Salt Water for Dementia
Water, Salt and Potassium Balance
in the Body

by Joy

(United States)

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swollen feet


I watched a video about someone doing the master cleanse, and they said that mixing water with sea salt should only be drunk to cleanse the colon and that the water doesn't absorb into the body, but goes right through the colon and can cause dehydration if drank with this mix all of the time. Is this true?  

I give my father, who has moderate dementia, sea salt in water to drink, and within minutes he's more alert and saying and speaking more clearly.

I don't want to dehydrate him though!

Are there any testimonials of someone with moderate dementia or Alzheimer's reversing with the water cure therapy? 

Can someone with congestive heart failure take the sea salt and water mix?

Is there any lung treatment using salt? 

One more question, please name the ways you can take the sea salt...

Thanks and God bless!


I know it can be confusing when you hear conflicting information from various sources. Even the most reputable medical doctors and naturopathic doctors will often disagree on the analysis of clinical studies. 

Thus, I have learned when it comes to health, each person has to evaluate the information available (both positive and negative) and make an educated decision.  

Most importantly, after analyzing information, I have learned to trust my intuition on how to proceedand recommend others do the same.

Water, Salt and Potassium Balance

You have probably heard the saying, which I believe is true, “One man’s medicine is another man’s poison.” 

In other words, there are no absolutes in health since each person’s biochemistry is different.

The fact is that water, salt and potassium TOGETHER regulate the water content of the body! 

This is so important to understand, as explained by Dr. F. Batmanghelidj, in Water for Health, for Healing, for Life:

“Water regulates the water content of the interior of the cell by working its way into all the cells it reaches.  It has to get there to cleanse and extract the toxic waste of cell metabolism.  Once water gets into the cells, the potassium content of the cells holds on to it and keeps it there—to the extent that potassium is available inside the cells.

“Even in the plant kingdom, it is potassium in the fruit that gives it firmness by holding water in the interior of the fruit.  Our daily food contains ample potassium from its natural sources of fruits and vegetables, but not salt from its natural source. That is why we need to add salt to our daily diet.”

Dr. Batmanghelidj says that natural salt helps to maintain the amount of water that is held outside our cells because of the osmotic retention of water by salt. 

How to Achieve Salt Water Balance

The delicate balance of salt water inside our cells and surrounding our cells is essential for optimal health!

This balance is achieved by the daily intake of:

  1. Enough filtered drinking water to stay hydrated
  2. Potassium-rich fruits and vegetables (especially leafy greens, carrots, potatoes, dried fruit and bananas)
  3. Natural, unrefined sea salt, such as Celtic sea salt or Himalayan crystal salt.

Since unrefined sea salt is not iodized, I also recommend adding kelp seasoning or a kelp supplement to your diet or taking a quality iodine supplement, such as Detoxadine.

Kelp is one of the best sources of natural iodine, which is important for healthy thyroid function.

Salt Water for Dementia

I cannot give any specific advice, especially since I do not know anything about your father’s condition and how much salt (refined or unrefined) he is getting in his diet.

In general, if an elderly person is more alert and speaking clearly after drinking sea salt in water, he or she may be getting better hydration with the added salt.

But I do not recommend adding the salt to all drinking water. I think it would be too much, especially if the person is not drinking one half their body weight in ounces of water daily.

The other factor is diet. If a person is eating processed food, canned food, packaged food, and so forth, they are usually getting a ton of refined salt.

According to Dr. Batmanghelidj's water cure protocol, what he recommends is to dissolve 1/8 teaspoon of natural salt on the tongue for each 16 ounces of water that one drinks.

This approach has apparently been more beneficial for optimal hydration than adding the salt directly to the water. This is also what I do and I like it much better than adding the salt to my water.

To tell you the truth, intuitively I just do not feel right about adding the salt to my water (unless I am specifically making an electrolyte enhanced water to drink after exercise).

So, I don't know if adding natural salt to water is dehydrating but I am inclined to think it is probably not a good idea to drink salt water all the time. If anything, I would put a pinch of salt in 16 ounces of water, and drink plain filtered water for the rest of the day.

I am not aware of any testimonials of the reversal of dementia or Alzheimer’s with the water cure therapy. However, many people with brain-related conditions have experienced symptomatic improvement with proper hydration and mineral balance. 

You might want to read my page on Water and Brain Function – How to Improve Memory and Focus and note the resource at the bottom of the page for the Brain Advance Organization for more information on drinking salt water for dementia.

Salt Water and Heart Conditions

In general, it is not a good idea for anyone with heart conditions to consume salt.  However, in certain situations, a small amount of UNREFINED salt may be beneficial for optimal hydration and circulation.  

As I mentioned earlier, I am not offering any specific advice here for your father since I am not a doctor.

The biggest issue here is that if a person has ANY health condition, he or she needs to STOP the intake of REFINED salt, including refined sea salt!

The addition of natural sea salt to the diet should replace refined salt, including almost every type of processed food that contains salt.

Simply adding natural salt to a diet that already contains high levels of refined salt is not going to be helpful. In fact, it could make matters worse.

Salt Water and Lung Treatment

Yes, there is a wonderful lung treatment using salt!  

I have used it myself in the past and it really works, as long as you also make a concerted effort to drink enough water daily to stay hydrated.

The product I have used and recommend is the Himalayan Crystal Salt Inhaler shown here.

Others Ways to Use Natural Sea Salt

  • Drinking salt water (1 tablespoon of natural salt in 1 quart of water) is an effective way to cleanse the colon. 
  • Cooking with sea salt adds flavor and minerals to food
  • Adding a cup of sea salt to your bath can relieve muscle aches and pains
  • Soaking your feet in salt water can also relieve pain and soreness.

Thank you for your great questions and for visiting our site!


F. Batmanghelidj; Water for Health, for Healing, for Life; 2003.

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