What Is Himalayan Pink Salt?
Himalayan Pink Salt contains an abundance of ionized, trace minerals that were encrusted into the earth more than 250 million years ago. Its color ranges from clear white to gray, to varying shades of pink to deep shades of red. Himalayan pink salt is mined by hand, without the use of mechanical devices, preserving a rich long standing tradition in the Punjab Region of South Asia. After the harvest, it is then hand crushed, washed and dried in the sun.
If you do not have access to Himalayan Pink Salt, you can alternate with Real Salt, mined from Utah beds or Celtic Sea Salt, found off the shore of France. All three of these options contain a higher trace mineral content than common table salt which is denatured, bleached and stripped of minerals. The key to salt is that it remains unrefined.
Over the past fifty years, salt has gotten a bad rap in America, but most people are not aware that the table salt we eat today is far from what our bodies have been programmed to biologically crave and rely upon. Present day salt cravings could very well be attributed to the same lack of wholeness, where we crave more as an effort to capture what we know should be there.
Contrary to popular belief, untouched forms of salt have many benefits. Unrefined salt supports electrolyte balance, hydration (surprisingly!), and detoxification. It also contributes to and supports the cardiovascular, endocrine, musculoskeletal, nervous, digestive and respiratory system. Interestingly enough, unrefined sea salt has a similar mineral profile to that of our blood.
History Of Unrefined Salt
Unrefined salt was recorded by the Chinese to be used therapeutically in 500 A.D. in the Ming Yi Za Zhu (aka Miscellaneous Records of Famous Physicians) by Tao Hong-Jing, a Physician and Herbalist. He found that salt had ‘bitter, cold and salty’ properties that drew downward and inward and could be used to clear the Respiratory system and the Gastrointestinal tract of toxins. The Chinese found that unrefined salt detoxified these organ systems through a marked purgative effect, most effective when taken with a large amount of water. The Inner Classic, also known as the Huangdi Neijing, also states that salt used in moderation strengthens the heart and mind, acting as an anchor while increasing clarity and focus.
In Ayurvedic tradition, salt is used to strengthen one’s energy, ground, and center in the same way due to its inherent descending function. It is also traditionally used to cook with for this same reason, to enhance digestion and descend.
Although Himalayan Pink Salt can be used in many ways (sprinkled onto food, as a herbal inhaler, bath soak, or an air purifying mantel piece), today I am only going to focus on how to make “Sole”.
How To Make Sole
I recommend “Sole”, pronounced so-lay, as a gentle, daily detox and therapeutic addition to a healthy diet and lifestyle. Sole is simple and easy to make by following the steps below.
First, fill up a mason jar a quarter of the way with Himalayan Pink Salt crystals.
Then, add filtered or spring water to the shoulder of the jar.
Let it sit overnight, in the fridge or on the counter.
Place one to two tsp in 8 oz. of room temperature water in the morning and drink.
To ensure full saturation, make sure there is always some undissolved salt in the mix and continue to fill the mason jar up to the shoulder with water. This saturated mixture can last for a very long time, some say indefinitely.
As you try out this saturated mixture, make sure to monitor your body, notice its response, and evaluate accordingly! Remember that nobody knows your body like you do, so stay intuitive my friends.
What Is The Recommended Sodium/Salt Intake Per Day?
Sodium is an essential nutrient and is needed by your body in relatively small amounts to maintain the balance of body fluids and keep muscles/nerves running smoothly. The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300mg a day (that is one teaspoon of salt) and moving towards an ideal limit of no more than 1,500mg per day for most adults (keep in mind that more than 70% of sodium that Americans eat comes from packaged, prepared and restaurant foods). For children under the age of 14, the recommended limits are even lower:
- Ages 1-3: less than 1,500mg
- Ages 4-8: less than 1,900mg
- Ages 9-13: less than 2,200mg
Should You Intake Iodized Salt?
Iodine is a trace mineral commonly found in foods like seafood, dairy products, grains and eggs. Your thyroid gland uses iodine to produce thyroid hormones which aid in tissue repair, regulate metabolism, and promote growth and development- thyroid hormones also play a part in the control of body temperature, blood pressure and heart rate. In addition to thyroid health, iodine studies have suggested that it may directly impact the function of your immune system. Many people in the world are at an increased risk of having an iodine deficiency- especially in regions where iodized salt is uncommon or there are low levels of iodine in the soil. Women who are pregnant or breast feeding are also at a higher risk of deficiency because they require more iodine. Individuals on a vegan or vegetarian diet are also at a greater risk of iodine deficiency.
If salt is iodized, it means that the chemical iodine has been added- salt manufacturers add iodine to salt by mixing table salt with iodine compounds such as potassium iodate, potassium iodide, sodium iodate, or sodium iodide. Although iodine is added, it tastes the same as non-iodized salt and is used the same as you would regular salt. Iodized salt is one of the easiest ways to prevent iodine deficiency without having to make any major modifications to your diet and many studies have reported that iodized salt is safe with minimal risk of any adverse side effects for the general population (even at extreme doses past the daily recommended intake). But, although iodized salt is a convenient way to get your daily intake of iodine, there are other natural sources, including:
- cod (106% DV)
- seaweed (77% DV)
- oysters (62% DV)
- egg (17% DV)
- beef liver (9% DV)
- shrimp (9% DV)
- tuna (5% DV)
- chicken breast (1% DV)
For more on the breakdown of different vitamins and minerals and their natural sources, feel free to check out our article on Let Go & Grow’s website right here.
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