This article is for the salt seeker who wants healthier salt options rather than continuing the use of highly processed, bleached and mineral striped table salt. The salts featured in this article are bountiful in health benefits and each has individual characteristics that make them unique.
These 5 super salts are above and beyond anything table salt could offer which makes them wonderful alternatives to use in cooking as well as other therapeutic uses.
Each of the 5 super salts featured below share these similarities:
- Nothing is added to the salts including toxic bleaching agents, chemicals or anti-caking agents
- Authentic versions of each are minimally processed to preserve their mineral properties
- They contain naturally formed 80+ minerals and various electrolytes
- Each have numerous health benefit claims such as, but not limited to:
- Create an electrolyte balance
- Increases hydration
- Regulate water content both inside and outside of cells
- Assist PH balance of the body
- Prevent muscle cramping
- Aid in proper metabolism functioning
- Strengthen bones
- Lower blood pressure
- Help the intestines absorb nutrients
- Prevent goiters
- Improve circulation
- Build immunity
Discover what makes each salt special in character...
Super Salt #1: Kala Namak, Indian Black Salt
Indian black salt is also known as Kala Namak or even Himalayan black salt. The color ranges from dark browns to muddy purples and pinks. This is mainly due to the iron sulfide in the salt which also attributes to its other distinctive features. Sulfurs of course come with a tasty twinge and smell of hard-boiled eggs, this salt includes that flavor.
Indian black salt has a long medicinal history in Ayurvedic medicine and it claims to have anecdotal and therapeutic uses by these Eastern healers. Since ancient times not only has this salt been used, it has been said to have been identified by the father of Ayurvedic medicine, Maharishi Charak, around 300 B.C.E.
Traditionally the salt is transformed from its raw state which is rock salt mined from Himalayan areas of Bangladesh, India, Nepal and Pakistan. After mining, it is transformed into the dark colored kala namak through a special Ayurvedic procedure. This procedure is done by kiln firing the salt with Indian medicinal herbs (such as harad seeds, amla, bahera, babul bark, or natron) in a ceramic clay pot for 24 hours. The fired salt melts and the chemical reaction occurs. From there the salt is cooled, stored, and aged prior to sale.
Kala Namak is prepared in this manner within northern India, however watch out for synthetic versions that exist in the marketplace. Some manufacturers who want to cut costs, but use the Kala Namak name, manufacture it synthetically with ordinary sodium chloride which is also known as table salt. Be sure to do your research of Kala Namak salt brands to ensure authenticity of its traditional preparation.
Super Salt #2: Black and Red Hawaiian Salt
Hawaiian red salt, begins as a white unrefined sea salt that is then mixed with an iron oxide dense volcanic clay called 'alaea'. The alaea is what gives it a brick red color. Black Hawaiian salts on the other hand also start as white unrefined sea salt, but have been combined with activated charcoal attributing to its black color.
The white sea salt that is used to make both the red and black Hawaiian salts, comes from the salt ponds on the western side of the island of Kauai. This is an ancient harvesting place for Hawaiian sea salt. The salts are harvested under strict supervision of certified salt masters who are members of the Salt Masters Guild of Hawaii. This is a special association formed with the intention of upholding standards and preserving the ancient Hawaiian cultural tradition of salt making.
Furthermore, the remoteness of where the sea salt is harvested has virtually no industrial runoff or pollution which could affect the purity of the local waters. It is dried inside of a high-tech, slow-speed, solar evaporator which allows the large salt crystals to stay intact. This gentle evaporation procedure also retains the valuable trace minerals and electrolytes of the salt.
True black and red Hawaiian sea salts are bottled and labeled under supervision of members of the Salt Masters Guild of Hawaii to ensure quality. Beware of knock-offs made in California by doing your research to ensure you are buying authentic Hawaiian salts that are harvested and processed the traditional way.
Super Salt #3: Gray Celtic Sea Salt
This sea salt was originally harvested from the Celtic Sea off the coast of France which is how it got its name. However, due to high consumer demand of modern times, Celtic Sea Salt is now obtained from other parts of the world including the coastal regions of Europe, Guatemala, and Hawaii. Instead of the location of harvest making Celtic Sea Salt what it is, today it's rather the specific harvesting grounds and unique properties of the salt that determine it being called Celtic Sea Salt. Celtic Sea Salt® sold in stores is actually a trademarked brand name.
An identifying characteristic of Celtic Sea Salt is its moisture content. it's actually a wet salt. After harvesting, the salt is allowed to remain in its brine-rich state which accounts for its unique moistness. This is a feature special unto itself in contrast to the other super salts featured in this article that are dry. Another identifying characteristic is the light grey color. The salt color is derived from the mineral rich, pure gray clay lining of the salt beds from which it is harvested.
Using wooden tools, Celtic Sea Salt® is harvested by hand. It is then left out in the sun and air dried. This gentle harvesting and evaporation technique ensures the preservation of the salts 80+ trace minerals and various electrolytes.
No need to worry about whether or not you’re getting authentic Celtic sea salt when you purchase this official brand: Celtic Sea Salt®. Only after laboratory analysis and inspection of the harvesting site, is the salt source approved to bear the name.
Super Salt #4: Himalayan Pink Salt
Hence the name, Himalayan pink salt is a rock salt with an attractive pink color. Just about everyone in the health world has heard of this salt, however, read on to learn new information you may not have known before.
Today Himalayan pink salt is cultivated from approximately six different mines of the Himalayan regions in modern Pakistan.
In its raw and natural state, it is made reddish-pink by ancient volcanic clay that was rich in iron oxide and potassium. To explain the geologic uniqueness of this salt in simple terms, essentially hundreds of millions of years ago when the oceans covered vasts surfaces of the earth, crystallized sea salt beds formed as the ancient oceans receded. These remaining salt beds were then covered by lava containing volcanic clay. Snow and ice later covered the hardened lava which kept the salt pristine deep within the earth, protected from modern-day pollution. For this reason, Himalayan pink salt is claimed to be one of the purest salts.
Like the other super salts of this article, Himalayan pink salt contains 80+ trace minerals and is also minimally processed to preserve its constitutions. Out of all the featured super salts, Himalayan pink salt is probably the most readily available at every grocery store including Walmart. Based on ease of accessibility, its high mineral content and claimed health benefits, Himalayan sea salt is one of the most popular raw & unrefined salts on the market.
Super Salt #5: Bamboo Salt
Bamboo salt is another very unique salt due to it's processing technique. It is a medicinal salt more so than a culinary salt. Not many have heard of it and neither had I until an acupuncturist gave me some to use as a nutritional supplement.
This special salt is also known as Jukyeom and originates from Korea. It was originally developed by monks almost 1,000 years ago as a medicinal remedy. The Bamboo Salt is made by putting sea salt into young hollow bamboo trunks.
After the salt is inserted into the trunks, the ends are sealed with an all natural yellow clay that is rich in minerals. Then the trunks are then roasted for a minimum of 10-15 hours in a pinewood fueled furnace that ranges in temperatures between 1,000 to 1,500 C. This procedure is repeated between 3 and 9 times. Why so many times? Because the salt inside the bamboo absorbs more of the minerals from the bamboo and yellow clay with each additional time it goes through the roasting process.
Bamboo salt comes in various forms, purplish crystals, whitish-gray crystals and white powder. When the minerals from the yellow clay and bamboo are drawn into the salt, it causes the salt color to change. If the salt is roasted between 3 and 6 times, it is whiter in color. The 9 times roasted bamboo salt becomes a deep purple color due to the significantly enhanced mineral content, although all bamboo salt is rich in health properties. How many times the salt has been roasted also causes the price to increase in addition to the mineral content.
Bamboo salt contains over 80 trace minerals and has a high PH of 10.5. It was known by the ancient Koren doctors, and still today in traditional Eastern medicine, to be rich in electrolytes, detoxifying and is anti-bacterial. Additionally, unlike other salts that have a positive ionic charge, bamboo salt has a negative charge due to it’s creation through a fire-roasting process. The negative charge makes is a free radical scavenger.
However, like the salts mentioned earlier in this article, beware of imitation bamboo salt that has saturated the marketplace. If this is a salt you would like to pursue, be sure to research any company you are considering buying the salt from to ensure the seller is reputable and selling an authentically produced bamboo salt. You could even call an Eastern trained acupuncturist and ask them where they source their bamboo salt from. Note: Western trained acupuncturists tend to have never heard of it.
Which Super Salt Is Best?
It’s fair to say that each of the above salts are rich in benefit and unique in their own standing. To say there is a single best for all would be a difficult argument. Every human body is different with its individual needs and tastes. One person may thrive using Himalayan pink salt while another thrives using Hawaiian black salt or bamboo salt.
Here are the next steps in selecting the right salt for you:
- Begin by selecting the salt that has peaked your greatest interest
- Do further research on the health benefits of the chosen salt type(s)
- Verify the selling company, harvesting locations and processing techniques of the salt brand(s) to ensure authenticity
- Consult with your health care provider about the salt(s) you want to try
- If you can’t pick just one, purchase 2 or 3 to try each out and see which of them your body responds to best
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
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