The Healing Powers of Salts
Salt and the sea have been known healers for thousands of years. One of the first Chinese pharmacological manuscripts dedicates several pages to 40+ kinds of salts and their uses. Hippocrates (the father of modern medicine) encouraged his fellow healers to use sea water to cure their patients aching muscles and arthritic pain. The ancient Greeks soaked in sea water hot tubs and drank sea water for health. And let's not forget the Romans, who perfected the bath by using natural hot springs.
So let's take a look at the three most popular salts used in beauty, bathing, and body care:
DEAD SEA SALT
Straight from the Dead Sea in Israel, this salt is rich in minerals like calcium, magnesium, iron, and bromide.
[photo credit: GoIsrael.com]
People travel from all over the world to swim in the healing waters of the Dead Sea, which deeply hydrate the skin and treats skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Dead Sea Salts also improve circulation, reduce inflammation in joints and the skin, and detoxify the body. When used in the hair, Dead Sea salt adds a little bit of texture and wave.
A pure mineral compound (Magnesium Sulfate) in crystal form, Epsom Salt is known for its powers to soothe muscle pain. This is because it reduces lactic acid buildup often caused by intense workouts. Soaking in a bath with Epsom Salt is one of the most effective ways of getting the essential element magnesium into your body, which relieves stress, improves muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps, and improves oxygen use in the body. Sulfates help remove the body of toxins, improve the absorption of nutrients, and prevents and eases migraines. Do not use if you have a sensitivity to sulfur.
Fun fact: Himalayan rock salt is actually mined from the Punjab region of Pakistan, about 200 miles from the Himalayan mountain range. Still, the name has persists! Himalayan salt contains 84 trace minerals like calcium, iron, magnesium, potassium, and sodium, which give the salt its distinctly pink color (this salt is often referred to as "Pink Gold.") When added to bath water, Himalayan salt draws out toxins, re-mineralizes skin, balances pH, improves circulation, and soothes sore, achy muscles. Claims of additional health benefits from ingestion or using Himalayan salt lamps are scientifically unsound.
When used in the hair, Himalayan salt adds texture and minerals.