As the name suggests, this type of salt comes from the foothills of the Himalayan mountain range in Northern Pakistan. It’s the only place in the world you can actually find it and it is surprisingly useful in more than one way. Before I get into the 3 main uses of this salt, a little geology, and history lesson. The history of this salt is actually quite fascinating, and so worth a mention. Himalayan salt is around 250 million years old! Geological surveys show that around 250 million years ago, during the Permian period, a large sea became landlocked and evaporated leaving behind a large salt basin. The salt crystals that formed were pink in color because of a pink microorganism that lived in those seas at the time. Over the next few hundred million years, this massive salt deposit ended up in the edge of a tectonic plate and was pressed into the (now) Himalayan mountain range. Because of this curious fact, Himalayan salt is also sometimes called “Jurassic sea salt”, which I much prefer to pink salt, because it brings up images of a TREX. The pink color is there because of an iron oxide (rust), but don’t worry it’s not toxic or anything, in fact, it’s in a healthy quantity and adds to the nutritional value of the salt. In-fact Himalayan pink salt has 81 trace minerals! These are all great for your health but also, give the salt a slightly earthier taste. So, what are the 3 main uses of Himalayan salt?
(The most obvious) for eating!
Despite it being 250 million years old and colored pink due to a Permian period microorganism this salt is not only safe to eat, but packed full of flavor and safe quantities of vital trace minerals. Of course, not all salt extracted from the mines in Northern Pakistan is meant to be eaten, some of it contains rocks and other inedibles mixed in and is used for other purposes. But they also extract food grade salt, that needs minimal processing, so it’s literally “from the earth” and tastes subtly different from normal salt. If you have never tried it we recommend you give it a try. You can usually find some in the supermarket, otherwise, any health food store should definitely have some in stock.
Salt block grilling.
Whoever invented this method of grilling was a genius. Salt blocks make a perfect grill. It does take some time to heat them up to use them properly, but once it gets going, that salt block retains the heat and cooks the meat evenly. Himalayan salt is the only salt being used for salt blocks. Salt naturally draws in moisture, however, when you’re grilling on a salt block, the meat surprisingly does not lose any of its juiciness. The salt block is also something everyone has to try at least once.
Himalayan salt lamps.
This last use of Himalayan salt is not as obvious as the first two, but still one of the main uses of Himalayan salt today. Salt lamps, are basically when you take a natural chunk of Himalayan rock salt, carve a hole in the middle and place a bulb there. The light travels through the lamp and comes out with a warm glow. They make excellent night lights, especially if you get one with a dimmer instead of a standard on/off switch. But more importantly, salt lamps are said to have numerous health benefits like removing excess moisture and dust from the air, as well as neutralizing positive radiation from all our house electronics these days. Some of these claims have been proven by studies, others are quite fabricated and without substance. So it’s best to take them with a grain of salt. Regardless, these lamps still look amazing and have a great color profile in their lighting.
These are just the top 3 ways Himalayan salt is used today. There’s a lot of other uses as well such as salt inhalers and salt caves. Who knew one make so many things out of salt? Well, I hope this article has served as a useful source of information for introducing this unique pink salt and its many uses. Until next time, all the best.
Eddie Gilani is a world traveler and fitness and health enthusiast. After graduating in Biomedical science he’s dedicated his time to spreading knowledge health and lifestyle, as well as creating a fair trade salt lamp company. His hobbies include fitness, cooking, and still drawing. See https://www.thesaltlampshop.com.au for more information.