About a year ago I was doing some research on different uses for salt around the world. I stumbled across a random image of a sumo wrestler throwing salt into the ring, and I was immediately intrigued. Turns out this is an ancient cultural spiritual ritual over 1000 years old.

Sumo originated as a ceremony to show respect to the Shinto deities (Shinto is an indigenous religion of Japan). The wrestlers perform a wide variety of specific rituals derived from Shinto practice.

Facing the audience, they clap their hands and stomp their legs to drive away evil spirits.

Stepping out of the ring into their respective corners, each wrestler is given a ladleful of water, the chikara-mizu (“power water”), with which he rinses out his mouth. Then both step back into the ring, squat facing each other, clap their hands and spread them wide – showing that they have no weapons. Returning to their corners, they each then pick up a handful of salt. The sumo wrestlers throw salt into the ring to get rid of evil spirits and purify the ring before the match. They also pray for a safe game.

Added bonus – the salt acts as an excellent disinfectant for their scratches! Ritual meets utility.

Salt can be used as a natural disinfectant in many ways. Our downtown Asheville salt market and spa offers neti pots, salt boo boo stones, and sole water jars for purchase – all of which have disinfectant, antimicrobial, antiviral, anti fungal properties.