Written by Jan Walsh
Photography by Beau Gustafson
Salt is a necessary ingredient in life. All humans and animals require it to survive. Himalayan salt contains the same 84 trace minerals and elements found in the human body, including sodium chloride, sulfate, calcium, potassium, and magnesium. Given its cellular structure, it stores vibrational energy. And the salt’s minerals are so small that our cells can easily absorb them.
Himalayan crystal salt and pure spring water preserves all the natural elements original to its source, which existed in the “primal sea.” The Himalayan mountain range goes across Asia, and passes through China, Nepal, Myanmar, Pakistan, Bhutan, Afghanistan, and India. Approximately 200 million years ago, crystallized sea salt beds were covered with lava. And the salt was covered in snow and ice for millennia. Uncontaminated by modern day toxins, chemicals, or pollutants, Himalayan crystal salt includes 84 naturally occurring trace elements in their natural mineral form. Himalayan rock salt is mined at the Khewra salt mine in Pakistan. The salt is known for its distinctive pink color, due to its iron oxide. Thus it is often called “pink gold.” However, some Himalayan crystals have an off-white or transparent color.
Himalayan salt is the purest salt on earth. It is different and superior to processed table salt, which is bleached, chemically cleaned, and iodized most often with synthetic iodine. Processed table salt is also dried at more than 1,200 degrees Fahrenheit, which alters the salt’s natural structure. The purpose of processing table salt is to remove all “impurities,” but this process is actually removing essential minerals our bodies need. And what remains is 97.5 to 99 percent sodium chloride, not in its natural form, along with anti-caking chemicals, synthetic iodine, aluminum derivatives, and MSG or white processed sugar. Anti-caking agents prevent the salt from clumping but also prevent our bodies from absorbing the salt, which causes it to build up and deposit in our organs. Studies show that for each gram of table salt consumed that the body cannot process, the body will use 20 times the amount of cellular water to neutralize the amount of sodium chloride. Additionally, there is a risk of over-iodization, which has been shown to abnormally enlarge the thyroid gland and cause thyroid-related autoimmune disorders.
Sea salt is healthier than processed table salt, as it is made by evaporating seawater and contains small amounts of minerals. Unrefined sea salt is unwashed and may appear grey in color from impurities of sediment and clay. Refined sea salt is washed to remove trace minerals, clay, and sediment contaminants. But due to the pollution of oceans, it may also contain trace amounts of heavy metals, such as lead. And unlike other salts, Himalayan salt is associated with many health benefits (more than I can name here) rather than illnesses.
Himalayan salt is also used for cooking, bathing, air purification, and for mood lamps. Blocks of salt can be slowly heated to a temperature of around 200 degrees and used as a cooking surface. A therapeutic salt bath detoxifies, stimulates circulation, and soothes sore muscles. And Himalayan rock candles and low-voltage electric rock lamps are attributed to balancing negative and positive ions into the air. These can be found as rock candle holders, to which I add beeswax tea candles that heat the rock. And I own a few of the rock lamps too, which I turn on and off with a dimmer switch. They may or may not balance the air, but their lovely illumination calms my mood. So every evening I light the candle and keep calm.