Water is one of the characteristic elements of our planet and is essential for life. The Earth, due to the large amount it has, is also known as the Blue Planet, but not all that water is drinkable. Only 29% is fresh water, suitable for consumption, while the remaining 71% is salt water found in the seas and oceans.
In extreme cases, there are people who have drunk from the sea, but without knowing the consequences of drinking salt water.
It is true that the human body needs salt to survive. According to the World Health Organization, you should take a maximum of 5 grams a day. Taking more can be harmful to the body. In the case of drinking salt water, we would be ingesting 35 grams of salt for every liter of water.
Our body allows a salinity of 9 grams of salt for every 1000 grams of fluid, where the remaining 991 is water. These fluids are considered isotonic, while sea water is considered hypertonic because it contains more salt than that found in blood. If we put too much salt in our body, the cells detect that there is more salt outside than inside it. Here begins a process called osmosis, by which cells shrink. In addition, to evacuate the excess salt, the body will begin to generate urine, which will increase dehydration.
Consequences of drinking salt water
The kidneys are the filters that separate waste materials from the blood, which are stored in the form of urine in the bladder, ready to be expelled to the outside.The kidney cannot produce urine with a concentration of salts of more than 2% . Seawater has approximately 3% salt, so if we drink it to quench thirst, the kidneys have to withdraw water from our body to dilute the extra salt and this makes us feel thirstier.
This is due to the process of osmosis, in which the kidneys can only generate urine that is less salty than the water we drink. As a consequence, the body tends to urinate as much as it can to eliminate excess salts, but instead of eliminating them, it has more and more, since the urine it gets is always less salty than the original. You would have to expel more fluid than you drink, which is impossible. That is why the effect of drinking salt water is, paradoxically, dehydration.
Sea water contains 3% salt, so if we drink a liter, our kidneys will need at least a liter and a half of pure water to dilute all the salt. To achieve this, they will be forced to withdraw an extra half liter of water from our body.
In trying to compensate for the loss of fluid, the body increases the heart rate and constricts the blood vessels to maintain pressure and blood flow. There is also more nausea and you feel weak or even delirious. As dehydration increases, the defense system begins to fail. Little by little, the shortage of fresh water means that the blood cannot circulate properly. This causes the brain or other vital organs to start not receiving blood.
Positions in favor of the consumption of salt water
In China, seawater has been used for more than 4 thousand years. The pioneer was Emperor Fu-Shi, known as the father of marine medicine. He recommended drinking water from the beach, consuming seaweed and salts in order to recover and maintain health. Closer to our time, the French researcher René Quinton discovered that the components of seawater were the same as those in the cells of the body, being very similar to blood plasma.
That is why he continued his research between 1910 and 1950 together with Doctor Jarricot, with whom he founded the so-called "Marine Dispensaries". There, sea water was used to cure various diseases, such as cholera, thyroid, malnutrition and skin problems. They were thus able to save thousands of lives, especially children. Then the sea water was packaged and called "marine plasma". These dispensaries were also created in other countries of the world, such as Colombia, Argentina, Spain, Mexico, Uruguay and South Africa. New studies have revealed that seawater cleanses the large intestine, gives energy, improves defenses and detoxifies the body. If malnourished children drink three glasses of seawater a day, their problem will disappear and their health will improve.
Properties of sea water
First of all, you should know that sea water has a different composition than that found in lakes, lagoons or rivers (sweet). It has Zinc, iodine, potassium and trace elements that make it a great "friend" for our skin and the body in general.Among the main properties of seawater we can find its antibiotic effect, ideal for advancing wound healing processes.
On the other hand, floating in the sea or swimming among the waves serves to relax the muscles due to the iodine, which in turn helps us to recover from certain injuries. It is ideal for those who are doing rehabilitation or post-surgery.
Those with illnesses or respiratory problems are usually recommended to breathe in the sea breeze and take baths on the beach since the salty water helps the lungs to eliminate all toxins or foreign elements. So for coughs with phlegm, colds, and other more severe ailments, going to the sea is an excellent cure.
On the other hand, patients with rheumatic problems, such as arthritis or osteoarthritis, benefit greatly from seawater, if bathing is done on the beach, they can reduce the intense pain that usually characterizes these conditions.
By containing magnesium, seawater helps to calm us down and eliminate anxiety. That is why spending a few days on the beach when there are not so many people or in spas far from urban centers is a therapy that is recommended for those who suffer from mild or severe nervous disorders, depression or stress.
When you enjoy walks on the beach in addition to exercising and clearing your mind, taking the opportunity to talk with your partner or watch a sunset, the salt water massages our feet with the waves and at the same time, thanks to the texture of the sand that moves through the water, exfoliates the heels.
Those who live near the sea should do therapy in this place at least once a week. In summer, you can take a dip when leaving work and when it's cold you can just breathe in the cool breeze from the boulevard. Both activities are very beneficial for your health. If you are far from the beach, do not wait for your vacation to go, take advantage of a weekend or holiday.
Sea water is used to treat liver and kidney problems, because it allows the regeneration of cells that are damaged by cirrhosis, for example. In this disease, a lot of fluid accumulates in the belly, making it appear that the patient is pregnant (male or female). Drinking sea water can eliminate this. There are also cases of people with kidney failure who, when drinking sea water, do not suffer more dizziness, vomiting or problems urinating.
For skin diseases such as psoriasis, rubbing with seawater is recommended. The characteristic scales will detach and fall on their own. The same for the scalp when it accumulates dead and itchy skin.
It is used in turn to treat insomnia problems, in that case it is advisable to go to the beach to spend the day, take a walk on the seashore or simply stay in front of the waves for an hour breathing in the breeze. That automatically tires the person, those who sleep peacefully at night.
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