Pink Himalayan Salt: Uses, Benefits, Side Effects, Precautions & More!

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Introduction:

Himalayan pink salt is a naturally pink coloured variety of salt that is mined in Pakistan near the Himalayan Mountains of South Asia. Pink Himalayan salt is mined like rock salt; however, it is technically sea salt. Salt is a nutrient that might plays an important role in maintaining human health.

However, excess salt in our diet can lead to high blood pressure, heart disease, and stroke. Himalayan pink salt is being used as an alternative to table salt due to its health benefits. Pink Himalayan salt has superior mineral content compared to table or sea salt. It contains lower sodium chloride compared to table salt. 1, 2

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Nutritional Value of Pink Himalayan Salt:

Pink Himalayan salt has many essential minerals and elements. However, many of these minerals are present in very small amounts and might not contribute to any health benefits. 3

Pink salt is essentially a type of sea salt. Pink salt is available in various regions such as Peru, Australia, Pakistan, etc. Companies producing Himalayan pink salts claimed that there are around 84 trace elements. However, the amount of minerals it contains depends on its source.

Dr. Siddharth Gupta, MD

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Potential Uses of Pink Himalyan Salt

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Respiratory Diseases:

Pink Himalayan salt is the purest variety of salt as it contains no chemicals or toxins. It possesses about 84 minerals that can be absorbed easily by the body due to their small molecular size. Pink Himalayan salt was used by ancient Greeks for clearing airways and improving breathing. Himalayan salt lamps are being used to remove dust, pollen, smoke, and other contaminants that could increase the risk of respiratory problems.

Himalayan salt inhalers can help cleanse the respiratory system and may relieve symptoms of asthma, hay fever, and allergies. Pink Himalayan salt might reduce symptoms of conditions like sinus infections and asthma. 4 You must consult a doctor for such conditions.

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Stress:

Pink Himalayan salt may enhance serotonin levels in your body. This chemical might help to reduce stress, boost energy and relieve depression. Pink Himalayan salt can help restore energy in your body. 4 There is lack of evidence for this benefit.

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Sound Sleep:

Due to its high mineral content, Himalayan pink salt may help you get sound sleep. A diet low in sodium can lead to irregular and disturbed sleep patterns. A hormone called cortisol is produced in response to stress. Cortisol can obstruct the flow of melatonin which may help the sleep hormone. Pink Himalayan salt lamps and inhalers might promote peaceful sleep by reducing stress. 4, 5 Please consult your doctor for proper advice.

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Digestion:

Pink Himalayan salt contains deepan (appetizing) and pachan (digestive) properties. These may help in solving digestive problems and prevent gas accumulation. Pink Himalayan salt can also help peristalsis (muscle contraction that moves food through the digestive tract). It helps regulate metabolism and promotes acid-alkaline balance. 5 These benefits may need further studies to establish.

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Skin:

Pink Himalayan salt contains detoxifying properties and may help to remove toxins from the skin, and thus may have some effect for clean and soft skin. It may keep the skin hydrated that makes it appear young and fresh. One of the reasons for acne is an imbalance in the skin pH. Pink Himalayan salt can balance the pH level of the skin and help with acne-free skin. Pink Himalayan salt can also used to treat skin conditions like eczema.6 However, you must consult with your Ayurvedic doctor or dermatologist before using any herb for your skin.

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Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Weight Loss:

Himalayan pink salt can aid in weight loss without producing any major side effects. Using Himalayan salt soles is a popular way that may aid in weight loss. The salt sole contains the essence of the salt this sole can be prepared by leaving a handful of pink salt granules in a jug filled with water overnight and letting it dissolve.

Excess salt intake causes water retention inside the cells of our body. Unlike table salt, Himalayan salt crystals expel extra water from the cells. Pink himalayan salt may additionally enrich the body with minerals and nutrients.7

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Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for Muscle Cramps:

Muscle cramps commonly occur due to magnesium deficiency. Pink Himalayan salt contains a adequate amount of magnesium and thus it may be effective in the management of muscle cramps.8 These benefits are not backed with sufficient scientific evidence thus an advice from a qualified doctor is recommended.

Potential Uses of Pink Himalayan Salt for The Heart:

Pink Himalayan salt might help to enhance blood circulation in the body. It may have some effect on regulating blood pressure levels and decreases the risk of heart attack.

Though studies show the benefits of pink himalyan salt against various disease conditions, these studies are insufficient and there is a need for further studies to establish the true extent of the benefits of pink himalyan salt on human health.

Also Read: Black Salt – Uses, Benefits, Side Effects & Precautions

According to some studies in Australia, pink salt found in those regions contains both nutrient and non-nutrient minerals. It includes nutrients like sodium, potassium, magnesium, calcium, iron, etc. The non-nutrients include aluminium, lead, mercury, etc. Even after processing, the presence of some impurities like lead, mercury and others can be observed. Furthermore, to provide sufficient value of these nutrients, one needs to consume a higher amount of pink salt compared to table salt. Therefore, it is essential to check on which region of pink salt you are buying.

Dr. Rajeev Singh, BAMS

How to Take Pink Himalayan Salt:

Himalayan salt is used in different ways depending on its use: 8

  • For cooking
  • For seasoning
  • For preserving food

Many people also might use Himalayan pink salt as a substitute for bath salts.

However, You must consult a qualified doctor before taking sesame seeds or any herbal supplements. Do not discontinue or replace an ongoing treatment of modern medicine with an ayurvedic/herbal preparation without consulting a qualified doctor.

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Side Effects of Pink Himalayan Salt:

Consuming too much salt can result in side effects. It is essential to keep all the possible risks in mind and take salt in moderation. The possible side effects of consuming exinclude: 9, 10

Kidney Disease

Excess salt intake can lead to high blood pressure and increase the risk of chronic kidney disease (CKD).

Bone Disorders

Consuming excess salt can result in excessive flushing out of calcium through urine. This might lead to osteoporosis.

Heart Diseases

High blood pressure is the most common cause of heart disease. Excess salt intake leads to hypertension.

Hypernatremia

This is a condition in which the sodium levels in the blood are too high. Hypernatremia produces serious health issues, out of which dehydration is a significant one. When the sodium content in the blood is very high, the body tries to set it right by moving water out of the cells into the bloodstream. Excess water is flushed out via urine along with other essential salts, leading to dehydration.

Fluids may accumulate in the lungs leading to difficulty in breathing. Symptoms such as nausea, weakness, vomiting, and intense thirst might also occur. However, such effects are yet to be confirmed by more research. Therefore, kindly do not self-medicate.

Precautions to Take with Pink Himalayan Salt:

It is essential to follow these precautions when using pink Himalayan salt for the following conditions:

  • Allergies- Some individuals might be allergic to Himalayan salt. You must stop using Himalayan salt if you develop allergic reactions like swelling, rashes, etc.
  • Pregnancy- There is not much scientific evidence to prove whether Himalayan salt can be consumed by pregnant women. Thus, it is better to avoid it during pregnancy.

Also Read: The Health Perks of Green Salt: An Exploration into Its Benefits

Interactions with Other Drugs:

Ayurvedic preparation can interact with your ongoing medications. Ayurvedic physician’s advice is to be followed thoroughly, as their prescription is based on keeping your health condition in mind. Please ensure to disclose all medications prescribed and currently being used to your doctor at the time of consultation.

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Frequently Asked Questions:

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References:

  1. McGill University Office for science and society. Is Himalayan pink salt better for you? [Internet] Available from: https://www.mcgill.ca/oss/article/health-and-nutrition-quackery-you-asked/himalayan-pink-salt
  1. Wikipedia. Himalayan salt. [Internet] Available from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Himalayan_salt
  1. National center for biotechnology information. An analysis of the mineral composition of pink salt available in Australia. [Internet] Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7603209/
  1. Alabama Nasal and sinus center. Himalayan salt lamps and inhalers-Fact or fiction? [Internet] Available from: https://alabamasinus.com/himalayan-salt-lamps-and-inhalers-fact-or-fiction/
  1. Dr. Axe. Pink Himalayan salt benefits: Better than regular salt? [Internet] Available from: https://draxe.com/nutrition/pink-himalayan-salt/
  1. PubMed. Cutaneous Na+ storage strengthens the antimicrobial barrier function of the skin and boosts macrophage-driven host defense. [Internet] Available from: https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/25738463/#:~:text=Finally%2C%20we%20found%20that%20increasing,as%20a%20barrier%20to%20infection
  1. Ezine articles. Himalayan pink salt for weight loss. [Internet] Available from: https://ezinearticles.com/?Himalayan-Pink-Salt-for-Weight-Loss&id=9633048
  1. Yogesh Kumar; Uses of rock salt in diet with table salt: A wonderful combination for good health. Journal of biological and chemical research. 2018 35 (1): 75-79 Available from: http://jbcr.co.in/Current_Issue/Volume%2035%20(1)%20Part%20A,%20January%20to%20June%202018/9.%20Paper%20rock%2075-79.pdf
  1. Harvard school of public health. Salt and sodium. [Internet] Available from: https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/
  1. National capital poison center. Sodium: Too much of a good thing. [Internet] Available from: https://www.poison.org/articles/sodium-too-much-of-a-good-thing
  1. American thyroid association. Iodine deficiency. [Internet] Available from: https://www.thyroid.org/iodine-deficiency/#:~:text=Iodine%20is%20an%20element%20that,cannot%20make%20enough%20thyroid%20hormone.

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Disclaimer:

The information included at this site is for educational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for medical treatment by a healthcare professional. Because of unique individual needs, the reader should consult their physician to determine the appropriateness of the information for the reader’s situation.