Salt as Medicine

The use of salt for healing purposes is as old as any. Salt in our body promotes the retention of fluids which are vital to life itself, ensuring that all reactions and metabolic processes work as they are supposed to.

More than 2000 years ago, Greek physician Hippocrates described the healing effects of sea water. In Antiquity and the Middle Ages, medications based on salt were regarded as quite wondrous. The skin of newborns was rubbed with salt to strengthen it. It was used in bandages, ointments, powders and baths. The drying and warming effects of salt were felt to be especially important. Salt was scattered on wounds to reduce inflammation – actually a very painful procedure, which also found its way into a saying we continue to use to this day: “Rubbing salt in the wound”.


  • In modern medicine, if someone has suffered severe blood loss because of an operation or an accident, an approximately 1% salt solution in water is used to replenish the blood volume 
  • Spring lethargy is often treated by means of an evening bath containing 10-15g of salt per liter of water.
  • The best way to treat the sniffles is by rinsing your nose with a saline solution (ca. 10g salt to 1 liter of water).  Lay your head on its side over the washbasin, then squirt your nose with the saline solution using a "nasal douche" you can obtain from the pharmacy.
  • If you suffer from a soar throat or hoarseness, simply try gargling with a salt solution.
  • If you happen to suffer from psoriasis or neurodermatitis, skin doctors often recommend bathing in salt water
  • If you are coughing or having breathing problems, a walk in a so-called "healing gallery" or "Gradieranlage" (room in which salt water is drizzled over fir branches) might help.