Why is it called Himalayan Salt?
Himalayan Salt comes from the salt range in the Punjab province, Pakistan. It is said to date back to the earth’s creation and be the dried remnants of the original Primal Sea. The mines extracting the salt are 5,000 feet below the Himalayan mountains from which it’s name is derived.
Isn’t it pink?
Himalayan salt comes in 4 colours, pure white, pink, orange and deep red. It is actually common to see all three colours in it’s natural state. The varying colours are a result of the level of iron infused into the salt along with 80+ other minerals. The depth of colour reveals the level of iron infusion. The deeper it is the more iron it has.
I never see White Himalayan Salt; is it the same?
The lest common and most expensive colour is pure white as it is found in the the outer parts of the mines and contains the least amount of iron of all the colours. Although lower in iron it maintains the same benefits.
What are the benefits of eating Himalayan Salt?
When eating the salt it is actually beneficial to consume a mixture of all the colours. You may consider that eating the richer colours would be better for you however we can have too much iron in our diets which is not good for us therefore it is recommended to use a balance of the colours.
The ‘adequate intake’ for salt is no different with Himalayan Salt or other types. It is recommended by the National Health and Medical Research Council to limit our intake to 460-920 mg (1.15-2.3g) per day for an adult. There is also another suggested limit that adults should adhere to is 1,600 mg / 4g per day. However, most of us consume so much more than this, we just don’t know it because it is hidden in the process of making our [processed] food. An NCIB study reveals that an amount <500 mg per day is all that is needed to maintain homoeostasis in an adult.
What exactly do using Himalayan Salt Lamps do?
When Himalayan rock salt is heated it releases negative ions into the air; these ions then neutralise the positive ions in it’s immediate environment. Studies show that exposure to negative ions at the highest saturation has an association with lower depression but more study is needed to properly validate this. Negative ions have been used to clean the air for a long time and studies show that negative ions have the ability to remove particulate matter (a major pollutant). Whether or not more research is needed to properly validate any of this, these findings are proof enough that using Himalayan Salt Lamps in the home will have a positive affect on our overall wellbeing.
So what is in Himalayan Salt that makes it so special?
The composition of Himalayan Salt is roughly 87% sodium chloride with the remaining 13% made up of trace minerals. The following elements found in Himalayan salt are mainly: sodium & chloride plus the following trace minerals/elements: actinium, aluminium, antimony, arsenic, astatine, barium, beryllium, bismuth, boron, bromine, cadmium, calcium, carbon, cerium, cesium, chlorine, chromium, cobalt, copper, dysprosium, erbium, europium, fluorine, francium, gadolinium, gallium, germanium, gold, hafnium, holmium, hydrogen, indium, iodine, iridium, iron, lanthanum, lead, lithium, lutetium, magnesium, manganese, mercury, molybdenum, neodymium, neptunium, nickel, niobium, nitrogen, osmium, oxygen, palladium, phosphorus, platinum, plutonium, polonium, potassium, praseodymium, protactinium, radium, rhenium, rhodium, rubidium, ruthenium, samarium, scandium, selenium, silicon, silver, sodium, strontium, sulphur, tantalum, tellurium, terbium, thallium, thorium, thulium, tin, titanium, uranium, vanadium, wolfram, yttrium, ytterbium, zinc and zirconium.
Basic [not the full list] Benefits of [Himalayan] salt:
Helps to contract and relax muscles
Aids in preventing dehydration
Supports nervous system impulses
Supports blood pressure
Aids in reducing the risk of infection and killing harmful bacteria
Can aid in mood management
Himalayan salt tends not to contain unnatural anti-caking ingredients.
Improves respiratory function
Helps balance PH levels
Aids digestion and
Can help induce sleep.
Are there any precautions?
Whether something is good for us or not, there is always a precaution that too much of a good thing is also a bad thing. Anyone who is on a low sodium diet should treat Himalayan salt consumption the same as any other salt. 1 teaspoon of any salt (including Himalayan) contains roughly 2,300 mg of sodium where 1,500 mg of sodium is somewhere between ½ tsp 1,150 mg and ¾ tsp 1,725 mg.
Rock salt can help to reduce our intake as we tend to over apply the fine-grain stuff. However, no matter what salt you use it should always be used sparingly.
What does my household use it for?
Personally, I love the taste of Himalayan Salt as it is not as strong as general table salt. I also use it in DIY products such as bath salts, scrubs and home made seasonings. Putting a pinch in with your coffee or hot chocolate can bring out the flavours. Using a pinch in your after sport drink can help you absorb your fluids better and replenish electrolytes (try it with a bit of lemon juice or lemon oil also). It is definitely a great product to have around the house.