Salt has a bad-guy reputation. But for those of us who can’t resist a dredge of salt over our popcorn, there’s good news: Himalayan crystal salt. Buried deep beneath the foothills of the Himalayan mountains, it’s the mineral-rich residue of prehistoric seas. These salt crystals have waited hundreds of millions of years to bring us their health benefits.
A condiment worth its salt
It’s true that too much sodium can be bad news, and that’s usually because we consume it as table salt. Table salt is chemically processed at high temperatures, removing trace minerals essential to health. In their place, additives and anti-caking agents are often added. Needless to say, table salt ends up being a toxic burden on the body.
At the other end of the spectrum, given its age and purity, Himalayan crystal salt is the ‘original and best’ of the condiment world. You might have noticed the sachets of pink salt crystals in your local health food store. Their blushing color is a sign of the minerals the salt contains: over 84 of them including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. These substances help the body process the sodium chloride content of the salt, which is already much lower than that of table salt. The mineral content also helps maintain a healthy electrolyte balance within cells – so a pinch of Himalayan crystal salt is an ideal addition to your post-workout drink. What’s more, it has a much more rounded, savory taste than the acid spike of processed refined salt – so you’ll probably end up using less, and enjoying it more.
Replacing white table salt with beautiful, potent pink crystals is a no-brainer for the health-conscious chef!
Illuminate and detoxify your home
Incredibly, you can reap benefits from Himalayan crystal salt without eating it. Larger chunks of this crystal are hollowed out to create lamps that emit a gorgeous pinky glow and purify the air in your home. Here comes the science bit…
The warmth of a bulb or candle interacts with the sodium (from the salt lamp) and moisture (in the air) to produce a detoxifying effect by emitting negative ions. There have been many studies into the health effects of ‘good’ negative ions including this one from Fayetteville State University. In summary, the salt lamp can relieve allergy symptoms and even improve our oxygen uptake by neutralizing electromagnetic fuzz, dust and smoke.
This ‘neutralizing’ process happens in nature all the time, and you’ll recognize the feeling. Imagine the freshness of the air right after a thunderstorm, or while you’re standing on the beach near crashing waves. You can taste how good it is to breathe that air. You can just feel it working magic on your physical and emotional wellbeing. By lighting a lamp or tea light holder made of Himalayan crystal salt, you can bring a similar feeling into your home.
‘(One thing to note: salt attracts water. If you don’t use your salt lamp for a few days, you may see a small puddle form underneath it. This is water that the lamp has ‘pulled’ from the air – don’t be alarmed, just be careful of your polished tabletops!)