since i'm onto ghandi, that leads me to the indians.
the vedics were deeply into alchemy. i once asked a vedic doctor how they could prescibe mercury to people in their medicines. the guy replied with literally no less than 15 steps they performed on mercury boiling it, heating it, cooling it, all sorts of cookery. normally i wouldn't touch it with a ten foot pole but it sounded feasible when i read the whole thing.
one of the vedic tricks for hydration is to boil water and reduce to half original volume to increase assimilation into the deeper body channels.
i thought it was nonsense until trying it. maybe not as good as salt but then again maybe.