A handful of salt

salt

Salt is essential to life. Sodium is one of the seven macrominerals (along with calcium, chloride, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and sulphur) and is used for a multitude of biochemical processes such as fluid and acid-alkaline balance and electrical signaling in the nervous system. It is also necessary for adrenal gland function.

All salts are mainly made up of sodium chloride. Table salt is manufactured by cooking to 1200°F, which removes the other trace minerals. Chemicals and anti-caking agents are then added and it is bleached to make it white. This type of salt has almost no benefits and plenty of drawbacks; in many cases it is positively toxic, causing high blood pressure, kidney problems and impaired muscle and nerve function. It should be avoided at all costs.

While sea salt is a far better option than table salt because the other minerals are still present, sea pollution means that producers are having to refine their products, meaning that some of the natural goodness is taken away. Probably the purest sea salt available is from the salt marshes in Brittany where it is still produced using ancient methods.

My favourite salt is Himalayan crystal salt. Not only is it a pretty pink colour (shallow? Moi?), it contains 84 minerals and trace elements in ionic state, meaning that they are tiny enough for the body’s cells to absorb them easily. Its benefits include :

  • Water regulation
  • Healthy pH balance
  • Healthy blood sugar
  • Generation of hydroelectric energy in the cells
  • Food and nutrient absorption
  • Respiratory health
  • Prevention of muscle cramps
  • Sleep and relaxation
  • Blood pressure regulation

Not only is Himalayan salt an excellent choice for use in the kitchen, a few handfuls added to warm (but not hot) water makes a wonderfully relaxing and detoxifying bath. Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath provides an effective treatment for dry skin and psoriasis, soothes insect bites and relieves muscle pain or cramping, as well as easing arthritis. Finally, it reduces stress and promotes a good night’s sleep.

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13 responses to “A handful of salt

  1. Thanks for providing us with such good information. My girlfriend gave me a bag of Himalayan sea salt and I have been using it. I love taking a bath with Epson Salt . It relaxes me and takes care of my sore muscles.

  2. I just bought some Himalayan pink for my bath, I really should start using it for the kitchen rather than the salt I use. I do use sea salt which has some redeeming characteristics but I never thought of the polution part and how they must purify. Great post. so informative. Hugs to Java and Hugo!!

    • Thank you. 🙂 I love it for culinary use – I think you can taste the difference too. Even our horses have Himalayan salt licks – maybe the dogs could use them too! I will pass on your hugs to Hugo and Java – they’ll be very happy.

  3. My regular physician recommended only using rock salt and grinding it in a coffee grinder for use. He said it was the healthiest salt he had come across. How would this compare with Himalayan mountain salt? We currently have Alpine mountain salt in the cupboard and use it daily. Good, bad or ugly?

    • Hi KJ! I’m not familiar with Alpine salt, but I would imagine that the purity could be similar to Himalayan salt… So pretty good I should think. Is it a pretty shade of pink though? I shall investigate.

      • The colour of the Alpine salt is not pink. The brand is Bad Reichenhaller, Marken Salz, (Reines Alpensalz aus Natursole). When I was looking for rock salt with which to make my salt, this was recommended to me, in Germany, and they said it was pure and not iodized, etc. Trust is a key issue, in a new land, so I went with that. One (wo)man’s pure is another’s not-so-pure, so I hope I have been buying the right item.

      • I just got a shock. I had my partner translate the information from the box and it appears that, although it is from the alps, it has been processed, although no iodine was added and as separating agents, they used magnesium and calcium carbonate. Sooooooooo, is there an online source for your Himalayan pink salt? (You do understand the humorous ramifications when we have guests in and have this pink salt on the table, right?)

  4. Completely fascinating, especially as the week before I had just spent a good ten minutes standing in front of all the salts at the local supermarket deciding which to buy. I had settled on some local salt from the Ile d’Oloron. It has no additives, is very course and grey rather than white. I had not even thought of the pollution, despite being married to a fisherman and thinking about pollution in fish, silly me! So guess what, am off to the health food store this morning, I just love the thought of pink salt, I wonder if they will sell it, fingers crossed !

  5. So fascinating learning about all the different types types of salt out there. Himalayan salt is just so gorgeous too.

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