What is Himalayan Salt or Halite?

What is the Himalayan Salt Craze? Ever heard of Salt Lamps, Salt Inhalers or Salt Plates and Salt Cooking Slabs? Read on to find out more...
Food & Drink

Himalayan Salt comes from Pakistan and has become popular in Europe, North America and Australia. The salt comes from the Khewra Salt Mines, Punjab, Pakistan, which is the second largest salt mine in the world. It has acquired its name by being located around 300 miles from the Himalayas.

The salt has an attractive appearance, sometimes reddish, pink, orange and off-white in colour. The salt mine in Khewra is not the only mine to be marketed as Himalayan salt, however. There are mines in Utah, Boliva, Peru, Poland, Australia and Hawaii which also produce the popular pink coloured salt crystals. The colour itself comes from iron oxide found in the soil.

Is there any benefit to taking Himalayan Salt rather than normal table salt?

Common table salt has almost nothing in common with traditional salt. Unlike the refined sodium chloride you will find on most kitchen tables masquerading as salt, unrefined rock salt contains more than 84 different minerals. Unrefined salt, such as Himalayan salt is very similar in composition to the salt found within our bodies. Humans have salty tears, salt perspiration and started out life in a protective barrier of salty amniotic fluid inside their mother. Salt is necessary to life and without it we would not survive. Salt is vital for virtually all our biological functions.

Unrefined mineral salts are healthy because they give your body various mineral ions which are needed to balance bodily functions and aid healing. There are several schools of thought which believe that too few minerals, rather than too much salt are to blame for modern day health conditions such as high blood pressure and cardiovascular disease. David McCarron of Oregon Health Sciences University thinks that the mineral content of our food is at fault in today’s world. Rather than eating food high in minerals, such as fruit, vegetables and nuts, we are more commonly filling up on processed bread, crisps and chocolate. This type of junk food is mineral empty and to compound the problem, modern day farming methods are also stripping our fruit and vegetables of their much needed minerals.

All minerals work together and need to be balanced, so if you are consuming excessive amounts of salt, you will require large amounts of potassium and magnesium to balance this. Unfortunately most of us receive nowhere near the amount needed to restore equilibrium to our bodies. Large deficits in these minerals will lead to muscles becoming tight, over-stimulation of the nerves and a constant feeling of anxiety.

Mineral rich salts have several benefits to health:

Pre-Menstrual Tension – the muscle relaxing effects of magnesium and potassium help relieve the body of excess water and soothe cramping muscles.

Joints – minerals have an alkalising effect on the body. This works as an anti-inflammatory within the body and can help ease the symptoms of conditions such as arthritis.

Back Pain – magnesium helps muscles to relax. Whether you eat mineral salts or bathe in them, it will help to smooth away the tension and tightness which causes the pain.

Bone Strength – bones use phosphorous, magnesium and other minerals as their building materials. By using table salt only, you are stripping your body of the vital minerals it needs to do its basic building work.

Himalayan Crystal Salt is purported to be of especial benefit to the human body. The 84 minerals found inside this variety of salt can aid digestion, strengthen the skeleton, ease arthritis and relax the muscles and nerves.

Eating and bathing in mineral rich salts can actually LOWER blood pressure, due to its relaxing properties. Varieties which have been found beneficial to health are Himalayan Salt, Epsom Salts (for bathing), Celtic Sea Salt and Solo Low Sodium Salt .

                     

Himalayan Salt Block

A rather new and unusual way to cook and serve food would be the Himalayan Salt Block. Simply cook your food upon the salt block and it will be automatically seasoned. Alternatively arrange and display cold food upon the salt block platter for a more subtle salty taste. It is a unique way of adding a touch of mineral rich salt to your food and serving dishes upon these platter's can't fail to impress!

Himalayan Salt Inhaler

Recently the Himalayan Salt Inhaler was Alternative Medicine’s 2010 Best New Product. When you breathe through the ceramic inhaler, the passing moisture draws micron particles of minerals into your body. Cleansing the entire respiratory system, throat, lungs, nasal passages and sinuses it has been said to help rid the body of toxins which can be asthma and allergy triggers.

Salt Lamps

Recently, large crystal blocks of salt have been used to produce ‘salt lamps’. These lamps are carved from large salt crystals and when illuminated, by either a candle or incandescent bulb they give off a very attractive night-light glow.

Where can I buy Himalayan Salt Products?

The best websites to order these products are listed below:

http://www.himalayasaltcompany.com

http://www.himalayancrystalsalt.co.uk

http://www.himalayancrystalsalt.com

If you enjoyed this you may also enjoy: Is Salt REALLY that bad for you?

Sources: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_salt, http://www.independent.co.uk/life-style/health-and-families/health-news/well-seasoned-how-salt-can-actually-be-good-for-you-771775.html

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