Thursday, April 18, 2013

The Beauty of Himalayan Salt

They say Mother Nature provides us will all we need to stay healthy and the sea is where all life originates from. If that is true, then it is easy to understand why sea salt is an excellent source of nutrition for our body. Himalayan salt was known as the "king salt" or "white gold" by ancients dating back to 320 B.C. It is one of the cleanest, purest salts on the planet. 

There is some confusion whether the salt is mined in the foothills of the Himalayas. It is actually mined in the mountains of Hindu Kush and Karakoram. The true Himalayan Mountains form the border between India and China. The Hindu Kush are often confused with the Himalayas because they are considered part of what is called the "Himalayan System."  

Khewra, in Punjab Province in east-central Pakistan, is the world's second largest and Pakistan's oldest salt mine. The largest salt mine is actually at Carricfergus in Northern Ireland. These salt mines have been forming for over 250 million years. As the sea beds dry up, they leave behind large deposits of salt. With time and the Earth's pressure, the salt was left void of toxins and pollutants. The mining of the salt is unique in that it is all done by hand. The blasting of the mines with dynamite is prohibited as to maintain the purity of the salt. The salt is normally off white, pink, red or transparent. The color is derived from the type of algae that grew in the sea in that area millions of years ago.

The salt contains 84 nutritional minerals in two types, macro and trace. The macro-minerals found include calcium, chloride, magnesium, iron, potassium and sodium. The trace minerals are fluoride, iodine, zinc and selenium. The body needs a balance of both macro and trace minerals to function properly. The popularity of Himalayan Salt has grown in the culinary world because of its nutritional value and pleasant taste. 

The salt also has health benefits for the skin. Simply taking a bath with sea salt twice a week can help draw out impurities from the skin. Soaking in a warm bath will open your pores and allow your skin to naturally absorb the minerals it needs to heal itself. Toss a handful of salt in the warm water and relax. After one month of taking a bath twice a week, there will be a change in your skin. You will notice a reduction in fine lines, wrinkles and cellulite. The salt helps balance the oil in your skin to give it the healthy glow you are looking for.

There are many benefits to Himalayan salt:
  • It helps in the digestion of nutrients in the walls of the intestines.
  • It contains calcium that is crucial for the formation of strong bones and teeth. As we get older, our bones, nails, teeth and hair become brittle. Calcium helps us build bone strength and mass, warding off common conditions such as osteoporosis.
  • It contains magnesium, which is essential to the healthy functioning of all the body's cells. It is the 11th most abundant mineral found in the human body. Soaking in a Himalayan salt bath will help with muscle cramping and soreness.  
  • It contains potassium, which is crucial to heart function and has been used to treat hypertension and heart conditions. 
  • It helps regulate blood pressure; unlike table salt that causes the body to retain unwanted water.
  • It contains copper and iron, which aide red blood cells, support the nervous system, improve the immune system, and promote healthy bone structure and blood vessel function. 
  • It helps lower the risk of kidney and gallbladder stones.
  • It help relieve the pain of arthritis and gout.
  • It helps with skin conditions like psoriasis, dry skin, acne, insect bites and blisters. 
It is easy to see why the ancients understood the importance of Himalayan salt and made it part of the daily routine.

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