I’m sure you’ve seen some of the ridiculous, overly-simplistic, but sensational-sounding pins that have recently been flooding pinterest. For example: “Boil a peanut for 40 minutes and put it under your tongue. What happens next is an absolute miracle!”. This may sound like one of those absurd articles, but I assure you, it’s not. The salt water flush is a real thing, that has real health benefits. As you will see shortly, it’s probably the best way to get rid of bromide in the body, which causes many brain disorders, including brain fog, depersonalization disorder and just plain lethargy or low energy levels.
Despite all the information you can find on salt being bad for us (which is discussed later in this article), it’s quite easy to end up with sub-optimal salt in the body, which in turn makes us deficient in chloride. With low chloride, bromide cannot be flushed out by the body and ends up replacing iodine in the thyroid and other body tissues. This may be a reason for the epidemic of thyroid-related diseases. When looking at iodine supplementation I found a lot of interesting information, but mainly – people cautioned against supplementing with iodine, before doing a few salt-water flushes to get rid of bromide. If we don’t do this, bromide ends up free in the blood, causing all sorts of issues. Reading a bit more on the subject, I found many subjective claims about the salt-water flushes having a lot more benefits apart from eliminating bromide.
Let’s first go over the recipe quickly. It’s just water with salt added. The type of salt doesn’t really matter. Many articles call for only “natural” salts, Himalayan salts or other expensive and “high-quality” salts. The fact is that almost all salts are %99+ sodium chloride (NaCl), with the rest being various potassium salts or inert substances, like rock or sand.. So the cheapest salt will do and is virtually the same as expensive salts. The concentration is what matters the most. There are two types of salt water flushes. One that will evacuate your bowels, just like a laxative and one that won’t. Here, we’ll be looking at the ones that don’t. High salt concentrations will produce a laxative effect, because the solution actually pulls water from your intestines, instead of being absorbed.
For bromide detoxing, we want to consume as much salt as possible in the water, without ending up with a solution, that is more concentrated than our body tissues. A solution having the same concentration of salt as the body is called…saline (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saline_(medicine)). So, we’re ideally aiming for a %0.9 salt solution, or 9 grams of salt per Liter of water. Using even 2 times less than that won’t be a problem, but try not to put in too much (above 1.2%). One teaspoon is 5 grams of salt, so two of those in a bit more than a liter of water will be just fine. We’ll be using slightly warm water, simply because it’s not comfortable drinking 3-4 glasses of cold water.
How much salt solution should we drink for a good “Detoxifying” effect?
Some recipes call for as much as 4 quarts of salt water (~4 liters). That’s probably because putting in two tablespoons of salt in that much water gets the concentration just about right(~35 grams of salt in 3.9 liters of water). However, we recommend not drinking more than one liter (~auart) at a time. Firstly, because that’s the “comfortable” volume of the human stomach, and secondly because we don’t want to mess with electrolyte balances, if we didn’t get the concentration of salt right and we want to avoid side effects, like a headache. If you were to drink 1 liter of plain water, without salt in it, you may notice various symptoms, like a headache, heart pounding or dizziness. This is because the blood becomes a bit diluted. With a proper salt concentration, this shouldn’t be a problem.
So, to sum up the recipe, we are drinking 1 liter of water, containing 9 grams of salt on an empty stomach. Drink only half of it if you feel too full.
You will find many sources recommending a glass of water in the morning with a “dash” of Himalayan salt. A dash of salt is approximately 1/4 of a gram, which makes the concentration of the salt water about 1/8th from the 0.9% blood levels of salt. If you can’t tolerate a lot of salt, by all means, go for this recipe, or even start with it to see if you feel any benefits. It’s definitely easier to drink taste-wise.
So, what are the benefits of this salt drink and what’s so good about it eliminating bromide from the body? Can it make us lose weight?
The salt drink is not intended to be a weight-loss drink, however, it may very well fix many thyroid issues, and the most evident effect of a low-functioning thyroid is persistent fat gain. Instead, it has many detoxifying benefits throughout the body, many of which we are unclear about. However, we do know that this is very effective at eliminating bromide. So, this drink is great for anyone experiencing any type of thyroid issues. What is bromide and why is it bad? Bromide replaces iodine in the tissues, when we don’t get enough iodine in our diet. And most of us don’t, depending on where we live. People say, 50 years ago we used to consume at least 10 times more iodine daily. That was probably due to the soils being high in it. Salt is commonly fortified with iodine, but not in all countries.
So, when you have high bromide levels in the tissues, any time you consume iodine, bromide is being released. Bromide was once believed to be harmless, and even prescribed as a sedative. However, it was quickly discovered that it led to various psychiatric conditions developing, including lethargy, brain fog, depression and so on. So, it’s definitely not good and can make you fell quite bad.
The way salt eliminates bromide is that it “donates” chloride ions, making the bromide “flushable” by the kidneys. From wikipedia: “Bromide ion concentrations in the cerebrospinal fluid are about 30% of those in blood, and are strongly influenced by the body’s chloride intake and metabolism.”
There are many other claimed benefits of the salt water drink and it has been used for millennia. You will find many vague claims about it, like “removing toxins”, “detoxifying the kidneys” and so on.
The salt balances adrenal and thyroid function
A major symptom of adrenal issues, which is an umbrella therm for many conditions, including the controversial adrenal fatigue is water retention. This happens because the body is trying to hold on to salt, which is crucial for proper adrenal functioning.
This is where the dark side of the whole “Drink more water” craze comes in. People will drink copious amounts of water daily, thinking it will detoxify them. But the kidneys cannot eliminate that water, without eliminating electrolytes from the body as well. That’s because they aren’t perfect at excreting substances from the body and any time you eliminate excess water, you will also eliminate electrolytes, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and even zinc and copper. But the main problem is the sodium. Studies have shown very well that the body’s thirst mechanism is extremely accurate. Once you start getting even slightly dehydrated, your thirst will kick in. Drinking water when you aren’t thirsty can create problems, leading to thyroid and adrenal issues. But salt water is much better at detoxifying the kidneys and eliminates that problem.
As to the thyroid, bromine interferes with proper iodine uptake by the thyroid. This is why you will find claims that iodine doesn’t help thyroid function and even examples of people with low thyroid (hypothyroidism) that claim iodine made them even worse. But flush bromide first by drinking salt water on an empty stomach, and the thyroid can now accept iodine normally. One of the largest forums where you can find countless threads about the salt water flush and it effects on the thyroid is curezone.org.
If you look around, you can find studies on bromide toxicity. When those studies are conducted, in rats for example, the rats are always put on a low-chloride(low salt) diet, to make their thyroid fill with bromide, instead of iodine. The result is a variety of psychiatric and brain conditions developing. Here is one example of such a study.
Isn’t a lot of salt harmful for the body?
If you google something like “The salt myth” you will find a lot of proof that salt is harmless. You can also find evidence that salt is harmful, if you look for it. As always, both extremes are probably wrong. If you look at this study, you will find that salt intake and mortality(risk of dying) are connected in a J-curve. Fewer than 2 grams of sodium per day(5g of salt) increases risk of dying and higher than 4 grams of sodium(10 grams of salt) also seems to increase it. However, remember that people who get more than 10g of salt usually don’t do this by drinking salty water, but by eating cheese and fried food. Sure, studies try to adjust for such behaviors and insulate the salt intake as a stand-alone factor, but that is impossible to do completely accurately. In the end, salt is a simple mineral that is very soluble in water and is quite readily excreted by the kidneys when in excess. Salt is one of the main components of blood plasma, so our bodies are amazing at regulating it.
*Table Salt(Sodium Chloride) is 39% sodium and 61% chlorine.
You can also non-scientifically judge the power of salt by the fact that all hangover cures involve salty food or drinks. Sauerkraut, sausages, chicken soup, bacon, those are all very high in salt. The high salt intake will simply help eliminate the toxic buildup of acetaldehyde, which is the primary toxic metabolite of alcohol and will return hydration to normal levels.
Also, many fermented foods are claimed as miracle foods. Sauerkraut in particular has been used for millennia for various health conditions and many people claim it’s nothing short of a miracle. However, consider the fact that those benefits may come largely from the salt and not from the actual bacteria or vegetable fermentation. Virtually all plant fermentation occurs in the presence of a lot of salt – typically as high as 2%, which is twice as concentrated as our 0.9% saline. So, if you drink sauerkraut, you’re getting much more salt than from the saline we are discussing in this article. For health reasons, sauerkraut is also supposedly best taken in the morning on an empty stomach. See the parallels?
Be careful if you suffer from hypertension, kidney disease or any other condition for which low sodium intake is recommended
Large amounts of salt water will increase total blood volume until the fluid is excreted through the kidneys. So, if you are hypertensive, you might want to be careful. The same applies to people suffering from kidney disease or other ailments. So, I recommend consulting with a doctor before going crazy with the salt.
So, give it a try!
Just make a 0,9% salt solution and drink it in the morning or a few hours after a meal, when the stomach is empty. See if you feel better.