After reading this interesting news, I immediately remembered my dear grandma. She lived in the countryside and passed away more than five years ago. She loved salty foods a lot and always used to add some salt to boiled eggs or fresh tomatoes from her garden. Moreover, she knew an ancient Oriental recipe of some kind of drink called “salty tea” (which involved tea leaves, salt, milk and black pepper – errrgh!). And, you know what, my dear readers: she was always in a good mood, even when she was tied by illness to her bed. Now, the scientists from the University of Iowa discovered unique properties of salt to combat depression and put us in a better mood. Amazing!

A group of American specialists leaded by Alan Kim Johnson carried out some laboratory experiments with rats. The tests showed that salt deprivation makes the rats stay away from the activities they usually enjoyed. “Things that normally would be pleasurable for rats didn’t elicit the same degree of relish, which leads us to believe that a salt deficit and the craving associated with it can induce one of the key symptoms associated with depression,” Professor Johnson commented. The results of the study were published in Physiology & Behavior, an official journal of the International Behavioral Neuroscience Society.

Therefore, salt can be considered a great natural remedy for boosting our mood. However, the experts warn about a property of salt to cause dependence similar to physical dependence on narcotics. The humanity uses salt for centuries since the life on this planet began on the ocean floor. Salt has been used as an effective food preservative, as a luxury food additive and even as a salary unit. In our epoch, a lot of traditional and modern dishes can be characterized with increased content of salt. The latest studies revealed that average daily intake of salt on global level is about 10 g per person while it is recommended to consume only 5-6 g of salt a day (according to the British Food Standards Agency).

Many specialists suggest eating a reduced-salt diet since it is supposed to lower blood pressure, reduce our risks of having heat related problems and help to maintain proper levels of cholesterol in our body. At the same time, there is no clear scientific evidence of the fact that eating less salt is strictly linked to an excellent health and long life. According to Norman K. Hollenberg, a researcher at Harvard Medical School, “..the influence of salt intake is too inconsistent and generally too small to mandate policy decisions at the community level.” Undoubtedly, our body does need sodium, however, we need to keep our salt consumption under control.

Author Info: Hi! My name is Carla and I am a 5th year medical student at HYMS. I am interested in alternative medicine and I have done months researching the topic of herbal medicine. Besides, I like interviewing people and learning more about their experiences with one or another type of herbal treatments. I am willing to contribute to this site with my knowledge, and I would be happy to help you out to the best of my ability with any specific questions or problems related to alternative medicine.

One Response to “Salt Is a Natural Antidepressant”

  1. raytayzmdNo Gravatar Says:

    …increased salt intake puts one at increased risk for hypertension and, hence, at increased risk for heart attack and stroke…also, in people currently being treated for hypertension, increased salt intake can counter the effects of their medications…hence, I strongly urge people to consult their family physician before embarking on a high salt diet.