Tissue salts: A guide to the essential mineral builders you'll need during pregnancy
Remember the old wives’ tale about losing a tooth to gain a child? It certainly makes sense, in that in past eras calcium and other minerals may not have been readily available, and Mother Nature raids the mother-to-be’s reserves in order to service the requirements of the pregnancy.
Alison Effting, a biochemic consultant at the Biochemic Institute of South Africa in Cape Town, uses this truism to illustrate how vital tissue salts are for good health in pregnancy. “Since pregnancy is a phase of building an entirely new body from a single cell, tissue salts are required for the development of the foetus into a baby, as well as for the mother-to-be to maintain her health and well-being without her own mineral reserves being stripped,” she points out.
Different tissue salts are required in each trimester, as the baby develops, says Alison.
- Take Kali Phos for the developing brain, heart and nervous system. “This can be helpful for the mother to counteract fatigue or stress throughout the pregnancy, and support hormonal changes during the early stages of the pregnancy,” says Alison.
- Nat Sulph and Kali Mur are good for the liver, the glandular, lymphatic and respiratory systems, and other soft-tissue development. “These two can also safely help to counteract morning sickness for the mum.”
- Take Calc Fluor as soon as the bump starts showing, for the elasticity of the mom’s tissues as well as the foetal development of elastic tissues such as veins, lungs, digestive organs, muscles, ligaments and teeth. “The amount of stretching that happens in pregnancy requires a constant supply of this tissue salt, and I recommend using it throughout the pregnancy, and for a few months afterwards, especially if there was a vaginal delivery and/or the mom is breastfeeding,” says Alison.
- Mag Phos builds and strengthens muscle and motor nerves, eases tension and counteracts spasms. “This is important for building strong contractile muscle tissue for vaginal deliveries,” says Alison, who adds, “A lack of this salt during pregnancy can contribute to a tendency towards colic in the baby after birth.”
- Kali Sulph conditions the pregnant skin and counteracts pigmentation marks. “This salt is necessary for the transfer of oxygen across the placenta. It’s important for the baby’s developing skin, kidneys and digestive system.”
- Take Nat Phos to keep the kidneys conditioned to eliminate excess uric acid, maintain blood pH balance and counteract hyperacidity, although “digestive hyperacidity can be difficult to deal with due to the physical pressure on the stomach and diaphragm,” Alison says. “High uric acid levels have been associated with gestational diabetes and pre-eclampsia,” she adds.
- Calc Sulph is good for strengthening the vaginal and uterine linings prior to birth, as well as the development of strong cell membranes, building immune-system cells, and building the urinary system and stomach linings.
- Take Calc Phos for building bones and all cell division. “This is the most rapid growth development phase, and where bones and teeth in the mom-to-be can be affected if there’s not enough for the growing baby,” says Alison.
- Silicea keeps the connective tissues strong and conditions skin, hair and nails.
- Nat Mur is necessary for white blood-cell formation and cell division, and it counteracts swelling of the hands, fingers and feet. “It’s also important in cases of post-partum depression,” Alison adds.
- Ferr Phos oxygenates and builds red blood cells. “Oxygenation is critical during delivery and imperative for the baby to be able to take its first breath once it’s born,” says Alison. “It’s good for mom too, to prevent excessive bruising and facilitate healing of vaginal tissues or Caesarean wounds.”
- Also see: Vitamins for a healthy pregnancy
What are tissue salts and how should you take them?
Tissue salts, also known as cell salts or biochemic salts, are found naturally in rocks and soil, plants and animals (including humans). Without these mineral builders and activators of the cells and tissues in the body, the basic functions can’t happen – even food, water and oxygen can’t be absorbed and used effectively if certain of these mineral salts are lacking.
Modern lifestyles drain even the most health-conscious of us, stripping minerals through stress, poor nutrition, industrially tainted foodstuffs, pollution and environmental toxins. For this reason, we need to supplement out mineral reserves.
Tissue salts are inexpensive, and are safe to use for everyone, from babies to diabetics and even animals. They generally come in tablet form. You should chew them well or let them dissolve in your mouth, as the best absorption is through the mucous membranes.
“The dose of each tissue salt should be determined by the individual requirements at the time, much like having bank accounts and maintaining a healthy positive balance in each, but depositing more into the ones that are in overdraft,” Alison explains. “Cells won’t absorb anything they don’t need, leaving those minerals available to other cells that do need them.”
- Also see: 10 foods to avoid while pregnant
Tissue salts and their uses
- Calc Fluor – tissue elasticity restorer. “This is good for stretch marks, lax ligaments, broken or varicose veins, and prolapse of the womb or other organs,” says Alison. “It reduces flabbiness and helps the body to return more easily to a normal condition after the birth.”
- Calc Phos – cell builder and restorer. “It’s really important for the mom to have enough of this one; I think this is where osteoporosis has its roots if Mother Nature has to raid mom’s bones or teeth reserves to service the pregnancy,” says Alison.
- Calc Sulph – blood purifier, purulent agent. This is also good for cold sores, bladder infections, and insect or spider bites.
- Ferr Phos – anti-inflammatory. “This is good for the onset of any ‘itis’ during pregnancy, such as rhinitis or tonsillitis, as well as infections and throbbing frontal headaches,” says Alison.
- Kali Mur – detoxifying agent. This is useful for nausea, and for mucus, sinus or respiratory problems or phlegm.
- Kali Phos – nerve and brain cell agent. “Take this for mental, emotional or physical exhaustion, and insomnia,” Alison advises.
- Kali Sulf – metabolism, pancreas conditioner. “If there’s been an infection resulting in any kind of greenish-yellow discharge, use this; it’ll also help for the feeling of not having enough air,” says Alison.
- Mag Phos – pain and cramp soother. “This is good for hiccoughs, stitches, cramps or spasms in the legs and feet, as well as the inability to relax. It soothes Braxton Hicks contractions and labour pains,” Alison says.
- Nat Mur – water distributor. “This also helps with a lack of vitality.”
- Nat Phos – acidity neutraliser. “This also helps to ease sugar cravings and lactic-acid stiffness in the muscles after exertion,” says Alison.
- Nat Sulf – liver cleanser. “Good for nausea, lymphoedema and water retention.”
- Silicea – skin and connective tissue conditioner. “This is the one to take for hair loss, weak nails and nail biting, and light or noise sensitivity,” says Alison.
Are you expecting? What's been the best and worst thing about being pregnant? Email email@example.com and let us know your story.
Do you have a question about your pregnancy health that you'd like an expert's feedback on? Email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we may publish your question along with advice from a specialist. Please note that we cannot supply personalised advice.