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To investigate the potential health benefits of salt-based therapeutics, we aim to find evidence on the link between these treatments, ions and the chemical composition of salt. By understanding the role of chemical mechanisms enabling salt-based treatments, we hope to work towards an alternative treatment for widespread respiratory illnesses, which often require relatively expensive and resource-intensive care
The improvement of health outcomes and qualities of life guide our principles. We envision cost-effective and holistic treatment of respiratory diseases that are accessible for all in developed and resource-limited settings alike.
Salt therapy is a unique kind of climatotherapy making use of different characteristics that are exclusive to caves and salt mines for the therapeutic treatment of various health conditions, such as those which are respiratory and skin-related. It is believed that this unique environment reduces the concentration of irritants in the cave or mine, resulting in masked or suppressed symptoms when patients are in its vicinity. Natural caves are used for asthma treatment purposes in many European countries, like Germany, Switzerland and Russia. The vital agents contributing to therapeutic effects are believed to be air quality, climate (including temperature and humidity).
Discovered in 1843 by Dr. Felicks, a Polish physician, speleotherapy was first researched in the Wieliczka Salt Mine. Dr. Felicks’ hypothesis was that the saline air of the salt mine was a curing agent for respiratory illnesses. He also posited that other parameters like temperature, humidity, air quality and saturated air ions entail potentially therapeutic properties. The theory of Dr. Felicks was revitalized by a German doctor, Dr. K.H. Spannagel, during World War II, during which time the salt mines in Germany were used to shelter patients. When patients were assessed after the war, results were astonishing. Among them, reports of asthma patients showed significantly improved health conditions. This suggested that the air within salt mines was a positively contributing factor to the healing of lung wounds.
Though speleotherapy has long been in practice, it has been primarily focused on in the past three decades as a prominent and exclusive therapeutic treatment, particularly for asthma and respiratory illnesses Asthma is characterized by persistent inflammation of respiratory airways. Airways become hyper-responsive to various environmental factors, which can also change [the airway's] structure. Major risk factors include smoking, exposure to organic molecules, genetic factors, aging and socio-economic factors. Lower respiratory infections, including asthma, were among the leading causes of death in 2010, disproportionately affecting children under five and the elderly. These infections persist in industrialized and developing countries, and are rapidly increasing in importance with the spread of urbanization and the progressively worsening quality of air in many countries. Air pollution (both indoor and outdoor) can cause stress and depression, both of which are linked with respiratory disorders. Though data on asthma in Pakistan is scarce, studies on the prevalence of asthma among children within individual cities reveal a range between 10% - 32%. Despite this wide range within prevalence of asthma, respiratory infections are understood to have increased markedly within the last decade.
In today’s world people are more exposed to air borne pollutants. These irritants can cause many respiratory diseases. Actually lungs are the main interface to the outside world. These absorb germs from surroundings and cause diseases. Speleotherapy is treatment via chloride ions that cure asthma, allergies and other respiratory ailments. It is basically the long term exposure treatment to a natural micro-climate environment in order to cure respiratory diseases. The chloride ions emitted from Himalayan salt upon mild heating are the main agents that cure asthma and other respiratory disorders. These ions reduce the symptoms of asthma and relieve the sufferings promptly.
Therapies by using salt are one of the old treatment methods. Salt therapy can cure many respiratory, pulmonary and even skin diseases. From old ages people dipped themselves in Seawater or visit salt mines to benefit themselves from the restorative powers of salt. Salt therapy was first discovered by a Polish physician namely Dr. Feliks Boczkowski in 1843 who noticed that salt miners have low risks of respiratory ailments when compared to others. He reported that the culprit for this blessing is the air of salt mine. The atmosphere of mine is always saturated with dry salt micro particles. After his research the world came to know about the healing power of salt.
The proposed research project would study the efficacy of salt therapy as a treatment for asthma. In today’s world, a large number of people are suffering from asthma, allergies and other respiratory diseases, for which many pay heavily for medical treatment. Salt therapy provides the potential for a natural, non-invasive means of treatment that is believed to have multiple positive benefits. Furthermore, the promising effect of salt aerosols seen thus far in academic literature indicates a potentially beneficial impact on the health status of asthma patients. Though other variables such as temperature, humidity and air current are also relevant in the effectiveness of salt therapy, our hypothesis assumes that they are supporting parameters that enable salt aerosols to be the primary working agent in salt therapy.
Founder and CEO, Salt Innovation
Idrees Munir is an entrepreneur. His interests range from the field of Marketing, IT, Public Health and Wellness. Over the last 23 years, his involvement in a variety of business ventures earned him a confidence in business process modeling and execution. He specializes in strategic planning based on industry trends and market analysis. He holds a Ph.D. in Biochemistry from University of Glasgow and served as a fellow at Baylor College of Medicine.
CEO / Administrator, Tahir Heart Institute
Dr. Nuri is an accomplished Interventional Cardiologist with highly successful administrative and teaching experience in establishing state of the art cardiac facilities in the developing world
CEO, KM Allergy and Asthma Center
Dr. Khalil Malik is an allergist-immunologist in Lansdale, Pennsylvania and is affiliated with multiple hospitals in the area, including Abington Health Lansdale Hospital and Abington Memorial Hospital. He received his medical degree from Dow University of Health Sciences and has been in practice for more than 20 years.
Mobahil Ahmad completed his PharmD at University of the Punjab, Lahore, Pakistan. After graduation, he joined Fatima Memorial Hospital, a 510-bed hospital in Lahore, Pakistan. In 2014, he moved to Belgium for graduate studies at KU Leuven University, Leuven, Belgium. He took graduate level bioscience courses as well as entrepreneurial courses at Leuven Community for Innovation Driven Entrepreneurship, a project of KU Leuven University, Belgium. Currently, he is working as an intern at Summit Health in Chambersburg, PA, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org
Khullat Munir is a consultant in global health and development cooperation. She is actively engaged in Salt Innovation's research, supporting the Pakistan-based team in development and experimental design. Her areas of expertise include public health, qualitative and quantitative research methods, and monitoring and evaluation. She has an MSc in International Health from the European tropEd Network, and BA in Biology and Society from Cornell University
Rashid Khan is working as Research Associate at Salt Innovation, Pakistan. He is responsible to provide field supervision in the project, planning the study design and protocol and documentation. He received his Bachelor's degree from University of Sargodha, Pakistan.
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