Sea Salt Trial

I have seen recent posts about sea salt being used to stop bouts of AF. My opportunity to try it out came yesterday. I returned from our sunday club cycle ride, a quite strenuous 68 miles, and was sitting down resting when I felt the slight flopping around in my chest, tiredness(!) and a bit breathless feeling. I immediately took a quarter teaspoon of seasalt in warm water and licked up some more salt from my hand. I thought I felt a slight effect but was not sure. As I am quite a fit bloke it is sometimes hard for me to know if I am in AF untill I do something strenuous like go briskly upstairs. I had tea and went to bed. In the morning I still had AF so took the same does of salt again and 2 hours later I am still in AF. I would be interested in the experience of others. I am 65 and normal get AF about once a month.

15 Replies

  • Just my viewpoint, I would give it a wide birth.I think it sounds like one of the sea stories we used to tell each other on board our ship when we needed a laugh. After cycling 68 miles I am not surprised you felt dodgy. My feelings are to slow down on your cycling, pace yourself, check if you get these feelings again on shorter trips, and if you do go for a tread mill check via your GP. Regarding Salt, it is not good for you in any form, cut it out or down from your diet.

  • My viewpoint is that as we all have slightly different types of AF and what remedy suits one may not suit another, I will still be giving the sea salt remedy a try when I need to. It was kind of the person who posted this remedy to share the cure he'd found with us.

  • Yes, I agree. I hope it works for you. Anything is worth trying if it will stop a bout of AF. It is only intended as a one-off dose if AF strikes. My science background wondered if it might be an electro-conductivity effect as AF is related to "electrical activation" of the heart muscle but I am not a medical doctor so no expert authority. If we do not try things out we never learn. Best of luck.

  • oh to be able to cycle 6kms let alone 68 miles,

  • Sodium is an important mineral that is essential to the body’s proper function – however, adding salt (sodium chloride) to food provides us with dangerously high amounts of sodium. The human body was designed to obtain the sodium it needs from natural foods. All salt originates from the ocean – expensive and exotic sea salts are still salt – they contain over 98% sodium chloride. They add sodium to the body, and so they have the same risks as regular table salt. Sea salts may contain small amounts of trace minerals, but the excess sodium is not any less harmful. Also, the amounts of trace minerals in sea salts are insignificant compared to the amounts that can be obtained from natural plant foods. There are no nutritional benefits to consuming any particular type of salt.

    Elevated blood pressure. The human diet, for millions of years, did not contain any added salt, and provided less than 1000 mg of sodium per day. Populations in pockets of the world that do not salt their food do not have elderly citizens with high blood pressure. Today, according to the CDC, Americans typically consume 3500 mg of sodium per day. Americans also have a 90% lifetime probability of developing high blood pressure, which is an important risk factor for future cardiovascular events – hypertension is responsible for two-thirds of all strokes.


    *I tried also to be kind in hoping you would all consider Salt in any form as being a contributor to Stroke. Still feel you should always ask your GP first before experimenting.

  • Tried this out and was still in AF eighteen hours later.

    If this works for some all well and good, but on reflection

    I just wished I hadn't,even knowing the dangers of salt

    I still went ahead and took it, FOOL that I am.

    I did think it may produce a placebo effect, but who cares

    as we all know sometimes you'll do anything to stop the thumping and banging.

    All the best


  • I'm just in awe of anyone being able to cycle that far, let alone someone with AF. You are making me feel lazy... I wonder if the effect is from the warm water, perhaps the warmth is supposed to soothe the vagus nerve (which would mean it would depend on what sort of AF you have). I am guessing it's probably not a solution, but I am certainly planning on having some warm water with my next attack to see if that helps.


  • As a follow up to my sea salt trial, whilst there was no obvious immediate effect, I did come out of AF after only 24 hrs, whereas it can normaly go on for 2 or 3 days. Whether this was due to the sea salt, who knows. I will try it again next time.

    I have been a keen runner/cyclist for 30 years and my cardiologist says that a good level of fitness probably minimises the effect AF has on me. My AF started about 6 years ago, is definitely linked to alcohol but I also think there may be a link to endurance sport. Having stopped all alcohol I have now to decide whether I should reduce long cycles which is a big issue for me as I go cycle touring in Europe each year. As my auntie Helen used to say "old age is a bitch" !

    Best of luck.


  • I went into AF last Monday afternoon and decided to try the sea salt as it is worth trying anything which may get me back into sinus rhythm. Unfortunately it did not work and I ended up having my first Cardioversion on Tuesday afternoon which did help. Normally extra doses of Flecanide flip me back but didn't this time so not sure whether the salt had the opposite effect.

  • keep cycling.

  • Hi Peter

    I am also a harden long distant cyclist and haven’t slowed down since being diagnosed with afib in Feb. 2013. I was just wondering what meds the docs have you on? The last two weeks I have been feeling dizzy but pulse is fine. On a bit of a downer at the moment as last week on a 30 mile ride I didn’t feel right and for the first time since being diagnosed my pulse was erratic, went to hospital where the egc was fine. I am sick of being told so many different things three doctors and one cardio have told me i am fit and don’t really need to be on flecainide. One cardio wants me to stay on the flecainide but stop my warfarin and started me on aspirin which I now know is useless. I was woken up with erratic pulse two nights ago which lasted for half an hour. So I am very concerned .I am off on holidays in two weeks time to Portugal and am thinking about cancelling it. Sorry Peter for the saga but you are a fellow cyclist and I am interested to know how things are working out for you

  • Hi, I am on losartan (which is used to dilate the blood vessels) and normaly used for high blood pressure. My blood pressure is fine but the cardios thought losartan would help me. I have been on this for about 6 years and have gradually wound down the booze to zero. I am also on warfarin as I am 65 and the stroke risk is higher.

    I often use cycling to try and kick my heart back into normal rhythm which often works. It is difficult to pick up AF, a 24hr ecg monitor did not find mine as only happens about once a month. I used a cheap HR monitor when cycling and it was all over the place when I was in AF.

    I also have a 17 day cycling holiday planned for Spain in a couple of weeks which is a moving-on tour with a couple of rest days. Touring with AF is a bit of a worry but I try and take a positive approach. Previously I have had AF whilst on tour and found that it goes after about an hour on the bike. If in AF I take it easy (which takes me longer) or schedule a day off. I find the interaction with others and the excitement of the ride tends to fend it off.



  • I cycle as well. I had AF, although that was fixed 4 years ago with an ablation. 6 years ago I cycled on the Hayling/Paris cycle trip. The first day was 106 miles. I was on sotalol and that was quite hard! Before the ablation I'd tried most "fixes" and none of them worked. I'm not sure about the sea salt though I have found dioralyte a good rehydration fluid. The one possibility you could try is "low salt" - i.e. reduced sodium salt, which contains potassium chloride. The potassium is more likely to be effective in the heart. Pure sodium chloride could make things worse.

    You appear to have "vagal" AF - i.e. it comes on after exercise when relaxing rather than during the exercise iteself. This is what I had and it is related to excessive exercise. Beta blockers like sotalol can make this worse by depressing the heart rate too much. I have also been on flecainide and did the South Downs Way on that - it didn't work (i.e. I still got AF). The one medicine which did work for me was diltiazem - a calcium channel blocker, as I could still ride quite well with that.

    Exercise certainly helps you cope with AF better. I found I could carry on exercising when in AF though it was slightly harder work. If you have AF and you want to exercise then you will just need to handle those occasions when you exercise and have AF. It got me down initially but I learned to cope with it. It's not going to damage you, indeed it's helping you handle the AF better.

    Now I have moderated my cycling more - no more really long rides but I do go up to 20 miles at a reasonable pace (15 mph average). I think it's all about avoiding inflammation - up to 20 miles and it make me feel good, more than 20 and I get tired which is not so good. So you need to judge that limit for yourself.


  • Mark, thanks for your comments. I hope to keep off any further medication and definitely do not want beta-blockers as that would rule out cycling. My cycle touring is about 50/60 miles a day so I will have to see how I go in Spain in a couple of weeks.


  • cheers for the info mark/peter

    have a great time in spain.

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