The complex action which salt exerts upon our bodies can be expressed only in its relation to the temperament and condition of the individual who uses it. An elemental stimulant, salt has a stirring and stimulating effect on the system, and should, therefore, be used only in combination with foods which have lost their native salt-stimulation through some devitalizing process, like cooking; or by persons whose sluggishness of digestion and general low tone of innervation, may require the stirring, promoting action of the saline principle. But the same impulse which acts as a helpful stimulant for the sluggish becomes a lashing irritant to the already over-stimulated and nervous; while, furthermore, the increase of assimilative effectiveness given by the action of salt to foods, devitalized through cooking, if applied to fresh, uncooked foods, will revert into an excess of digestive stimulation, and become a disturbing irritant in place of a physiologival promoter of the activities.

For the value of salt as an assimilative agent is lost, or perverted, the moment we indulge in it to excess. When more salt is taken into our system than its cellular activities can evaporate or eliminate, a crystallization takes place, which, if permitted to increase, gradually leads to a chronic sluggishness and stagnation of the circulation, accompanied by a stiffness of joints, hardening of tissues, rheumatic pains, and the general symptoms of premature old age.

This behavior of salt has an explanation in its unique position of being at once a solid and a fluid - at one pole crystallizing, and at the other evaporating. Through this dual action of its molecules, salt keeps up the endless chain of ascending and descending waters; of the ocean evaporating into clouds, and the subsequent precipitation of the latter into rain - again to return to the ocean. The crystallization at its base, causes evaporation at the surface of its medium, whether the latter consists in the major processes of atmospheric exchanges, or in the minor processes of conservation and preservation of foodstuffs. The same elemental principle is at work - the constantly stirring, changing, promoting action of the salt, making stagnation and decomposition of its media impossible.

Now, salt as an element in our diet depends for its usefulness or physiological legitimacy on the condition of the food, and the temperament of the individual. In their fresh, natural, un-cooked state no foods should be seasoned. Grains, vegetables, fruits, come to us from the great laboratory of elemental nature, completely equipped with powers to adjust themselves to the functional needs and necessities of human physiology, and its chemistry of digestion and assimilation. Hence, to add salt to raw food, creates an over-plus of functional action, and an excess of enervation, which, by adding undue momentum to the digestive processes, in place of being a physiological stimulant - as in the case of cooked foodstuffs - becomes a downright pathological irritant.

The same restriction, or proviso, is placed on the employment of salt in relation to individuality. The nervous temperament, being of the electric type, possesses in its own con stitutional make-up sufficient energy and cellular momentum to furnish its own functional promotion. Hence, this class of people, to avoid interior irritation and subsequent increase of nervousness, should be very careful in their use of salt, even in relation to cooked food.

On the other hand, the type of diseases generated by an excess of salt in diet, is not found in afflictions of the nerves, but of the muscles; not in neuralgia, neuritis, or any neurotic type, but in rheumatism, lumbago, sciatica and general muscular hardenings. The pathology of the nerves is referable to constitutional, bacterial acidity - organized acids - the pathology of the muscles to saline crystallization. Hence, if nervousness is manifested in specific functional, especially digestive, disorders - saline solutions, both in external and internal applications, are valuable correctives. In cases of catrrh, which is also a disease of nervous functioning, the free use of salt, both internally and externally - both as nasal douch, mouth wash, rectal infusion, and as internal medicine (in the latter case, one-half teaspoon of salt, dissolved in a glass of water, taken early in the morning, substituted twice a week by a glass of diluted lemon juice) is of great value to a catarrh-infected system.