The minerals, electrolytes, in sea water, do not only play very important roles within the human body. On itself, salty ocean water, has amazing antiseptic and antibiotic properties. Meaning it weakens, slows and even kills bacteria and some types of fungi, parasites and other microorganisms. In addition, the minerals in sea water have anti-inflammatory properties too. Meaning they help reduce swelling, redness and heat in inflamed areas that the body is trying to heal.
This is why mineral rich water can be so soothing for eczema and psoriasis. Both unpleasant skin conditions. It will help with inflammation from the skin and kill of harmful bacteria that would worsen the condition of an already vulnerable skin barrier. Magnesium even helps hydrating the skin and protecting it from external damage!
Let’s follow the salty electrolyte rich water even further under the surface! All the way to the joints. There is a very painful condition, called arthritis, that can affect the joints. Whether it may be osteoarthritis, when the cartilage of the joints breaks down, making the bones rub against each other while squishing nerve ends, or rheumatoid arthritis, when the bodies immune system attacks its own joints, painfully inflaming them.
The minerals that have penetrated the cells through the skin all the way to the joints, work their anti-inflammatory magic on the affected area. This works through a process called osmotherapy. Because the salt is able to attract and bind with water, the inflamed area around the joints will be dehydrated. Therefor swelling will reduce, depressurising the area and giving the nerve ends a bit of a breather, resulting in less pain in the area!
If you don’t live near the ocean or haven’t got the luxury of a frequent ocean dip, do not despair! There is a very simple way of creating your personal little sea in your own home. Throw a few handfuls of sea salt in your bathwater and soak until you feel replenished!
Find the amazing Angan bath salt here!