Himalayan pink salt is white, rock salt mined in the foothills of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal and India. It's often described as "the salt of God." Since ancient times, people have used the rock salt for everything from cooking and medical treatments to building temples and flooring products.
Himalayan pink salt was used by the ancient Indian yogis as an essential ingredient in religious ceremonies. It's also been used for its healing benefits by healers in Tibet for thousands of years. Now we have scientific evidence to support much of the ancient claims. Scientific studies have found that Himalayan salt contains plenty of calcium, magnesium, zinc, iron, manganese, and selenium, which are beneficial to our health. A variety of research studies have shown the following benefits of Himalayan salt:
As mentioned above, one of the main benefits of Himalayan salt is for blood pressure control. High blood pressure is a leading cause of heart attack and stroke. Salt from the Himalayan Mountains lowers blood pressure often dramatically when taken daily. This is probably the most significant proof to date that Himalayan salt can be used as an important part of a healthy lifestyle.
Another benefit of Himalayan salt is that it increases circulation and lowers bad cholesterol. High blood pressure is partially responsible for atherosclerosis, the build up of cholesterol plaque in the arteries. Regular salt won't do much to reverse atherosclerosis, but Himalayan salt does. One theory is that salt causes the body to release more catechins an essential chemical in neurotransmitters such as serotonin and Adrenalin which help to regulate heart rhythm and artery movement. Other research suggests a connection between Himalayan salt and hypertension.
High blood pressure is also believed to play a role in diabetes. Salt from the Himalayan Mountains appears to lower levels of insulin in diabetics. The lower levels of insulin lead to higher blood pressure, so the lower levels of insulin may lower blood pressure. If true, this could have enormous implications for a huge percentage of the world's population. If Himalayan salt helps control blood pressure, then many people with chronic health conditions could be at risk for a new, possibly fatal disease type II diabetes.
Salt from the Himalayan Mountains can also lower cholesterol and aid in weight loss. One study showed that a low sodium diet helped overweight men lose more body weight than a control group who took a high-salt diet. In another study, overweight men given a moderate amount of Himalayan salt (about half of the typical teaspoon) for four weeks lost more body water and showed greater overall weight loss than a control group who took a high-salt diet only. There are numerous other studies that support the idea of the benefits of Himalayan salt in helping to control high blood pressure. Most of the research is on Asian populations, but the results seem very promising. People in many other countries are also considering Himalayan salt for use in their daily health care.
Another area where Himalayan salt could have a positive effect is in the field of cosmetic medicine. It has long been thought that salt affects the skin's health, leading to blemishes or acne. Scientific evidence now supports the theory that Himalayan salt enhances skin health. This is especially important because of the stressors we face every day in our work and home environments, which can cause an increase in the production of toxins, free radicals and stress hormones.
It is not just Himalayan salt that is benefiting people in these areas. Other types of salt and rock salt are also gaining in popularity for various health benefits. The benefits of this type of salt vary from person to person, depending on how it is used. Some people believe that rock salt is better for your heart and arteries because it helps to reduce hypertension. Others feel that activated carbon granules have a similar affect as Himalayan salt, leading to reduced heart disease and cancer risk.