For the water -- 250mL for every 10 lbs., within reason of course! There is certainly such a thing as too much water.
I drink between 3-4L of water a day with no side effects other than having to use the bathroom a lot (in fact, I look forward to all the water and my body seems to want it - a far cry from when I barely drank any per day and lived on soda...) and I know others on here that often aim for 4L per day, but I haven't seen too much over. There's only so much you can drink without feeling bloated.
I do think the salt problem is largely Western, you're right. I went routinely over my salt intake every day without even realizing it until I had to sit down and track it.
It's interesting to meet a fellow low blood pressure sufferer, though your case seems to be a bit more severe than mine - for the greater part of my adulthood I usually clocked in around 90/65 or 95/65, though I had gotten as low as 85/55 on one occasion (after a fainting spell, at the hospital). I haven't fainted as much in the past few years, thank goodness, but I'm usually down for the count at least a couple of times a year (usually in the summer, when it's very hot). Phytoestrogens is such a hot area of research right now (I do study hormones in part) but you have a very healthy view on it - reducing anything complex to one factor is bound to lead to a lot of trouble. A skeptical but informed eye is often best.
I am not Jewish - my last name is "Aubele." I'm told the ancestry is from the Black Forest/Dusseldorf region of Germany, which was a hotly contested border with France for a very long time - I happen to believe my last name looks more French than German, though it does not have a French pronunciation. I was brought up Irish Catholic (the other side of my family is Irish) though I am lapsed from religion. I had never heard of the "-ele" ending as a diminutive though! How interesting - and now I simply must look up that book, that's too much of a coincidence to set aside. Not sure if my lover is a demon, but he certainly acts like it from time to time (as we all do!)
Female, 31 years old, 5'4 1/2" tall
Starting weight 1/4/11 = 215.2 lbs.
Weight 10/22/14 = 175.0 (net: -40.2)
Last mini-goal: 175 lbs. REACHED 10/22/14 --REWARD: New wallet
Current min-goal: 170 lbs.
Next large goal: 165 lbs. by 12/25/2014
Lowest weight: 156.7 lbs.
150.2 lbs. <--- Official "Healthy BMI" weight
Estimated final goal: 130-140 lbs.
"You don't have to change your life today. You only need to change your day today."