One day in the kitchen while my mother was cooking, I noticed her using an unfamiliar ingredient. It was crystallized like salt and of color pink, that’s when I asked her what it is. “This is Himalayan salt.”, she said. That’s when I finally became familiar of it.
What is Himalayan Salt?
In Punjab, Pakistan, they extract a very unique kind of rock salt called the Himalayan salt.
The Himalayan salt is extracted from what they call the Salt Range mountains, which is found at the southern side of the Himalayas.
Himalayan salt can be easily recognized when compared to normal table salts like rock salt and iodized salt because of how unique the Himalayan salt looks. It gives off a pinkish color and looks like real crystals.
What made the Himalayan salt look that way?
The components of the salt is comprised of 98 percent sodium chloride, just like normal table salt. While the remaining 2 percent is of minerals called trace minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. Those trace minerals contribute to the salt’s pinkish color. They are also the reason why Himalayan salt tastes different compared to usual table salt.
However, they have the same purpose as the other salts. Himalayan salt is also used for cooking, but there have been new products in the market that are produced from Himalayan salts; one of them the Himalayan salt lamp which we will discuss later on.
Benefits of Salt in the Body
Salt’s main component is sodium chloride. The human body too, contains ample amount of sodium chloride. Our bodies contain sodium chloride that is 0.4% equal to the body’s weight.
Since we already have enough sodium content in our body, why do we still need salt?
It helps the body stay hydrated
Perfect hydration of the body consists of good, balanced amounts of sodium and potassium. The sodium acts as an agent that help retain the water in the body, the potassium then balances it. In this case, forms of salt that contain both sodium and potassium; like sea salt and the pink Himalayan salt, are better compared to normal table salt that just contains sodium chloride.
It helps promote good cardiovascular health
The kinds of salt that promote health are those that are like sea salt and Himalayan salt, since they contain other minerals that are essential for the body. These salts act against some forms of cardiovascular disease like heart disease. Just always remember to pick the right type of salt to consume because the healthy ones are those that are composed of not just sodium chloride.
It helps balance electrolytes and prevent muscle cramps
Again, this is applicable to salts that contain sodium chloride and other minerals like potassium, magnesium, and calcium. By containing those minerals, these salts produce electrolytes in the body that balance the amount of water in the body. Electrolytes are also the ones present in most sports drinks.
It helps promote a healthy nervous system
Because water flow is an important process that is relevant to a healthy nervous system, the contribution of the healthy salts (sea salt and Himalayan salt) is essential. Also, the water used by the nervous system needs enough salt to send and receive signals within itself.
It helps promote better sleep
Again, the electrolytes produced by the healthy salts contribute to the regulation of hormones that promote better sleep.
Too Little or Too Much
Too little of something may cause complications, just like how it is if there is too much. This is also applicable in the case of salt in the body. Let’s have a short discussion regarding these conditions.
Low Sodium Levels
When a person experiences low sodium levels, there is a chance that it is due to too much water in the body. There are also instances that can result to low sodium such as diarrhea and vomiting, burns, heart failure, drinking too many water, hypothyroidism, and Addison disease.
It may also turn bad when the sodium levels in the blood go lower, since it will affect the activity of the brain. There will be a feeling of uneasiness and the person may get tired easily. Another symptom that can be experienced is muscle twitches that can eventually lead to the more fatal ones like seizures, loss of consciousness, coma, and even death. The following symptoms can happen in a fast pace if the sodium level in the body falls too fast.
High Sodium Levels
In the case of high sodium level, it mainly affects the cardiovascular system of the body. The excess intake may cause problems like hypertension or high blood pressure, and even kidney diseases that may eventually lead to heart disease and stroke.
Another risk of a high sodium level is its effect to the body’s immune system. The excessive sodium in the body may possibly overstimulate the immune system, therefore leading to bad and fatal autoimmune conditions like lupus, allergies, and multiple sclerosis among others.
Since we already have lots of ideas regarding Himalayan salt and salt in general, let us now discuss the Himalayan salt lamp and their supposed health benefits, without them being consumed.
Himalayan Salt Lamp: Do They Really Work?
These days Himalayan salt lamps sure give off a good impression to people; primarily because of how the salt itself is beneficial. The lamps are, however, just the salt that is made into a decorative lamp, but there aren’t much proof about how they are beneficial as lamps.
Nonetheless, there have been hearsays and myths about what Himalayan salt lamps can do.
Himalayan salt lamps are beautiful lamps that are used as decorations, at the same time there are rumors about how these lamps can work against allergies, and their other benefits like how they can clean the air at home, and even boost mood and promote better sleep.
It is believed that they do wonders like how Himalayan salt does in the human body. The salt lamps are often addressed as natural ionizers.
Again, there are a few claims about the health benefits of Himalayan salt lamps but they are somehow not proven to be super effective yet. However, here are the supposed benefits of Himalayan salt lamp:
- Clean the air at home
- Boosts your mood
- Promotes better sleep
These benefits may not be proven effective yet, but the beauty of that lamp itself has its own benefits as a decoration:
- Himalayan salt lamps serve as a beautiful decoration.
- Himalayan salt lamps emit light that creates a relaxing ambiance.