An increase in renal sodium chloride (salt) retention and an increase in sodium appetite are the body's responses to salt restriction or depletion in order to restore salt balance. Renal salt retention and increased sodium appetite can also be maladaptive and sustain the pathophysiology in conditions like salt-sensitive hypertension and chronic heart failure. Here we review the central role of the mineralocorticoid aldosterone in both the increase in renal salt reabsorption and sodium appetite. We discuss the working hypothesis that aldosterone activates similar signaling and effector mechanisms in the kidney and brain, including the mineralocorticoid receptor, the serum- and glucocorticoid-induced kinase SGK1, the ubiquitin ligase NEDD4-2, and the epithelial sodium channel ENaC. The latter also mediates the gustatory salt sensing in the tongue, which is required for the manifestation of increased salt intake. Effects of aldosterone on both the brain and kidney synergize with the effects of angiotensin II. Thus, mineralocorticoids appear to induce similar molecular pathways in the kidney, brain, and possibly tongue, which could provide opportunities for more effective therapeutic interventions. Inhibition of renal salt reabsorption is compensated by stimulation of salt appetite and vice versa; targeting both mechanisms should be more effective. Inhibiting the arousal to consume salty food may improve a patient's compliance to reducing salt intake. While a better understanding of the molecular mechanisms is needed and will provide new therapeutic options, current pharmacological interventions that target both salt retention and sodium appetite include mineralocorticoid receptor antagonists and potentially inhibitors of angiotensin II and ENaC.