The salt of the earth. During April to August of every year, one can find pa’akai (pah-ah-kye) makers or natural sea salt cultivators and descendants of ancient Hawaiian’s on the shores of Salt Pond, Kauai, Hawaii. Following protocol of their ancestors, family members carry on the tradition of ancient salt making.
Grandfathered from years gone by families tend to their designated areas to first clean their wells or punawai (puh-nah-why), the source of brackish water that will go into lo’i (loh-ee) or mud beds. Through the natural absorption process sea salt crystals float atop a salty layer of water and are painstakingly harvested through a mesh/sieve process. This salt comes with layers of mana (mah-nah) or power as well as health benefits. The ancient benefits are still prevalent today:
• Reduce hypertension and water retention
• Internal body cleansing
• External body usage
• Decongestant usage
• Wound purification
• Ritual purification
• Food preservation
An excerpt from the book Water and Salt, the Essence of Life by Barbara Hendel and Peter Ferreira (2003) – explains:
1. Salt is most effective in stabilizing irregular heartbeats and, contrary to the misconception that it causes high blood pressure, it is actually essential for the regulation of blood pressure - in conjunction with water. Naturally the proportions are critical.
2. Salt is vital to the extraction of excess acidity from the cells in the body, particularly the brain cells.
3. Salt is vital for balancing the sugar levels in the blood; a needed element for diabetics.
4. Salt is vital for the generation of hydroelectric energy in cells of the body. It is used for local power generation at the sites where energy is needed.
5. Salt is vital to the nerve cells' communication and information processing all the time that the brain cells work, from the moment of conception to death.
6. Salt is vital for absorption of food particles through the intestinal tract.
7. Salt is vital for the clearance of the lungs of mucus plugs and sticky phlegm, particularly in asthma and cystic fibrosis.
8. Salt is vital for clearing up congestion of the sinuses.
9. Salt is a strong natural antihistamine.
10. Salt is essential for the prevention of muscle cramps
Salt your diet well to be well. Get rid of the iodized table salt and reap the health benefits of natural sea salt, your body will thank you.