The word salary comes from the word salt. In fact, it was used as a payment method in many countries. It was also used for bargains. Pinch of salt from a bag worn by each party was added to the bag of others. Only if these special grain could be removed could salt covenant be broken. If it was so important then why is it being maligned now?
Preservatives: Fresh food, particularly animal protein, will not last without some external method of preservation. In fact, you can see this in the refrigerator sometimes. As a dish that got pushed way back and turned into a science experiment proves it.
Those in the days before canning need to either dry or salty food. Salting was the easiest … if you live near somewhere that had it. Drying requires a lot of work and there was always the possibility that meat would not dry enough or flies would get it.
Tooth Cleaning: People clean their teeth long before toothpaste was invented. Be grateful for the salt was often part of the cleaning.
Goiter Belt: Some areas, including parts of the United States do not contain iodine in the soil. Iodine, trace quantities needed to prevent expansion of the thyroid in the neck. When it was discovered iodine was added to table salt. As long as people in those areas using iodized salt, their chances of developing a goiter is small.
Gargle: How old is this job I could not tell you, but in most herbal I have read one of the treatments for a sore throat is warm salt water gargle. In fact, my doctor has recommended. It is also used for sinusitis of them can handle the process.
Flavor: Even desserts contain salt. It is a flavor enhancer. Without all tastes bland. The only way to get enough flavor without salt is going overboard in the spice department, and even that might not work. That is why most prepackaged foods list salt as an ingredient.
Salt can be overdone, as other foods. That does not make it an enemy. Too much of anything is dangerous. If you have questions about salt intake, talk to your doctor. You may be referred to a nutritionist and come up with the right amount to keep the tastebuds happy and goiters no longer a threat.