Himalayan Salt & Vitamin C Adrenal Support Tonic

Heather Dessinger

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If you had a superhero name, what would it be?

Me? I’d be a villain – the Salt Bandit.

Ask anyone in my house, and they’ll tell you that when the salt shaker goes missing all eyes turn to me.

It’s no surprise, really. As I mentioned in 15 ways to be kind to your adrenals, salt can be helpful in supporting optimal adrenal function, which is something I’ve been working on for the past year.

Today I’m going to share an adrenal support tonic tip from Dr. James Wilson’s book, Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome. I can’t really call it a recipe since it’s so simple, but I’ve found it incredibly helpful in my journey. Are you ready? Here it is: Lightly salt your water. Yep, that’s it. 

I also add vitamin C and will explain why later, but for now let’s stick with the salt. You see, “one of the main functions of the adrenal glands is to retain salt,” and that’s an important job because, historically, we didn’t always have easy access to it. (source) These days, though, we can provide the body with a steady supply, which keeps salt levels in the blood at the proper levels while reducing the workload on the adrenals.

adrenal support drink

Update! If you don’t want to DIY . . .

Jigsaw Health is now making an adrenal cocktail that is very similar to the recipe below. I’ve been using recently and I love it. Here’s where to find it.

So how much salt, and when?

Here’s what Dr. Wilson has to say:
“Water poses a specific problem for people with adrenal fatigue because they tend toward dehydration but can easily over dilute the circulating electrolytes (sodium, potassium and [chloride]) in their blood by drinking too much water. The balance of sodium and potassium significantly affects the symptoms experienced by people and drinking plain water alters this balance . . . To help balance the ratio of water to sodium try adding 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt (sodium chloride) to every glass of drinking water. You will probably find that the lightly salted water actually tastes better than regular water if your adrenals are low because the salted water is more beneficial to your body. If you are feeling especially draggy or fatigued, add more salt to the water. If you have an aversion to salted water, then you probably need less salt or no salt in the water. Too much salt in the water will make you nauseated so adjust according to taste.”
As you can see, a lot of it is based on your body’s response. When I began my healing journey I put a heaping 1/4 teaspoon in just about every glass of water, but over time I intuitively started using less. These days, I typically drink salted water or bone broth first thing in the morning and around lunch time, plus a pinch when I happen to remember.

What about potassium?

With adrenal insufficiency, potassium tends to be high while sodium tends to be low. The adrenals have to work to keep these two in balance, so practitioners such as Dr. Michael Lam, author of Adrenal Fatigue Syndrome, suggests avoiding high potassium foods.

While certain electrolyte-rich drinks – coconut water for example – are wonderful in general, they are not generally recommended for individuals with adrenal insufficiency due to their high potassium content. Other foods that are high in potassium are bananas, dried figs, raisins, dates oranges and grapefuit. (source)


Why Himalayan salt?

Unlike table salt, and even sea salt that is produced by evaporating sea water, Himalayan sea salt contains trace minerals that act as “spark plugs” for the adrenals.
“Many trace minerals act as coenzymes, so-called catalysts in chemical reactions. That means they function as spark plugs, getting chemical reactions going without actually being changed in the process. That’s important, because our bodies are giant laboratories, where billions of chemical reactions are taking place all of the time.
Trace minerals play roles in your body’s production of neurotransmitters, biochemicals that send messages through your nervous system; in the production of major hormones secreted by your thyroid and adrenal glands; and in your body’s ability to burn carbohydrates and fat for energy.” (source)
Other varieties that also contain trace minerals, such as Celtic sea salt or Real Salt, are good options as well.

Optional Add-In: Vitamin C

“Of all the vitamins and minerals involved in adrenal metabolism,” writes Dr. Wilson, “vitamin C is probably the most important.”

Though they don’t necessarily have to be taken simultaneously, I’ve personally found it convenient to incorporate Vitamin C into my Himalayan Salt Adrenal Tonic.

But not just any vitamin C. “Vitamin C, as it occurs in nature, always appears as a composite of ascorbic acid and certain bioflavinoids. It is this vitamin C complex that is so beneficial, not just ascorbic acid by itself. Bioflavinoids are essential if ascorbic acid is to be fully metabolized and utilized by your body.” (source)

Opinions are split on how much is optimal – some recommend mega doses for those who need adrenal support, while others suggest that excessive doses could deplete other nutrients in the body. Conservative recommendations usually run in the 500-600 mg range, which is what I take. In times of stress or illness I may increase my intake for a few days, but most of the time it’s in that range.

What kind of vitamin C?

As I shared in my post on making creamsicle gummy snacks, many vitamin C supplements that claim to be “derived from sago palm” or something else may sound like they’re natural, but often they contain at least some synthetic C.

For a truly food-based source, I rely on dried fruit powders, preferably those that have been dried at low temperatures to preserve vitamin content. One of my favorites, acerola powder, has substantial levels of vitamin C and bioflavinoids plus naturally occurring pantothenic acid and magnesium, which aid in absorption. However, because I feel it’s important to rotate supplements every once in awhile, I also use baobab fruit powder and a few others. You can find the brands I buy on my shopping page.

Now, as I said at the beginning of this this is pretty much an UNrecipe, but here’s how I pull all these recommendations together in my daily life.

Himalayan Salt And Vitamin C Adrenal Tonic - It's so simple it can only be called an un-recipe, but this tip from Dr. Wilson's book - Adrenal Fatigue: The 21st Century Stress Syndrome - has been SO HELPFULl for me.
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5 from 3 votes

Himalayan Salt & Vitamin C Adrenal Support Tonic

Course Beverages
Prep Time 2 minutes
Total Time 2 minutes
Servings 1 glass
Calories 0kcal
Author Mommypotamus



  • Combine all ingredients in a glass and drink. Many practitioners suggest lightly salting every glass of water, which I did in my early days of healing. Now I typically add salt and vitamin C in the morning when I wake up and at midday, plus a pinch throughout the day when I remember.


Calories: 0kcal | Carbohydrates: 0g | Protein: 0g | Fat: 0g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 0mg | Potassium: 0mg | Fiber: 0g | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin A: 0IU | Vitamin C: 0mg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 0mg

Looking for more adrenal nourishing drinks?

Adaptogens are herbs that help the body adapt to stress by supporting the hypothalamus-pituitary-adrenal axis – usually called the HPA axis. Here’s a list of some of the most often used ones, along with safety information for pregnant and nursing mamas.

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Heather is a holistic health educator, herbalist, DIYer, Lyme and mold warrior. Since founding Mommypotamus.com in 2009, Heather has been taking complicated health research and making it easy to understand. She shares tested natural recipes and herbal remedies with millions of naturally minded mamas around the world. 

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39 thoughts on “Himalayan Salt & Vitamin C Adrenal Support Tonic”

  1. most interesting – i used to add a little salt to my second cup of coffee, kind of got away from it, but the coffee tastes better with a pinch of salt (and some cardamom).

    Reading this brought another water question to mind: does salt and vit C change the water structure? I just listened to Dr Mercola’s anniversary session in which he talks about refrigerated water turns into structured water; did you- or any one else research this at all?

    • As a chemist I have to chime in here. NOTHING changes the molecular structure of water. As we all know, its physical form is altered by temperature (steam/water/ice) but this is no way alters its chemistry. Water is no more or less water when refrigerated as it is locked up in a glacier or trying to smother me in the air in South Georgia ;P anyone who tries to tell you differently has not undertaken any senior- to graduate-level courses or research in chemistry. Think of it this way – we detect water on other planets using its known radio frequency. If it changed THAT much in our refrigerators, how could we possibly find it in outer space?

      • thanks Megan – my hunch was that refrigeration does not change the water, only my liking it less, i do not like to drink refrigerated water – don’t like it in the air much either 🙂
        Since i am not very chemically gifted, i have no way of checking if there is H3O or how it would build itself; besides once you drink it it would warm up and change back to H2O any way, or not? 🙂

      • That is a rather strong statement Megan, and it is refuted by a great many scientists and practices. I don’t mean about refrigeration, but just the statement that ‘NOTHING changes the molecular structure of water.’ The reality of water is far more complicated, and if anyone is interested in a hint at such, I have a couple of links in an article here:

        The bottom line – we know very little about water. This is evidenced by the fact that it is the most studied material on earth.

        • 5 stars
          Thank you for that comment. People think since they know “something” that they know SOMETHING! There is much more in energy than meets the eye or mind. When you get down to the basics everything has a similar basic structure…carbon….BUT there is a huge difference between a building and a human and water….but similarities also. My mouth feels dry after I drink purified water, but when I drink spring water I feel quenched. Why…because there IS a difference.

          • The difference is what is in the water, not the water. The chemical make up of water does not change. Trace minerals or sediment may be present or may be removed as in the case of purified water.

          • Lisa and Megan, there are measurable differences in water. If you don’t think so, microwave every drop of water you drink till you die an early death to try and prove others wrong. But, this message is really intended to others who may come here and to them – research structured water!

  2. I’ve been doing this since reading that book, slightly different recipe. Water with lots of lemon and a pinch of sea salt and a bit of vitamin c powder and a wee squeeze of honey. That’s my main drink throughout the day, and it makes such a huge difference.

  3. Do you think camu powder would work for the Vit C component? I was recently advised to take an “adrenal cocktail” mixture of orange juice, cream of tartar, and pink salt. I’d rather avoid the juice (too much sugar) and am wondering if the Vit C powder (camu camu is what I have on hand) could substitute for it now that I see your recipe with the other powder.

  4. Salt water makes me queazy I wonder if I took 1/4 tsp
    salt and swallowed it with water (like a pill) followed by 8 oz
    water in one shot if it would work the same?

    • Hi Veronica , I have just today started with salted water I preferred to take the salt first then drink the water , Did you find out if it was ok that way . thank you , Jeanie

  5. Thank you – never emagined I would write to you … but, I am having trouble … and it is water/salt, based. I have worked in Williston, ND. for two and a half years – always I have worked physically to hard – there, I had to wear fire proof coveralls … heavy boots …. heavy gloves … and hard hat no matter the heat. My typical job was 18 to 20 hours – but could go to 24 easily, and once in a while longer – on up to 64 hours. All this in non breathable clothing in 90 plus, or 30 below weather. In the heat I would start peeing a lot – so I chased it with 16 oz water – and need to pee that out, but chase that too. I ended up in the doctors office washed out and wobbly legged. The doctors, all told me to drink more water – finally, a veteran from Iraq said to me to not drink so much water, and to continue to pee as I must – but to eat salt and eat small amounts of good protein. I came out of it, but every work day for three summers, I have had to monitor myself to make sure I do not fall on my face. Now I am back home, working an eight hour a day job and still fatigued – I will follow your advise to a T and get back with you. I do know I am still living with the effects of my job conditions – just been back for a week. I can’t wait to try this. Thank you.

    • Sounds like your electrolytes were depleted. Bad advice to just drink more water. There are some good homemade electrolyte solutions online… you’ve probably found them by now.

    • 5 stars
      Not enough if any at all. Eat sea vegetables like kelp or dulse flakes (I get ones sourced from Maine in case Pacific ocean is contaminated from Fukushima).

  6. I have to ask, how is this safe when you always hear that sea water is dangerous to consume? Not doubting you, just looking for an explanation to help me understand. Additionally, my husband wonders why you should add salt to drinks if you’re getting it in all your food? Thanks!

  7. My only concern is that the Vitamin C could be harmful to the teeth. I did not notice you giving a specific amount to use. I guess it would be OK if you were careful not to use too much.

    • That’s a great question, Bailey – – one I have personally wondered as well. Here’s my perspective: Although lead is absolutely something I strive to avoid, it’s only possible to a certain degree because it’s a naturally occurring element that is found in soil, rivers, lakes, seawater and air. During the 20th century, our lead exposure increased due to the use of leaded gasolines and other industrial uses. However, many of those practices have been done away with and now our lead exposure is about 1/3 of what it was in 1970. (source)

      According to a spectral analysis done by SPEX Certiprep labs, regular table salt has a higher concentration of lead than all the gourmet salts they tested, including Himalayan salt. (source) Mercury was either not detected or measured in “negligible amounts” for the samples. The amount found reported in the spectral analysis you linked to (which unfortunately does not cite a lab reference and therefore cannot be verified) is about the same as what is found in molasses and three times less than many herbs and spices according to the Handbook of Mineral Elements In Food. Tea comes in significantly higher at 0.764, but many other foods come in lower. (Yay!)

      In other words, I think that analysis (if accurate) needs to be taken in a larger context. For example, one thing to consider is how much salt we consume relative to other sources . . . typically a lot less since no one sits down to eat a cup of salt. (Ewww)

      I have MTHFR and have been using unrefined sea salt (Himalayan plus Celtic and others) exclusively for years, and when I had my lead/mercury (both organic and inorganic) levels tested a couple of years ago, my levels were extremely low. All that to say I am not personally concerned, but I do recommend sourcing from a reputable brand. Of course this is my opinion, not professional advice.

      • Hi everyone ! I have read the post on adrenal fatigue, and all the comments, and I was wondering if this condition has any connections to Addisons ?

  8. Just wondering about the Vitamin C powders as many of them do not seem soluble in water? I have tried 6 different kinds and even with warm water, they don’t seem to disolve but rather just sink to the bottom?