It appears that the world has caught on to the power of salt for its many health benefits beyond the daily recommended amount you consume in food. Everywhere you turn, there seems to be another use for salt to improve health. Always on the hunt for products that’ll support my wellness journey, I’ve tried out many iterations of this miracle mineral first-hand. If you’ve ever been curious to see if salt is the real deal for improving your health, read on!
We can all agree that salt tastes great, but it is also an essential element for regulating the proper functions of your body. The two minerals that make up salt, sodium and chloride, are electrolytes that conduct electricity in your bodily fluids and tissues. This electricity is necessary for the proper function of your muscles, nerves, and organs. Simply put, without salt, your body would cease to function. Apart from ingesting salt, there are many external uses for it that provide a surprising amount of health benefits.
Himalayan Salt Lamps
I purchased my first Himalayan salt lamp a few months ago because of the claims that it cleanses the air of pollutants like mold and allergens. Himalayan salt has a pinkish hue and is found only in Pakistan. The heated block of salt attracts water vapor that contains these pollutants and traps them in there. These lamps are also supposed to reduce electromagnetic radiation by canceling out the harmful positive ions of the electromagnetic radiation that come from smartphones, tablets and laptops.
Although it may be difficult to find supportive scientific studies, all that radiation is supposed to be harmful, so I figured it was worth trying out. I greatly enjoy the soft, relaxing light that my lamp gives off, and have noticed that I sleep better since putting it in my bedroom. You can easily find these lamps at Bed Bath and Beyond, Natural Grocers, and Amazon, to name a few places.
Epsom or Dead Sea Salt Baths
Epsom salt baths have been used to reduce anxiety and irritability and improve sleep patterns for centuries. They can supposedly even help with constipation. Fun fact: epsom salt is not actually salt! It’s a pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, which is what makes it so effective in treating sore muscles, stiff joints, bruising, and even constipation.
I have been suggesting that my clients take an epsom salt bath in the evening after their massage session for years. From my experience, a 20-minute soak in a warm bath containing 2 cups of epsom salt is therapeutic and will help your body to detox. It relieves muscle aches by increasing both the circulation and the magnesium in your system. Make it even more relaxing by adding an essential oil like lavender.
In fact, I have a client whose doctor advised her to increase her magnesium intake. She started with magnesium supplements but it wasn’t until she began taking epsom salt baths that her magnesium levels returned to normal!
Dead sea salt as an alternative that I enjoy just as much. By adding it to your bath, you gain the benefits of its naturally occurring minerals (magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride, and bromides), such as improving conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Both types of baths are beneficial, so I do not suggest one over the other; I always encourage my clients to experiment with both and see which they like best.
If you’re looking to avoid or get rid of a cold, halotherapy treatments might be just what the doctor ordered. Halotherapy is a centuries-old method of using salt vapor to treat respiratory issues like bronchitis and asthma. I tried halotherapy back in December to see if I could avoid getting a cold. My husband actually had a cold at the time so we went together. On top of being a relaxing experience, I can make the argument that it helped me avoid catching my husband’s cold. He definitely saw some improvement after the fact, too. While it may be considered folk medicine by some, I think that halotherapy is worth a try!
Sensory deprivation in a flotation tank is an excellent way to unplug from the world and de-stress. And the essential ingredient needed to make a flotation tank possible? You guessed it: epsom salt. Essentially, you float in a tank filled with salt water until you have completely zoned out. It was an interesting experience for me that resulted in a state of total relaxation that lasted hours after the session. And my skin was super soft, too! It might sound a little “out-there” but I recommend flotation therapy for anyone who might be experiencing chronic stress.
Sea Salt vs. Table Salt
When it comes to consuming salt for dietary purposes, avoid table salt! Iodized table salt has been processed and stripped of any minerals necessary for health. And did you know that manufacturers add anti-clumping agents like E554 sodium aluminosilicate (a substance that is banned in organic foods) and bleaching additives? Opt for sea salt instead, which is virtually unprocessed and will deliver all the minerals and flavor you need without adding anything unnecessary.
Do you think salt is a miracle mineral? What have your experiences with it been? Let me know in the comments below!