Are You Scared of Salt?

Is Salt Healthy- Benefits and Uses of Real Salt

Chances are, if you follow mainstream medical advice or watch the news, you’ve seen some negative press about salt.

In fact, the low-sodium industry is booming!

Thank goodness that this sodium reduction, along with a low-fat diet and eating more whole grains has so greatly increased the health of Americans over the last few decades…

What’s that? It hasn’t?

Well maybe you can see the importance of eating good fats, or why grains are unhealthy, but you agree that too much salt isn’t healthy at all.

And you’d be right… if we are talking about the chemically produced table salt that is added to most processed foods, meats and snacks.

Table Salt = BAD!

Table salt, which is 97% Sodium Chloride (NaCl) is chemically produced, bleached and devoid of most other nutrients. It also contains Aluminum in many cases, which has been linked to Alzheimers disease and other problems in the body.

This type is not naturally occurring and in fact, when salt-water fish are placed in salt water made with table salt… they die.

It is also devoid of the many trace minerals that the body needs… so it is a wise decision to avoid it.

The problem is, that when companies reduce table salt in their foods to make it low-sodium, they don’t replace it with trace minerals and healthier options, they often replace it with MSG and other chemical additives to achieve the flavor.

Different Types

Unfortunately, many of the studies done on sodium consumption use table salt in the research, so there is now a body of evidence showing that salt consumption is harmful, when in reality, no distinction has been made between chemically created table salt and natural forms containing trace minerals.

If you have any table salt around your house, I’d recommend that you stop using it immediately. Don’t throw it out though… you can use it in natural cleaning and stain treatment. (Just don’t eat it!)

Real Salt = Good!

is salt healthy importance of saltTo the degree that table salt is bad, real salt is healthy, necessary and good.

While the research linking regular table salt to disease and health disorders is correct, we’ve thrown out the baby with the (salt) water.

Consider this:

  • The body contains high concentrations of many minerals and nutrients, and while it needs water, it also must have the proper concentration of these nutrients in bones, blood and organs to function properly.
  • A person can’t be given an IV of plain water- it must contain a careful balance of minerals, including sodium!
  • Salt, in its natural form is not only necessary for the body to function, but it is extremely important in the right concentration for optimal health.

While many accept the common belief that high sodium intake leads to hypertension:

In a study of 60,000 nurses followed by Harvard researchers, those whose diet was very low in calcium or magnesium had a 23 percent greater chance of developing high blood pressure over four-years. (source)

Other studies have shown that it is actually proper calcium, magnesium and other mineral balance, not sodium reduction, that improves blood pressure, hypertension and other problems.

In fact,

The notion that salt intake and blood pressure were intimately related emerged early in this century when doctors discovered that they could lower the high blood pressure of people with kidney failure by feeding them a rice-based diet extraordinarily low in salt.

Unconvinced, this eventually led to more comprehensive research on worldwide salt intake, which found that:

And in 1989, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine decided to re-evaluate the link between salt and blood pressure through a study of more than 10,000 people in 52 cultures around the world. Participants ranged from Yanomamo Indians in Brazil, whose diet is almost salt free, to residents of northern China, who eat as much salt in a day as a Yanomamo eats in three years.

Instead of merely estimating salt consumption, the researchers calculated precise values based on urine samples. They took into consideration obesity and alcohol consumption.

Among their findings were that except in a few places with extremely low salt consumption, the amount of sodium in the diet was unrelated to the prevalence of hypertension in a society or to its average blood pressure. Moreover, although the high rates of hypertension in the United States had long been considered a function of this country’s love for salty processed food, the study placed Americans right in the middle of the world’s salt intake curve.

Additionally:

A decade ago, when researchers at the University of Indiana put patients on a low-salt diet, they found that blood pressure went down in about a third of patients, but that in an equal number it actually rose. Dr. Pavel Hamet of the University of Montreal recently studied 200 Canadians with widely varying salt intakes and found that the saltiness of the diet bore no relation to whether a person was hypertensive, as long as the subject had adequate calcium in the diet and was not a heavy drinker.

Many of the studies done on the supposed link between sodium intake and hypertension are used to justify a low-sodium diet, especially in cardiac patients. Unfortunately, these studies fail to take into account the difference between real salt and chemical versions, and the importance of proper salt consumption in the reduction of risk of other health problems like osteoporosis, cancer, arthritis, skin conditions, hormone balance and nerve function.

If you’ve been limiting salt for health reasons, you must differentiate between chemical table salt and healthy nutrient-dense salt.

Do you Experience

  • Cellulite
  • High Blood Pressure
  • Kidney Stones
  • Gall Bladder Problems
  • Sore or Swollen Joints
  • Gout
  • Fatigue
  • Brain Fog
  • Poor Sleep
  • Asthma or Respiratory Illness
  • Irregular heart beat
  • Poor adrenal health
  • Diabetes or blood sugar issues
  • Poor muscle tone or lack of coordination
  • Water retention, edema or swelling (actually result from too little salt… not too much!)

These are all conditions that can result from too little sodium and trace minerals and the resulting mineral imbalance.

It is important to note that regular table salt can actually make these conditions worse because it will create more mineral imbalance by delivering too much sodium and chloride and not enough of the other necessary minerals.

Through our efforts to remove processed table salt with the low-sodium craze (a good thing to remove) we have created a deficiency of necessary minerals.

Benefits of Natural Salt

The negatively charged ions in real salt, especially when combined with water, support a host of hormonal, chemical and electrical processes in the body.

Its trace mineral concentration makes it especially supportive of nerve and heart health. (Scary, since cardiac patients are often told to reduce sodium). Some doctors have even had success in improving irregular heart beat and lessening neurological disorders with proper doses of real salt.

Some other health-related processes that salt can support are:

  • Food absorption: Proper mineral balance in food and water  helps the body absorb and assimilate food and water better.
  • Cell Cleansing– The negatively charged ions in real salt and the trace mineral concentration let it cross into cells and pull toxins from them.
  • Blood Pressure– Some evidence shows that it may actually helps regulate blood pressure (not raise it) when taken in the correct amounts.
  • Heart Health- The negative ions in real salt help stabilize an irregular heart beat and support electro-chemical reactions in the body.
  • pH Balance- It is alkalizing and may help balance the body’s pH.
  • Blood Sugar- Proper mineral balance from real salt helps increase insulin sensitivity and has even been shown helpful in patients with diabetes. (Note: It is especially helpful with type II diabetes, and while Type I diabetes cannot be reversed, it helps nutrient assimilation and other health factors in patients with Type I diabetes as well)
  • Allergies– Some evidence shows that real salt dissolved in warm water is an effective natural antihistamine.
  • Asthma and Sinus Trouble– Some patients experience asthma and sinus relief from taking salt internally and from using a salt inhaler. Salt can also be helpful in clearing up excess mucous and phlegm.
  • Improved sleep– Balancing the trace minerals in the body is supportive of hormone processes and can improve sleep quality and duration.
  • Reproductive Health– By supporting natural hormone function, real salt is also supportive of natural fertility  and can improve reproductive health in both men and women.
  • Cellulite– There is some evidence that cellulite is lessened by proper intake of regular salt. (I’ve seen this personally)
  • Cell Communication– Its pH and ion concentration help improve chemical communication between cells.
  • Muscle Cramps/Tension– The trace minerals and pH in real salt help alleviate muscle cramps (magnesium is also important here). This is one reason that you often see athletes soak in salt water/epsom salt baths.
  • Bone Health- Over 1/4 of the body’s salt is in the bones. When sodium and trace mineral stores are not high enough in the body, it can pull salt from the bones to keep the rest of the body functioning. This can be a tremendous factor in osteoporosis. Magnesium is important here as well)
  • Adrenal and Thyroid Health- the pH and trace minerals in salt are extremely important for proper adrenal and thyroid function. If you suffer from problems with either of these glands, increasing salt consumption can greatly help improve symptoms.
  • Nerve function– The electrical properties in real salt help support proper nerve function and communication throughout the body.
  • Water Content of Body– Just as an IV must be in the proper electrolyte concentration to be absorbed, the trace mineral in real salt help the body naturally regulate the amount of water and trace minerals it needs.
  • Sexual Health– The same hormone-supporting properties of salt make it supportive of healthy libido and sexual function
  • Digestive Health– When consumed with water, it can help optimize the environment in the digestive system and increase stomach acid. This makes it helpful in dealing with digestive disorders, heartburn and other digestive problems.
  • Though not scientifically studied, there are cases of doctors helping or eliminating conditions in their patients with the use of real salt and water, including: arthritis, lyme disease, hypertension, neurological disorders, skin issues.
  • Eczema and Psoriasis– The same helpful properties make it helpful both internally and externally for skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
  • Oral Health– its trace minerals can be helpful for oral health and for remineralizing teeth. Swishing with a salt water mixture daily can help improve oral health.

What Kind is Best?

At our house, we have several different types of natural salt (black lava, Celtic sea salt, etc.) but our favorite BY FAR is Himalayan Salt.

This type of salt is found deep in the Himalayan mountains and contains all 84 trace minerals needed by the body. It is naturally pink or red and has a much milder flavor.

In my opinion, this is the highest quality salt available, as it is from the mineral rich Himalayan mountains and is not affected by the chemicals and toxins that are increasing in quantity even in natural sea salt.

I add this type of salt to almost all of our foods, and even take it plain in water at times.

Other real salts like Celtic Sea Salt and Black Lava Salt (contains activated charcoal) are also beneficial.

How To Consume It

If you aren’t used to consuming salt, it may be difficult to make a transition back to healthy consumption (though many people find that their bodies crave it and respond very well immediately).

If you aren’t used to eating enough, there are some easy ways you can increase your intake:

  • Add it to your foods and avoid processed foods or eating out, since you will consume large amounts of processed table salt. Salt to taste and don’t worry about eating too much.
  • Drink 1/2 tsp of quality salt in a quart of water daily to help raise your electrolyte and trace mineral levels. (This mixture is called Sole)
  • Soak in a relaxing bath with added magnesium and Himalayan or Celtic Salt (2 tablespoons of each).
  • For skin issues: Make a poultice of real salt and water (or honey) and apply to areas with eczema or psoriasis.
  • Make a scrub with finely powdered sea salt and natural oil (like coconut or olive) to use as an exfoliant in the shower.
  • Use a salt board for cooking and curing foods
  • If you suffer from asthma or allergies, try a sea salt inhaler to help alleviate symptoms
  • Use a Himalayan Salt Bar “Soap” in the shower to sooth and heal skin (some say this is very anti-aging) and is very gentle for children with eczema
  • Use a Salt Deodorant Bar if you are sensitive to even natural deodorants
  • Swish daily with a salt water mixture in the mouth for 30-60 seconds. The trace minerals will help remineralize teeth and the pH of the salt will help improve the pH of the mouth.
  • Make sure you are also consuming enough magnesium and other minerals, as most people are also deficient in magnesium. Magnesium will help absorption of other minerals and vice versa.
  • Though it won’t help sodium levels in the body, there is some evidence that a Himalayan salt lamp can ionize and cleanse the air. Either way, they are pretty!

We get our Himalayan Salt at a discount from here, which is the cheapest and highest quality source I’ve found.

Real salt is necessary for so many things within the body and this is one health change that is easy (and tasty) to make.

Our bodies naturally crave salty foods, and many people even crave the beach (real salt plus vitamin D!). Make sure you are consuming enough!

What are your thoughts on salt? Scared of it? Unsure? Avid salt eater? Weigh in below!

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Reader Interactions

Reader Comments

  1. On what do you base your statement that the Amazon salt doesn’t appear to be as high a quality salt?   I couldn’t find anything on either site that made that clear.   Other than marketing words that the Amazon one is the “highest quality available.”   I buy the Trader Joe’s Himalayan Salt grinder and I love it but how do I determine its quality?

    • I was just comparing those two based on the taste and how dissolvable they are since I’ve personally tried both. I haven’t tried the Trader Joe’s version, but if it is pink or red it should be good.

  2. I am THRILLED to find this website.  Thank you soooooo very much for sharing all of this information.  I have battled breast cancer for 2 1/2 years and have just finished chemo and radiation….so now that all of my treatments are over, I want to focus on everything I can to transition to a healthy lifestyle for myself and my family….husband and 3 daughters.  Thank you so much for taking the time to share all of this!  I will visit often and share this site with others!!!

    • Thanks for reading and congrats on beating cancer! That is wonderful that you are focusing on a healthy lifestyle for you and your family! Some other things that might help with the jump start to healthier living (and boost the body after chemo) are magnesium (magnesium oil is good), probiotics, gelatin (to help cell regeneration), Vitamin D and vitamin C. If you haven’t already, cutting the grains a sugar, even for a few months, should help too! Good luck 🙂

  3. Enlightening post! I’ve been limiting salt intake for a long time now. I’m not sure we can get Himalayan salt where I live, though. I’ve been using Real Salt for a while now, though. It’s apparently from an ancient sea bed in Utah and it’s pink.

    • That’s what i use and it is great stuff and taste very good . I’v have done this water and salt cure for almost 3years and i got rid of cancer and fill im in my 20s and im 61 .

  4. What about iodine? I use celtic salt too but am not sure I include enough foods w/ iodine in them.  Is the only way to get enough by taking supplements?

    • You can add kelp powder to foods or just make sure to get enough iodine containing foods. There is some controversy over supplemental iodine, so I’d try to the real food sources first…

      • I have thyroid issues (autoimmune in nature) and only do real salt (currently Redmond’s but will definitely try Himalayan too!). If I take any type of iodine supplement or kelp supplement I notice I develop thyroid pain/swelling within a couple of days, but I seem to do great with eating normal servings of kelp a couple of times a week. I like SeaSnax.

        • Be careful with that thyroid. I know 2 women that had out. Thyroid also if taken out, causes horrific mood swings, both women after were diagnosed bi-polar..Keep it! Do everything you can to control. I have high blood pressure, and on 2 meds, Lisinipril & Norvasc, at night a calcium channel blocker. I am wrestling as to sea salt & no iodine or continue with what I am using, Salt Sense by Diamond Chrystal, 33% less sodium, but with iodine. I’m 74 too…last few years craving more sweets, like cookies. Never had a sweet tooth either in my life. Fun isn’t it? Good we can all post.

        • Kristin, My functional doctor has helped me a lot with Hashimotos, and has specialized in that field for many years now with a lot of success. He has encouraged me to NOT take iodine, including kelp. He has also asked me to switch from Himalayan salt to sea salt, as Himalayan has more iodine in it. The autoimmune nature of Hashimotos sees iodine as TPO or tTG, and it revs up the autoimmune attack (The numbers in T3 and T4 refer to the number of iodine molecules). That is why you feel swelling in your thyroid when you take iodine. Swelling indicates inflammation from heightened auto immunity. For most people with low thyroid, iodine is very helpful, but for Hashimotos it is not. So, I’d stick with sea salt, and avoid kelp and see if you have less flare ups.

          • . . . oops, just TPO is affected. Here is an interesting article about iodine for Hoshis by Dr. Kharrazian. http://thyroidbook.com/blog/iodine-and-hashimotos/
            To clarify, he suggests limiting/avoiding iodine, but of course it should be found in any healthy diet in small amounts anyway. As a necessary part of our diet, we must have some iodine. But, his point is that taking a supplement causes a risk for Hoshis folks.

          • your doctor is an idiot. i would suggest doing research about the infinite healing benefits of iodine and the dangers of being iodine deficient instead of listening to one dumb man.

    • This has me worried as well. The Redmond Sea Salt that we use has a tiny amount of iodine, but my husband says it’s not enough. After researching we qualify as one of those remote inland places that doesn’t naturally get enough iodine. But, when I found a “sea salt” with added iodine, it also had dextrose, which just seemed completely pointless to me. I think I’m going to look into the iodine containing foods first.

        • I recently read an article based on Stanford (if i remember correctly) tests that show that 9 out of 10 natural kelp products contain dangerous amounts of arsenic. This research was spawned after a woman became toxic from kelp supplement.

  5. What kind of salt do you use/recommend in baking? That’s the only reason I keep regular table salt around – is Himalayan salt a good replacement?

      • My Himalayan salt recommends adding it after cooking. I tend to forget to add salt after cooking so I tend to eat my food without salt. Is there a reason for not adding the Himalayan salt during cooking?

        • I am also wondering about this. I also think that adding salt after cooking does not effect the overall flavour of the food in quite the same way, so I would prefer to cook with salt. If I find out anything, I will post an update 🙂

  6. Hi there!  Wondering what your thoughts are on Redmond’s Real Salt.  It’s what we’ve been using for years. It has pinkish brown tones throughout.

  7. Hi there, I’m just curious what made you so confident in this specific type of salt, despite all of the scam articles being published about it? If you search “Himalayan Salt Scam,” tons of articles come up about how it has too much flouride, that it isn’t really found in the Himalayans, etc. I’m pretty much on board to switch to this stuff, but I’d like to know what had you convinced?

    • There is definitely research on both sides… just as there is with pretty much anything out there… Have you seen what they say about grains :-). Anyway, I’ve done a lot of research on this, and tried different salts across the board, and found Himalayan salt to be the highest quality. Certainly, though, there are other good alternatives like Celtic salt, if you aren’t convinced about Himalayan.

  8. Hello!  I’m new to your site and I’ve been devouring all the great information on your site.  Your articles in particular have pushed us over the edge in leading us to a grain-free diet (something I never thought my husband would get on board with!).  My question is in regard to salt consumption in babies.  I have a very picky 8-1/2-month-old who is only really interested in the food that I am putting in my mouth.  I have tried setting salt-free portions of whatever we are eating aside for her, but she just doesn’t want it (smart little booger).  We use mainly Himalayan salt in all our cooking.  Do you think it’s OK to let her eat salted food off of my plate?  Or should I just keep trying to push the unsalted version until she gets past the first year?  Thanks!

    • I love this site I read an article about a man who used Himalayan salt to cure his neuropathy so I tried it and it seems to be working for me in one week I have regained about 50% of the feeling back in my hands. My energy level is through the roof and I do not seem to be as hungry as I was before. Just a word about grain. God created the Cow and the grain fields. In the old days before dry cereal man had mush which was soaked grain for 24 hours and cows milk. The grain created a 3 stage peristaltic action in the colon ( the colon is U shaped and all sides of the colon are moving) most foods cause a 1 stage peristaltic action meaning just one side of the colon is moving. Then along came Dry cereal. and no more 3 stage action then came pasteurization and homogenization of milk taking the good qualities away from the milk we drink. Originally as we ate the mush with the cows milk the grain would absorb the the fat and cholesterol from the milk and the milk would act as a buffer protecting the grain from irritating the lining of the stomach. So if you can soak your white wheat or better yet Kamut a rare wheat that was extinct until about 25 years ago, found in a pyramid in Egypt and not altered by man. Then go milk Elsie the Cow this is still the best thing for you. But 1% or 2% milk will not buffer the grain and the grain will surely cause allergies and other health problems.

  9. Silly feds. Did they never take biology? You learn in biology that the nervous system absolutely requires salt to function properly. It’s not like you can just ignore one system in the name of saving another. That’s simply causing more problems. I’m excited to go out and buy some of this real salt. I think my family will love it.

  10. Great detailed article. I use Himalayan crystal salt and think if it’s the real thing laid down before we polluted the oceans so much it would have to be better than even Celtic or any other varieties.

  11. I’ve been running from salt for years & encouraging others to do so also. This is very eye opening information. Thank You!

  12. Hi! We also like to use the himalayan salt! Thanks for all the health info on it! I didn’t know how important it is for our bodies! We get ours from San Francisco Salt Company. They have great prices! We like to buy it in 25lb bags and share with our family. I’m curious to know how you can tell the quality of it!

    • I’m curious about this as well. We get ours the same from there and I have really wanted to know how much bromide and fluoride are in there. :S It has me a bit worried, but they have darn good prices and customer service.

    • If you get sea salt from the salt farms along San Francisco bay, well, that’s a very polluted bay, although the name does sound cool. Best to start with clean water.

  13. Can you give any research or sources for this statement “Water retention, edema or swelling (actually result from too little salt… not too much!)”. My husband is in the middle of Congestive Heart Failure and we are limiting his salt consumption to try to alleviate some of his congestion along with diuretics. Unfortunately it’s not helping. We’re not seeing any correlation between cutting his salt intake and his congestion. I understand that the doctors believe the salt will make him retain more water, his kidneys think there is blood loss somewhere (because of the lower blood flow in his system) and the kidneys send more fluid into the blood stream causing more blood to back up at his heart and push congestion into/around his lungs. Anyway, I’d love to see any sources that can help us feel better about “failing” at the salt reduction and not seeing a reduction in fluid retention. Any other reading sources about this? Love lov love your blog.
    Thanks, Megan

  14. We switched to using red sea salt years ago for cooking. We don’t have table salt in our house. I have had the suspicion that my thyroid is under active for some time (Cold hands and feet, low energy) but have never been diagnosed with hypothyroidism. I want to try to increase my iodine levels to see if that will boost my thyroid function before I resort to more drastic measures. I’ve read that sea salt has iodine, but only very minute trace ammounts, not as much as a person needs in a day (about 150 mcg. What are your thoughts on how much a person needs?) Does the himalayan salt have more iodine in it than sea salt?

  15. I love my salt. I regularly use the A.Vogel Herbamare herbsalt as well as Himalayan pink salt and Celtic sea salt. I just bought a selection of Hawaiian black salt and Hawaiian red salt as well as some apple smoked sea salt. I’m very excited about using is and yes, I LOVE salt.

  16. Hi, I have read articles about himalayan salt scam. Is this true? Some articles also say that some just sell regular table salt but dye it pink and still sell it as 100% pure himalayan salt…
    I have been using a brand called Sundhed himalayan salt. How do I know if it’s REALLY 100% real and pure?
    Thanks!

    • Hi, I have read the same article, and it also had me worried. To avoid any confusion and to be 100% sure of the source, I use Real Salt. Company is transparent, there are videos on YouTube from their facilities, inside the factory etc. Completely traceable where it originates. It is also in the USA so has to comply with the strict rules rather than being mined somewhere in Pakistan, an unstable region and poor workforce in my view. I am surprised Wellness Mama does not promote it more on her blog instead preferring Celtic Salt as her second choice. I would not use Celtic as it is from current oceans and they are polluted now. That is my opinion.

  17. What are your thoughts on soda water or sparkling water? Does that have natural-occurring salts in it? Is this a healthy form of sodium (although I’m guessing it is a very low dose).

  18. Don’t forget all the analogies about salt and life in the Bible. Ancient, traditional wisdom still relevant for today! 🙂

  19. Wonderful blog! I learn so much from your posts everyday, thank you for sharing all of this great information. My question is a little off subject. What is your opinion on the Himalayan salt lamps? I’ve been on a quest for air purification in our home and a salt lamp came up, so I did some investigating. Their biggest selling poing is ionizing the air but as a side bonus they also remove allergens and mold from the air which is what we are trying to do anyways. Do you think a salt lamp would be a better investment for air purification than an electric air purifier? Thanks for your time.

  20. I can’t find any info on this, I live right by the ocean so can I just evaporate some water and use that salt? It would have all the same nutrients as the expensive stuff right? I made some and it’s a little brown looking which I take to be a good sign. I didn’t boil it before I let it evap so I’m a little sketch on using it. Any input?

    • I would be concerned about pollution/contaminants/heavy metals/etc in regular ocean water. That’s why Himalayan salt and RealSalt – which are both mined from deep protected salt mines – are considered superior to standard unprocessed sea salt. Great idea though!

  21. I have been drinking a morning tonic of 2 tsp acv and lemon juice with a few drops of vitamin d in a glass of water. Could I add the sole to this as well or would there be a conflict? Thanks!

  22. Hi Katie ~ thank you for all the salt info! I will make some changes. Whats the best way to get magneseum or is it in the salt also? Thanks!

  23. So i just wanted to be clear, is it okay for me to grind some Himalayan Pink Sea Salt in my water once a day and drink it? I usually just drink out of a Nalgene bottle so adding Himalayan Salt to my water is very easy. I understand the importance of getting minerals in todays depleted soils due to farming. I use to take trace mineral supplements and add Himalayan/Celtic Sea Salt sparingly to my water. I am thinking about dropping the trace mineral supplements and just using high quality salt. But is it okay for me to be drinking it? I don’t see why not I just want to make sure that I am not hurting myself more than I am helping. Any insight would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much, your website should be the Internets home page.

    • Hi Will, yes, it’s a good idea to put salt in water. In fact, in a consultation with an herbalist, she insisted I start each day with a bit of good salt in water – up to a teaspoon. So I am currently drinking a half tsp. of Real Salt in warm water each day. I follow it up with about 16 oz. plain water. One benefit I really appreciate is that it’s helped issues I had of sinus/lung congestion, and I can feel it’s helping me in other ways, too. I also salt my food to taste, of course.

  24. I want to start this right away. I swell all the time when I try to consume commercial salt. A medicine I take also reduces my sodium levels, my nurse prac told me. I will be ordering the Himalayan salt, but in the meantime, will the sea salt I have work?

  25. Hello Wellness Mama,
    About how long does the Himalayan Salt last? Does it have an expiration date? Under what conditions should it be stored?
    Many thanks.

      • Wellness Mama,
        Thank you for the kind reply.
        I ordered 1 lb of Himalayan salt from Mountain Rose Herbs. I am eagerly waiting. As it turns out, my local HEB had Himalayan salt. I purchased a bit a few days ago. I made the decision to consume 1/2 teaspoon a day, until I am comfortable with the recommended 1 teaspoon. This evening I simply swallowed the 1/2 teaspoon with water. As of now, I am currently having a vomiting sensation. My thoughts are that this sensation must be caused by the Himalayan salt. I have identified some possible explanations as to why, however, I would love to hear your thoughts as well.
        Thank you kindly,
        Collin

  26. Hello,
    I was wondering if your continuing to take your sole after being diagnosed with Hoshimotos due to the iodine?
    Thank you for your time!

  27. I have high cholesterol and stopped using salt but after research have statred using natural salt again I live in Bahrain in the ME and himalayan salt is REALLY expensive here But I discovered a a natural sea salt from Cyprus called Pyramide salt but I dont know how to check that it is really natural What do I do??

  28. Thanks for the great article! My N.D. just had a seminar this week on the importance of real salt and iodine. She said, and like your article said, to only use real salt, the best being Himalayan, add it to your food and you can take a 1/2 teaspoon in water daily, along with an iodine supplement. You need salt for iodine to work and you need iodine for the salt to work properly. I knew about both, but didn’t realize they work together in your body. She’s had patients who’s breast cancer was cured and others who had other breast issues that cleared up after switching to real salt and iodine. Amazing how our bodies are designed to work with the things found in nature since the beginning of time!

  29. Dear Wellness Mama,

    Just wanted to let you know first, what a great site I think you have by giving so much valuable information to the public and so many great homemade recipes.

    I also would like to post my opinion as a Nutrition Therapist (along with personal research I’ve done on both salts-Celtic and Himalayan) and allow me to share some information with you in regards to both salts. Both salts are indeed beneficial in their own way-though Celtic Sea Salt surpasses Himalayan salt for a few reasons which I will post below including the fact it has Iodine while Himalayan does not. Iodine is a very beneficial mineral balancing the thyroid. Celtic Sea Salt retains all the minerals in sea water and sea water
    contains the concentration of minerals washed down for over 4000 yrs.
    Himalayan salt contains the minerals than were in it when it was laid
    down reflecting what minerals were washed down from the soil and
    deposited at the time of formation. Himalayan Salt is lower in
    Magnesium. Remember that Magnesium is the essential mineral that is
    deficient in so most people.

    Himalayan salt comes from very old land locked sources, perhaps even millions of years old. Celtic Salt in comparison is “fresh”. Whilst some might say the pink salt has been kept away
    from the modern world, the area the Celtic Salt
    is harvested from is absolutely pristine, and is carefully protected to
    keep it this way. It has to meet vigorous purity and safety
    standards. And the ocean is actually very purifying, and a self
    cleaning environment. It cleans and oxygenates itself all the time, and
    sustains many types of life forms. The water from which Celtic Salt
    comes from has not touched any land until it reaches the beautiful salt
    marshes of Brittany. Were there impurities; land locked sources of
    salt would in fact be more likely to retain these than sea water salts.

    “Salt is born of the purest of parents: the sun and the sea” – Pythagoras –

  30. hi.I am just worried about what kind of salt should i add to my kids diet.They surely need iodine,if sea salt don’t have iodine then what salt i can give to them.I don’t want to give them table salt.I really need a kind advise,

  31. In Bahrain it is hard to get specialized items such a Himalayan salt but I was able to get a natural sea salt from Cyprus I think its called Pyramide salt from Cyprus Is this ok Does anyone know anything about it???

  32. Im so glad I fell onto this site. I just bought a 15lb bag of himalayan salt for our hot tub and was dying to try drinking it but was nervous..not anymore!! As I read most the post its about 1 tsp mixed with warm water followed by 16oz of water. Thanks again!!

  33. Hi, Kate. Can i take the regular Sea Salt (not the regular table salt). I Live in Brazil and the salts that you mentioned are too expensive. Thanks!

  34. I eat Himalayan salt on all my food, breakfast, lunch and dinner. But I recently read where everyone needs to take a mineral supplement in order to have optimal health. My question is, is the salt giving me enough of the minerals that I need or do I need to take a liquid mineral supplement as well?

    • It’s good that you are getting a lot from diet… you can’t really out supplement a diet that is not already nutrient-rich. It’s really up to you. People absorb minerals in different quantities so it’s hard to say for certain.

  35. I keep reading about the “84 trace minerals needed by the body” that is found is Himalayan salt. Can you please tell me where you got this information? Thank you!

  36. I love sea salt. I was kind of cynical before, but we made the switch about a year ago now. I no longer have swelling when I salt my food, as long as it is sea salt! I have been using real salt, but I will have to try the Celtic sea salt!

  37. I appreciate your website. From researching on the web I found that Dr. Darko Velcek recommends either real sea water, or Celtic Sea Salt. Several different videos / radio broadcasts he has mentioned that Himalayan Sea Salt is Toxic! I have begun using the Celtic Sea Salt based on his recommendation. I am curious to what you think of his analysis of the Himalayan Sea Salt. Also, much of the Himalyan Sea Salt comes from Pakistan…

  38. I have been working to solve some confusing health issues over the past several years. The most frustrating being really bad insomnia and overwhelming muscle stiffness throughout my upper body. I have always just accepted that I was a stress sensitive person and these were things I would have to deal with forever. I assumed everyone had to deal with insomnia and knotty backs these days and was amazed at how well they were handling the pain, disappointed in how poorly I was handling stress. One day while home sick from a cold, fatigue and soreness, I ate a full bag of chips with natural salt and a few hours later, while momentarily not distracted from my balloon head, I realized my muscle knots were gone. Id been shelling out money all week for pain killers and massages in a desperate effort to find rest with no relief and this resolve completely blew my mind. Way to go body, smart craving. Thank you for this info, I found it while trying to understand this unexpected remedy.

  39. Katie…I have been using Redmond Real Salt for years now, and just read this article, which talks about the radioactivity of unpurified salt AND how all salt is sea salt. It is very confusing listening to opposing views on this, and I would like to hear what you say on this.

    • I found her answer to your question funny for a few reasons:
      -I was definitely being sarcastic in suggesting that we are healthier as a population now
      -I definitely don’t recommend salt restriction at all
      -All salt is also definitely not sea salt. Most table salts are refined, bleached and processed which removes minerals (including tiny amounts of things like lead) and replaces them with anti-caking agents that contain things like aluminum
      -The minuscule amount of lead or other contaminants that can be sometimes found in salt (and less in Himalayan or celtic salt) is a tiny percentage of the amount that is considered safe in drinking water.
      At the end of the day- definitely do your own research, but I’m still very comfortable using sea salt or himalayan salt and there is, in fact, research that shows that it is healthier than table salt: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1745-459X.2010.00317.x/abstract
      Also, ancient sources like Himalayan salt or Real Salt would actually be less polluted than modern sources

  40. I have been drinking well water. I think there is a good content of content of minerals in well water. Should I still be adding himalasalt to that?

  41. I wondered if you know what salt have the most minerals(better for you), Him. salt or pink Hawaiian salt? I currently am using both…
    Thanks, for your extra time 🙂

  42. Would you please tell me all the sources you used for this article? I would like to do some more reading on this topic. Also looking for information in regards to other spices and their benefits for our bodies including the skin. 🙂 Thanks!

  43. I have drank Real Salt (Redmonds) for the last 3 days and I have felt wonderful! I have a better overall feeling, no depression, my energy is like I’m in my 20’s and I sleep like a baby! I decided I would do more research on this issue and found your site. Thank you! I have a question or two though. I have Redmonds real salt and Celtic salt how should I incorporate both, what should be the ratio or should I use both? Next I’m not sure if I’ve had so much more energy that I pulled a muscle in the side of my neck or if it is the salt, my neck is extremely sore on one side for a couple of days, do you think there is any correlation?
    Thanks so much for your website, I have sent a link to several friends.

  44. When people have hypertension (high blood pressure) we cannot eat anything with salt (any kind) since that salt (sodium) drastically sends the blood pressure way up. That, in turn produces strokes and heart attacks. To illustrate, I watched my Dad while he was having a heart attack, the hallmark symptom was massive, uncontrollable sweating along with the pain in the chest. I never want to see another person go through that. In women the symptoms are different, we do not have, usually, the crushing chest pain, we can have pain all over the body, in all systems, such as breathing difficulties or pain in the abdominal area. Women are more likely to die with the first heart attack as opposed to men. So, to go back to salt, they are very bad news, since the sodium content is almost identical, that is 2400 milligrams which translates to 2.4 Grams. We must be very careful since salt (sodium) is the major cause of strokes and heart attacks.

  45. What you have mentioned about salt is ok but correction is needed. The best source of salt is sea water. It had about 92 different minerals. Than goes gray non-refined sea salt with 85 minerals. Any other slt is sediment salt. It was partially washed of minerals. The first that goes is magnesium. Himalayan salt has toxic elements and should not be used. To learn more go to darkovelcek.wordpress.com
    It is true that when people start utilizing the salt blood pressure rises. This s because we are generally dehydrated and if r blood vessels lost elasticity lowering the blood content will lower the blood pressure but ths brings many other problems of which toxicity is # one.

  46. I really appreciate your blog, but unfortunately I feel like your presentation of the results of the INTERSALT study are somewhat misleading.

    Unconvinced, this eventually led to more comprehensive research on worldwide salt intake, which found that:

    “And in 1989, researchers at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine decided to re-evaluate the link between salt and blood pressure through a study of more than 10,000 people in 52 cultures around the world. Participants ranged from Yanomamo Indians in Brazil, whose diet is almost salt free, to residents of northern China, who eat as much salt in a day as a Yanomamo eats in three years.

    Instead of merely estimating salt consumption, the researchers calculated precise values based on urine samples. They took into consideration obesity and alcohol consumption.

    Among their findings were that except in a few places with extremely low salt consumption, the amount of sodium in the diet was unrelated to the prevalence of hypertension in a society or to its average blood pressure.”

    Well, yes, those populations with extremely low salt intakes were outliers which had a disproportionate effect on the overall association found by the study (which was in fact a positive correlation between salt intake and blood pressure–in other words, that more salt did cause higher blood pressure)–because those populations had such low blood pressure. There has been some criticism that those outliers distort the data, but personally, I find the fact that the populations with extremely low salt intake also had extremely low blood pressure an argument for, rather than against, the association between salt consumption and higher BP.

    Overall, the indication of the study seems to be that with virtually no salt intake, you will have a population with no high blood pressure (as well as no obesity, etc. etc.–common to what we see in traditionally living societies everywhere) but that once salt intake is over a certain threshold, the association breaks down somewhat.

    I would appreciate a link to the source you quoted for that study.

    I tend to agree with you that consumption of real salt is not necessarily harmful, and that mineral balance plays a big role, but it bothers me a little to find the INTERSALT study quoted as evidence that salt consumption is not associated with BP, since the study found the opposite when it was published–and the data was analyzed again in 1996 and the same conclusion was reached–and the “weakness” that is often criticized by “pro-salt” advocates is that the populations with virtually no salt consumption had such low blood pressures that they ought to be excluded from the final analysis–which to my mind was rather swept under the rug in the source you quoted.

    The evidence in favor of limiting salt, especially in people with hypertension, is actually pretty robust, despite the fact that you can find studies out there which seem to indicate that it’s not such a big deal. I would not be at all surprised if the anti-salt results were attenuated in cases where real salt was consumed in the context of a nutrient rich whole foods diet, properly prepared, but I certainly would not encourage people to go out of their way to consume a lot of salt.

    Also, like excess sugar, it is my experience that people who have grown up on a largely processed diet have become desensitized to the taste and effects of salt, and would benefit from cutting it out/way back for a while and then reintroducing it to find out what “to taste” really means to them in terms of saltiness and how they feel physically with more/less salt. We mostly don’t need to consume added salt for proper cellular function, as there is a certain amount of salt contained in whole foods naturally (there can be exceptions to this, of course, for people with certain medical conditions, people who are exercising in extreme conditions/durations, vegans who eat a strictly plant-based diet, etc.)

    Also, while I don’t like to make everything about evolutionary speculation, I would submit that there are plenty of areas where salt is not readily available and/or where obtaining salt is energetically expensive and inconvenient, and probably hunter-gatherers were not sprinkling salt over everything they ate all the time–it seems to have had value specifically because of its rarity in many cases, serving ceremonial functions and being used for preservation, etc. The fact that most people find salty flavors highly rewarding is possibly an indication that (like sugar) it was quite rare in ancestral environments, and we were highly motivated to seek it out when it was available–not necessarily a good indication that we should be eating it all the time, again like sugar.

    The Yanomami, as mentioned above, have very good health despite virtually no added salt in their diets, and there are other tribal examples, so I find it unlikely that the majority of people will be unable to function properly and maintain cellular and physiological functions without consuming (substantial amounts of) added salt.

    This is about to devolve purely into my personal opinions/gripes, but I feel like a lot of people who lean toward the Paleo/ancestral health side of things (of which I am one myself) are quick to embrace salt because they take a certain joy in bucking “conventional wisdom” and seem to experience a certain glee in eating a diet that would make the American Heart Association faint–eggs, bacon, lard, saturated fats, etc. We have to get our fun somewhere, but I don’t think we should be too quick to latch onto studies (or torture the data of dissenting studies into submission) in order to support our personal hopes/biases about what is actually good for us to eat.

    I think there is also a somewhat dangerous tendency to hand-wave study results that we don’t like by saying that they were conducted on “bad versions” of the food in question–if a study finds that saturated fat was harmful, it’s because the animals were not grass fed. If a study finds that eggs are associated with increased cardiac events or all-cause mortality, it’s because they were from caged, soy-fed, antibiotic soaked hens. If a study finds that salt is associated with high blood pressure, it’s because it was crappy table salt. And I agree with all of this, to an extent–the omega 3 content of the meat, the presence of antibiotics, growth hormones, etc., toxic means of processing, “enrichment” with isolated nutrients and removal of real nutrition…all of those are possible confounding factors. But they aren’t a guarantee that the conclusion is wrong–the mechanism may be something totally different that is present in all eggs, or saturated fats, or salt, or whatever. So I think we need to be careful of throwing the baby out with the bathwater, so to speak.

    Anyway, sorry for this incredibly long and somewhat dissenting comment. I really do appreciate the work you do and the information you share! I just want to make sure that we as a community of people interested in health really do the data justice and come to the best conclusions possible.

  47. These 84 trace minerals are in very microscopic quantities per serving. Himilayan salt also contains toxic chemicals found in nuclear wastes….These are in “trace” amounts as well. By thay logic if we get the benefits of the “good” minerals we should also get the benefits or reactions to the ‘bad” minerals in it such as uranium, palladium, plutonium, Berrillium, barium…..what is your take on the toxic waste minerals found in himalayan salt ?

  48. Has anyone experienced Iodide Fever? When I try to supplement with any source of iodine, salt, kelp, etc. my body is like it is on fire, from the inside out. I was told this is called Iodide Fever? I am not sure how I can get my iodine supplementation with this reaction. Any help on this I would really appreciate.

  49. Clicked the links to the Himalayan salt and was redirected to Redmond Real Salt on Amazon. Do the links need updating? Or is the Real Salt somewhat pink and qualifies as some sort of Himalayan salt alternative?

  50. The “real salt” and “Himalayan salt” link takes you to what looks like non Himalayan salt? What brand are you referring to?

  51. This links up to pink sea salt. I’m confused. I’m looking for Himalayan salt. Sorry if I’m missing something. Please explain.

  52. I dont know why but I get high blood pressure when consuming pink salt. I tried yesterdat just a microgram and I had taquicardia all day and I couldnt sleep. I was thirsthy all day too! I dont know if there is something wrong with me or what. But I was craving for diuretics foods like crazy. It also gave me diarrhoea.?

  53. High sodium isn’t the cause of hypertension, it’s water retention.

    Blood pressure rises and falls with the amount of water your body stores. So yes, salt can affect this, but it’s also affect by how much water you drink, and more importantly how much glycogen your muscles are storing, which is directly tied to how much carbs you eat.

    Doctors make the mistake of reducing the much needed salt in people’s diet when the real solution is to reduce the amount of carbs they are consuming.

  54. So… is it the absence of trace minerals that makes white salt “bad” or the addition of other things (such as anti-caking agents)? If there are no added ingredients, would you say it is okay, or are they still “bad” because there are traces of something else left from bleaching/processing? If products are high in salt/sodium (but presumably NOT from Himalayan or Celtic sea salt) and the other ingredients are okay, would you say the product is okay?

    Is it the presence of trace minerals that makes Himalayan salt etc “good” for us, or the sodium?

    I usually buy Himalayan sea salt, but my husband likes to have table salt or cooking salt on hand for cooking because it is cheaper and more conveniently packaged for pouring and measuring, and he doesn’t believe in any health benefits of Himalayan/Celtic sea salt.

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