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Bernard M. Moinier, Tilman B. For thousands of years, the merits of salt were considered with high esteem. It made meals palatable and served as an efficient food preservative. It is only in the last hundred years that some medical scientists started to question the innocuity of usual salt intake. They held salt responsible for the induction of arterial hypertension and associated pathologies, and subsequently, for a number of other disease states.
It is not our intention to enter the ongoing debate on what is the most appropriate intake of salt. The relation between salt and sexuality is a matter for serious consideration, both with regard to an ancient myth related to Aphrodite and with regard to the association between salt appetite and reproduction. Restriction of salt intake has major effects on procreation, gestation and lactation.
Salt-induced alterations of neurophysiological functions and sexual behaviour have already been presumed by the ancient Greeks. Later on, these assumptions received scientific support. Mythology is a kind of counter-narrative description of what cannot be explained rationally as long as science prolegomena are not connected with human experience. Focussing on Aphrodite's myth, we shall try first to consider how salt, a mere mineral substance, is intimately related to the goddess of love in a recurrent struggle against sterility and death.
Aphrodite is one of the major embodiments of the Great Goddess Figure 1. The doublet sensuality—fertility is the force that features the source of life in her representation and helps generations to survive.
The goddess, in the act of giving birth, transposes crude sexuality into creative energy. In the Aegean world, Aphrodite, goddess of love, prevents sterility and facilitates mating and procreation. For the ancient Greeks, the myth opens with Gaia and Uranos. Exhausted as she is with endless copulation, Gaia encourages Cronos to castrate Uranos. Uranos the Sky came, bringing on night and longing for love, and he laid about Gaia the Earth spreading himself full upon her.