Many people have told me about the amazing benefits of Hamalayan salt. “It’s good for your health”, “it improves your mood”, and so on. Not surprisingly, when I received a candle made out of Himalayan salt in December last year, I was really happy! I thought it would be interesting to learn more about the health benefits, so here’s what I found:
What is Himalayan salt?
Like many other people I assumed that Himalayan salt comes from… the Himalayas. But guess what, I was wrong! Himalayan salt is actually mined in a region called Punjab in Pakistan, which is 260 kilometers away from the Himalaya mountains.
The existing health benefit claims of Himalayan salt
There are many existing health benefit claims of Himalayan salt. According to Dr. Axe, Himalayan salt reduces common signs of aging, cramping and the incidence of sinus problems. The salt also improves kidney and gallbladder health, bone strength, as well as the absorption of nutrients from foods.
But, we’re not done! The salt also supposedly helps you fall asleep; helps create healthy blood sugar levels; and helps the body foster a healthy libido. That’s quite impressive for a bit of salt! But how great it all may sound, scientific evidence for many of these claims about Himalayan salt is lacking.
The truth about Himalayan salt
Then there are also basic misconceptions about Himalayan salt. On several websites I read that Himalayan salt has 84 minerals that are good for our health. According to The Whole Happy Life, this is not true – it contains only 31 minerals. Another misconception about Himalayan salt is that it has a higher percentage of minerals than sea salt and therefore, is a better option. The truth is that himalayan salt is over 98% sodium chloride and does not have a higher mineral content. Himalayan salt is also said to be the purest salt on the planet, but the salt is actually contaminated with elements like barium and lead.
As you can see, many of the basic claims about Himalayan salt are simply not true. We also have to keep in mind that high salt intakes are very bad for our health. On Medical News Today I found several health conditions that have been linked to high sodium intake, including: high blood pressure; heart disease; stroke; liver damage; osteoporosis; and kidney disease. So, it may not even be worth it to test the claimed benefits of Himalayan salt.
Why do these misconceptions exist?
After reading all of this, I wondered: Why does this major hype around Himalayan salt even exist? I quickly found the answer: marketing. Himalayan salt is a lot more expensive than regular table salt. Why would we spend more money on Himalayan salt if it has the same nutritional value as (cheap) regular table salt? Exactly… we wouldn’t! So the hype is very beneficial for marketing purposes.
The marketing argument can also explain why the salt is called “Himalayan salt” and not “Pakistani salt” for instance. Himalayan just sounds a bit more sexy, doesn’t it? 😉 Well, for all of you Himalayan salt-lovers, I am sorry for possibly crushing your dreams. I am definitely not saying you shouldn’t buy it, but I also don’t want to give you any false hope.
The good news: Himalayan salt candles
The good news is that Himalayan salt is not only used for cooking, but also for other purposes, including beautiful candles. The one I received looks exactly like the ones in the picture above. There are also reported benefits on the candles’ benefits, but again, real scientific evidence is lacking. To find out more about Himalayan salt candles, read this post on Negative Ionizers. You can find a big collection of Himalayan salt candles on Amazon, in case you want to have one yourself. By the way, if you have ever tried Himalayan salt or used the candles, feel free to share your experiences with me! 🙂
Featured image taken from SoulMakes.