Salt (Yan)Salt (Yan)

Botanical Name: Sodium chloride

Salt is essential for life. It is one of the basic human tastes and makes up 0.4% of your total bodies weight. Salt plays a key role in the body as an electrolyte (aiding nerves and muscles to function properly) and as an osmotic solute (helping maintain the proper balance of fluids in the body). Too much salt can increase the chance of cardiovascular disease. Salt is one of the five herbal flavors in Traditional Chinese Medicine. It is identified with helping the body to dissolve stagnation.

Below is an overview of Salt (Yan), combining and interpreting the best of Western Science, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), Shamanism, Folklore and more. Gain a balanced and thorough understanding of the healing properties of Salt (Yan).

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Western Name: Salt

Also Known As: NaCl, Sodium, Rock Salt, Halite

Organs/Systems: Bodily Fluids, Blood, Nervous System, Cardiovascular System

Key Western Actions & Medicinal Uses: Electrolyte, Osmotic Solute, Disinfectant, Preservative. Nerve and muscle function, cramping, balancing of bodily fluids (osmotic regulation), skin, clean wounds.


Pin Yin: Yan (Translates as “salt.”)

Also Known As: Na (Translates as “sodium.”)

Meridians: Kidney

Key TCM Actions & Medicinal Uses: Dissolves Nodules and Removes Stagnation: bloating, abdominal pain, cramping, leg cramps, spasms, abscesses, goiter, mouth sores, cleans wounds. Tonifies the Kidneys: low back pain, knee pain, frequent urination, fatigue.

Basic Habitat/Botany:

Common salt is a crystalline mineral composed primarily of sodium chloride (NaCl) Salt can also contain small amounts of various trace minerals.

Salt is present in large quantities in seawater, where it is the main mineral constituent. Salt is also processed in salt mines. The largest salt mine is the Sifto salt mine in Ontario, Canada. The second largest is the Khewra sat mine in Pakistan.

Salt (Yan)Parts Most Frequently Used: Mineral in crystalline or solute forms

Flavors/Temps: Salty, Neutral

Caution: Necessary for life, but too much salt can cause cardiovascular disease.

History/Folklore: From the very beginning salt has played a major role in the development of civilizations. Communities have always tended to be built either around sources of salt or near areas where it could be sourced through trade. For thousands of years salt has been the best preservative for meats. China has one of the oldest known archaeological sites for the production of salt. Both Romania and China have archeological sites that give evidence of salt being extracted from water that are over 8,000 years old.

The word “salary” derives from the Latin word for salt because Roman Legions were sometimes paid in salt, which was considered to be quite literally worth its weight in gold.

In Britain, the suffix “-wich” in a place name means the area was once a source of salt. Sandwich and Norwich are examples.

Salt has long been an important item for trade between many ancient cultures the world over. Prized for its flavoring and preserving properties. Nations have gone to war over salt. Venice and Genoa went to war over salt. An ancient practice in times of war was to scatter salt around a defeated city in order to prevent plant growth

Foods that are often high in salt include: anchovies, cheese, olives, pickles, nuts, ham. Foods that are low in salt include fruits and vegetables, eggs, fresh meat, cottage cheese, oats, seeds, unsalted nuts.

Too much salt can raise your blood pressure as salt helps your body hold onto water, increasing the amount of fluids in your arteries and, therefore increasing your blood pressure.

In general, processed foods are very high in salt.

Epsom salts are popularly used to bath in to aid sore muscles and aches.

In Traditional Chinese Medicine, salt is identified with the Kidneys. Often formulas working to aid the kidneys may contain a bit of salt as a “guide” herb to help the other herbs in the formula reach the kidneys first. Craving salt can be a sign of a water imbalance or kidney deficiency in Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Salt is used in sacred ceremonies to cleanse and protect. Salt has been used to bless a threshold or invoke divine protection. In Buddhism salt is said to repel evil spirits. That is why it is customary to throw salt over your left shoulder before entering your house after a funeral, it will protect you from any evil spirits that may be clinging to your back. Salt is said to have a corrosive effect on a demon’s skin, burning them and keeping them away.

Salt has been used for many centuries to ward off evil spirits, and to celebrate weddings and housewarmings. It is often placed in the four corners of a room to cleanse and protect the space or as a line across your doorway to keep negative persons with bad intentions from entering. Salt was also a symbol of friendship. In ancient times, a gift of salt, was a gift of life, more valuable than gold as it was able to preserve foods.

Salt has many uses including the production of aluminium, soap and glycerine. It is used as an emulsifier in the manufacturing of rubber and it is also used in the firing of pottery, where it is used to make glazes.

Key Constituents:

Sodium chloride. Can contain other minerals and additives for health such as Iodine and Iron.

Did you know?

Cleaning Wounds

A simple saline solution is best for cleaning wounds.


Salt and Your Heart

Too much salt may cause cardiovascular disease, though new studies are now questioning this and refining our understanding of how salt is metabolized and used in the body.

Fun fact!

A Clean Environment

Salt is used to cleanse and protect any environment from negative energies or spirits.

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ATTENTION: All material provided on this website is for informational or educational purposes only. It is not intended as a substitute for the advice of your healthcare professional or physician. Redistribution permitted with attribution. Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be Whole. Be Free.

ATENCIÓN: Todo el material proporcionado en este sitio web es sólo con fines informativos o educativos. No es sustituto del consejo de su profesional de la salud o médico. Esté sano. Sea feliz. Siéntase completo. Sea libre.

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