Pink Himalayan salt (also known as "blue rock salt") is rock salt found in the Himalayan mountains of northwestern Pakistan. It is harvested in the dry Himalayan Mountains, where it is used to prepare salt brines, which are used to treat water and marine crafts. The salt is also highly sought after for its beautiful color, which can range from light-toned to dark-toned depending upon its mineral content. Himalayan salt is used not only for its beauty but also as an alternative to table salt.
A vast range of industries has sprung up around Pink Himalayan salt mines. The most popular products produced from these mines are jewelry, salt blocks for use in water treatment, and even energy drinks. As you may have guessed, these products are hugely profitable not only for those who live in the relatively poor country of Pakistan, where most of the salt mines are located but also for the mining companies that extract them. Indeed, the whole region surrounding the Himalayan Mountains is one of the world's largest manufacturers of salt.
Although many people associate Himalayan salt with a specific geographic region, it is actually mined all over the world. Many of the salts mined in Pakistan are transported to factories in India, where they undergo refinement and recycling before being exported. Much of the salt transported to India and other countries are sent as cargo by truck or train, and by air. Some are even shipped via cargo ships.
Much of the salt made into Himalayan salt is extracted from river sand. This sediment contains abundant trace minerals that were formed millions of years ago when lava was erupting from the earth's surface. When the lava cooled and solidified, its fine sediments were fashioned into mountains. The minerals in these layers provide natural healing properties to the salt and have been used for centuries for curing such diseases as high blood pressure, insomnia, depression, nausea, and diabetes.
The trace minerals in Himalayan salt can benefit consumers in other ways, too. Since the minerals found in this type of rock salt are extremely high in sodium and magnesium, they make excellent substitutes for regular table salt. They also work as antiseptics, ridding the body of infection and illness, and relieving constipation. In addition, the trace minerals found in Himalayan salt are an excellent source of dietary fiber, as they are naturally lower in fiber than regular table salt.
Many health benefits can be derived from Himalayan salt. For example, salt makes up about 40 percent of the mineral makeup of seawater. It has long been used in the treatment of waterborne illnesses, ranging from simple diarrhea to vomiting and fever. Scientists have even studied its potential use as a remedy for everything from arthritis to heart disease. A recent study showed that using common table salt as a topical treatment for a variety of skin ailments led to less formation of new cells, a key sign of a healthy immune system.
One of the most exciting health effects of Himalayan salt comes from its ability to promote good overall health. In Pakistan, many residents have started harvesting the rock and selling it as a natural alternative to regular table salt. Although the government regulates the sale of this salt, many Pakistanis have turned to markets in neighboring countries where the salt is much cheaper. In a country where poor air quality and water quality standards are a major concern, the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps are particularly encouraging.
As the demand for this salt from Pakistan and other countries has steadily increased, so has the number of scientific studies conducted on the health benefits of Himalayan rock salt. Scientists now know that the mineral ions found in the rock salt play an important role in cell development, DNA regulation, and a range of other biochemical processes. This is the type of information that pharmaceutical companies have been able to readily obtain through years of research. Now that Himalayan salt lamps can be easily purchased at stores across Pakistan and its neighbors, the public can make informed decisions about the mineral's health benefits once again.