The Truth About Himalayan Pink Salt Revealed
Himalayan pink salt has long been used for it’s healing properties. But in today’s world of modern medicine, what does that mean to consumers like you who need to use the best and most effective products for your health, your family’s health and your environmental health?
Today, we are going to bust more myths about Himalayan Pink Salt so you know exactly why you should or shouldn’t have it in your home.
Claim: Himalayan Pink Salt Has a History in Natural Medicine
Himalayan pink salt is mined mostly in the Khewra Salt Mines of Pakistan which were said to have been a discovery of Alexander the Great’s horse. That means the salt you buy is likely not chipped off the Himalayan mountains as the name might suggest. The salt mine itself has a rich history, and a light-up mosque primarily built of salt rock.
As for the regional salt itself, it is estimated to be 800 million years old and some of the salt we sprinkle on our food could be relics of the Precambrian era. The original mining source for Himalayan pink salt is the Great Salt Range of the Himalayas. Today, the Great Salt Range remains intact, attracting visitors from all over the world who come to see the shiny, thick scales of pink salt that protrude from the walls.
The early natives of the Himalaya region actually used pink salt as a preservative for fish and other foods that would spoil quickly. As far as medical uses, salt has been mentioned in some of the oldest medical texts including those from ancient Egypt and Greece, but that’s not specific to Himalayan pink salt. It was frequently mentioned with regards to wound-care and digestion.
The Bottom Line:
It’s true that Himalayan pink salt has a rich history. Salt, in general, has been used for centuries in a medical capacity. But evidence suggests ancient people used Himalayan pink salt as a food preservative.
Claim: Himalayan Pink Salt is Better for You than Table Salt
Salt, in any form, is essential for your health. It is recommended that humans get 2,300 mg of salt per day in their diet. Ingesting the right amount of salt is linked to cellular health, nervous system health, good digestion and elimination of toxins.
Proponents of eating Himalayan pink salt as a natural health supplement over table salt suggest the minerals in pink salt offer some unique properties. These include calcium, copper, iron, magnesium and potassium.
Table salt is sodium chloride. Sometimes it includes iodine which is introduced during an iodization process. Other mined salts contain trace elements found in the areas they are mined. These may be similar to those found in Himalayan pink salts.
Because natural salts contain trace minerals, they offer electrolytes that aren’t found in regular table salt. Electrolytes are important for hydration and balancing your body’s PH levels. Table salts sometimes contain anti-clumping agents which some believe are harmful, making natural a salts a generally healthier choice.
That said, some experts believe consumers who spend money on pink salt may be falling victim to hype. They say the quantity of trace minerals in sea salt is too small to provide any measurable health benefit. At least one researcher claims that of the 84 minerals believed to be traced in Himalayan pink salt, only 15 are useful to the human body and some of them are radioactive and toxic, like Uranium.
The Bottom Line:
Unquestionably, Himalayan pink salt contains minerals that when ingested in certain quantities provide documented health benefits. Whether or not the amount of Himalayan pink salt you eat can offer the quantities needed to reap the benefits is debatable.
By nature of being unprocessed, it may be a better choice. But cautious consumers should also be aware that trace minerals aren’t always good for the body like hype would have you believe.
The Verdict: Hype or Healthy
Does Himalayan pink salt live up to the hype? For food, clean air and medicinal purposes, maybe not. But Himalayan pink salt does have a number of helpful spa purposes like being a key component in purifying face and body scrubs.
If you choose to keep eating Himalayan sea salt because you like the color, taste and taking in healthy minerals that comes along with eating unprocessed food, then it may be worth spending a few extra bucks to keep it in your diet. But bear in mind that you are likely taking in trace amounts of all the minerals that come from the area where it was mined, good and bad.
As far as the glistening pink color is concerned, many people who are fans of salt rock lamps believe the mineral has color therapy properties and that the small amount of negative ionization that may come with owning a salt rock lamp increases positive mood.
But it’s also important to note that Himalayan pink salt is an 800-million year old non-renewable resource. So maybe instead of asking: How does Himalayan pink salt benefit us? We should be asking: Do we need to use it at all?
An alternative to Himalayan pink salt that is widely available on the market is natural sea salt. It also makes sense to look for products that travel fewer food miles and have a smaller environmental impact.