Pink Himalayan salt is considered to be one the most beneficial as well as the cleanest salts available today. It has all kinds of nutritional and therapeutic properties, not to mention culinary uses.

While it’s often used as a healthier option to processed salt, you can also use it to create homemade body scrubs and bath soaks. (There was also a Himalayan salt lamp trend that died out due it misleadi.)

While the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends adults keep sodium intake to less than 2,300 mg per day (roughly one teaspoon of table salt), salt is essential. After all, it’s essential for maintaining healthy functioning of the body’s cells, nerve conduction, digestion, as well as the absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste products.

The type of salt matters, too. Learn about the benefits of Himalayan salt, along with its many uses.

What Is Pink Himalayan Salt?

Pink Himalayan salt is a truly unique salt. It’s also referred to as pink salt, Himalayan salt, Himalayan sea salt, rock salt and Himalayan crystal salt. Historically, the people of the Himalayas have used this versatile salt to preserve meat and fish.

Himalayan salt comes from the Punjab region of Pakistan, about 190 miles from the Himalayas. A so-called salt range is one of the richest salt fields in the world, with ancient ocean deposits that date back to the Precambrian age.

Himalayan crystal salt comes from salt mines 5,000 feet deep below the Himalayan Mountain Range. The salt from these mines has experienced tremendous pressure over millions of years and is said to be over 99 percent pure.

Pink Himalayan salt’s color as well as its color variations are indicative of its mineral content. Himalayan salt can be pink, white or red in color.

Himalayan salt’s minerals are also very impressive. Pink Himalayan sea salt can contain over 84 minerals and trace elements, including calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron.

Nutrition Facts

One-quarter teaspoon (1.5 g) of Pink Himalayan salt contains:

  • Calories: 0
  • Total Carbohydrates: 0 g
  • Sugar: 0 g
  • Total Fat: 0 g
  • Protein: 0 g
  • Sodium: 420 mg (18% DV*)

*Daily Value: Percentages are based on a diet of 2,000 calories a day.

In addition to iron, pink Himalayan salt usually contains trace amounts of calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper and iron. Because it’s harvested by hand, each batch is different in terms of its mineral composition.

Pink Himalayan Salt vs. Other Salts

There are several types of sea salt, and they’re all substantially different. Learn how they differ along with a comparison to standard table salt.

1. Pink Himalayan salt vs. table salt

Table salt is also mined from underground salt deposits but is then heavily processed unlike Himalayan salt. This processing includes heating it to a high temperature, which alters its chemical composition and eliminates healthy minerals.

Commercial table salt is typically 97.5 percent to 99.9 percent sodium chloride, while a high-quality unrefined salt like Himalayan sea salt may be only about 87 percent sodium chloride.

Table salt typically had added iodine to support thyroid health while Himalayan salt does not.

2. Pink Himalayan salt vs. Celtic sea salt

Pink Himalayan salt and Celtic sea salt are often compared, as both offer health benefits and unique properties. Himalayan salt is pink while Celtic salt is gray.

While Himalayan salt comes from ancient ocean deposits in the mountains of Pakistan, Celtic salt is harvested from the sea (typically near Brittany, France). Both salts contain a high number of trace minerals.

3. Pink Himalayan salt vs. kosher salt

Used in kosher meat, kosher salt is made only from sodium chloride — without additives or iodine. Like pink salt, it’s often applied to foods.

Kosher salt may be used to help drain blood from meat prior to consumption in order to comply with Jewish laws.

4. Pink Himalayan salt vs. Fleur de Sel or Flor de Sal

Called the “flower of salt” because of its crystal pattern, this French–based sea salt exists as a thin, fragile crust on seawater’s surface as it evaporates. Like Himalayan salt, it’s typically used as a finishing salt.

5. Pink Himalayan salt vs. flake sea salt

Often sold under the brand Maldon sea salt flakes, this variety of sea salt can be formed naturally or produced by a variety of methods. This flaky sea salt possesses thin, flattened crystals — resulting in a quick-dissolving and crunchy salt.

While flake sea salt presents a saltier taste, it usually contains a lower amount of trace minerals than other sea salts.

6. Pink Himalayan salt vs. Hawaiian sea salt

This traditional Hawaiian salt (or alaea salt) can be red, white or even black. This unrefined sea salt is mixed with an iron oxide–rich volcanic clay called alaea, which often produces a distinctive light red color.

7. Pink Himalayan salt vs. Dead Sea salt

Unlike Himalayan salt, Dead Sea salt is not a culinary salt but instead typically used in skincare products and treatments. It comes from the salty waters of the Dead Sea.

Benefits

1. May improve respiratory problems

Originating in Europe and Russia, salt caves have been traditionally used to help relieve breathing problems. These salt caves now include Himalayan salt caves. They feature stable air temperature, higher humidity levels, no airborne pollutants or pollen, plus sea salt minerals like sodium potassium, magnesium and calcium.

According to a 2021 study published in the journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, inhaling “natural pure sodium chloride (NaCl) in a controlled environment (air temperature 18° to 24°C and relative humidity 40% to 60%) is called halotherapy.”

The NaCl aerosol particles penetrate all layers of the respiratory tract. These particles are antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, facilitate mucus movement and reduce immunogloblin E levels.

The above study concludes that clinical trails proved that salt therapy can help relieve symptoms and approve overall function for sinusitis, bronchiectasis, chronic bronchitis, mild and moderate asthma, and even chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).

2. Balances the body’s pH

Pink Himalayan sea salt’s rich mineral content can help balance your body’s pH levels. When your pH has a healthy acid-to-alkaline ratio, it makes a huge difference in your overall health.

A proper pH helps foster your immunity and encourage good digestion. Since Himalayan sea salt contains sodium as well as other electrolytes, it has a direct effect on the pH of your blood.

3. Natural digestive aid

Not getting enough salt in one’s diet can lead to a reduction of hydrochloric acid (HCL) in your stomach. Low stomach acid can negatively impact the digestive system and contribute to heartburn, stomach pain, vomiting and constipation.

Having enough sea salt (but not excessive amounts) can help the body produce proper amounts of HCL, as sea salt provides one of the building blocks of stomach acid called chloride.

Having enough stomach acid also helps our bodies absorb vitamins and minerals, like calcium, zinc, iron, folate and vitamin B12. For this reason, consuming a high-quality sea salt regularly can help your body absorb more nutrients from the foods that you eat.

You can even use pink Himalayan salt to make your own sole, a saturated solution containing purified water and Himalayan salt. Sole is very similar to a salt water flush recipe that can help relieve constipation. However, check with your healthcare professional before trying.

4. Rich in trace minerals and electrolytes

High-quality pink Himalayan salt typically contain upward of 80 trace minerals and is a great source of micronutrients.

While soil today often doesn’t contain many natural mineral content, trace minerals remain abundant in ancient sea beds where Himalayan salt comes from.

Himalayan salt also contains many of the major electrolytes, like sodium, magnesium, calcium and potassium, that play many important roles in the body — from regulating your heartbeat to allowing your muscles to contract so you can move.

5. Improves hydration levels

Sodium is important for fluid balance, for not getting enough can cause dehydration, particularly during intense or prolonged exercise.

By consuming sea salt in moderation each day, you also ensure that you maintain sufficient sodium levels, which helps balance your sodium-potassium ratios. Sodium and potassium are two electrolytes — often featured in electrolyte drinks — that work together to ensure that there is proper fluid balance in your body’s cells as well as your blood plasma and extracellular fluid.

6. Promotes brain, muscle and nervous system function

As a good source of sodium, sea salt is essential for proper brain, muscle and nervous system function. Not only does sodium play a role in regulating your body’s fluid balance, but it’s also required for the transmission of electrical signals in the body.

Without this communication system working as it should, the brain, muscles and nervous systems are especially inclined to suffer. Both too much and too little sodium cause cellular malfunction.

Uses

If you’re wondering when to use pink Himalayan salt, you can use it anytime you would use table salt or another variety of sea salt. It can also be used in homemade body scrubs and you can make a pink Himalayan salt bath.

Pink Himalayan salt usually is available in coarse varieties that showcase the large pink crystals, but you can also buy as finely ground pink salt.

You should always store salt in an airtight, covered container in a cool, dry place to keep it at its best.

Risks, Side Effects and Interactions

Make sure your Himalayan pink sea salt comes from Pakistan, which is the only true source of real Himalayan salt. If it’s not from Pakistan, it’s fake Himalayan pink salt.

Stay away from any “Himalayan salt” that’s sold at too low of a price. This may be a sign that the salt was collected from higher elevations rather from the deeper, more pure salt mines.

The salts from these higher levels are more likely to contain impurities, which makes them less health-promoting.

Since pink Himalayan salt contains so many minerals, it’s more beneficial to the body, but as a salt, it’s still naturally high in sodium. So as with any salt, you don’t want to overdo it. Consume less than a teaspoon per day, which is less than 2,300 mg per day.

Too much sodium in the diet (especially without enough potassium to balance things out) can lead to high blood pressure for some people. It can also lead to a concerning buildup of fluid in people with congestive heart failure, cirrhosis of the liver or kidney disease.

Final Thoughts

  • When used in moderation, salt really can be a healthy addition to your diet — especially if you make the upgrade to a pure, beneficial flavor enhancer like pink Himalayan sea salt. Not only is it rich in minerals, but it makes food taste great.
  • It can also be used in baths and to make homemade beauty products like body scrubs.
  • It can make so many meals that much tastier while also providing you with a boost of key nutrients and highly desirable health benefits.

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