Read of the Week

Anti-ageing Tissue Salts

Margaret Roberts

Struik Nature

Review: Karen Kotze

The herbal world has lost a voice of clarity and wisdom in the passing of Margaret Roberts, who died on Saturday, March 4.

There is some solace in that her vast knowledge has been shared in more than 30 books which offer a wealth of information on herbs, tissue salts, edible flowers and healing foods – and also on children’s education, such as her book Learning through Enquiry.

Roberts wrote extensively – in accessible language – about pregnancy, the making of herbal teas and child care.

Her last book, Anti-ageing Tissue Salts, is another invaluable addition.

In this book, Roberts addresses the inevitable ageing process and puts together an extremely readable approach to help ease, soothe and resolve the particular issues related to ageing.

Tissue salts are also known as “cell salts” or “biochemistry salts”. They are the same minerals found in rocks and soil and occur naturally in the human body.

Roberts says the main reason we should be taking them is because our soils in which we grow our food are depleted of minerals by the use of chemical fertilisers. She says that an imbalance or deficiency in tissue salts in our bodies opens the door to illness and disease.

In this book, Roberts documents the effect various stresses take on our bodies, our emotional health and our brains, and offers the related tissue salt to help remedy these.

“Tissue salts have a profound effect, are entirely natural with no side effects. They are rapidly absorbed, non-toxic, non-addictive and can be taken with prescription medicines,” she says.

What I really appreciate about this book is the care taken to introduce each of the 12 tissue salts in individual chapters, and how the foods and herbs that are rich in these minerals are included – with recipe ideas – in each section.

Every chapter outlines that tissue salt’s effect on the body, broken down into bite-size pieces of information about what it does for the eyes; ears; skin; respiratory, urinary or digestive systems and skeleton.

It also teaches what prompts the body to crave certain things.

I now recognise that a craving for sugar can be relieved by taking magnesia phosphorica, that kalium sulphuricum will help with that – and with skin-related concerns. If you are craving salty meats like bacon or salami, you probably have a calcarea sulphurica deficiency.

In relation to ageing, this book says that natrum muriaticum has the exceptional ability to lift one’s spirits and to lighten bad-temperedness and anxiety or gloomy indifference. And it also helps with insomnia and knees that crackle when you bend them.

A really lovely touch is the recipes for homemade lotions or creams to which the tissue salts can be added. “Never underestimate the power of a healing cream in sympathetic hands,” Roberts says.

The various chapters make fascinating reading, and there is a very handy ailment chart at the back of the book for easy reference.