If you're only using Himalayan salt as a nightstand lamp, you're missing out on its wide range of benefits.
Whether you've added a glowing Himalayan salt lamp to your bedroom or picked up a fancy pink salt cutting board from your local home goods store, there's no denying that pink Himalayan salt is super trendy right now.
But the benefits of this rock salt go far beyond a pretty aesthetic: Whether you consume it, apply it to your skin, or add it to your bath, pink Himalayan salt can naturally do your body good in a number of ways. Read on for six easy ways to reap the benefits.
Found near the Himalayan foothills in a region of Pakistan, pink Himalayan salt is minimally processed and gets its characteristic rosy hue from a wide range of trace minerals, including magnesium and potassium. What's more, Himalayan salt can improve your skin or replenish you after a bout of illness, according to Elizabeth Taddiken, ND, a naturopathic physician at the Rockwood Natural Medicine Clinic in Scottsdale, AZ.
Pink Himalayan salt can help your skin retain moisture, which makes it an ideal ingredient for a spa-like soak. Treat your feet by soaking them in warm water saturated with the salt (think 1/8 cup of pink Himalayan salt per gallon of water), adding magnesium flakes if desired. “This can help relieve painful, tired feet after a long day,” says Taddiken. “In general, combining magnesium flakes with pink Himalayan salt allows for better absorption of the minerals, and it can help you hydrate your skin all over.”
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The exfoliating texture of pink Himalayan salt will leave you with silky soft skin. As a bonus, regular exfoliation can actually boost your production of collagen, the protein that keeps skin smooth, according to the American Academy of Dermatology. Try this DIY body scrub from Taddiken: Combine 1 cup fine- or medium-grain pink Himalayan salt, ¼ cup olive oil, and 10 drops essential oil. Wet skin, then apply scrub in circular motions, avoiding broken skin, to remove dead skin cells.
Skip the Gatorade—a Himalayan salt elixir is a more natural way to help restore electrolyte levels when they're low. Combine 2 cups purified water, 1/2 cup fresh orange or lemon juice, 1/4 tsp pink Himalayan salt, and 1 Tbsp honey. “This can be beneficial for those who are exercising a lot, or for someone who has a viral illness like cold or flu,” says Taddiken. (But if you have a condition such as hypertension or kidney disease, talk to your doctor before increasing your salt consumption.)
Mom was right when she told you to gargle saltwater to soothe a sore throat. Although it's not a cure-all for immediate relief, saltwater can help kill bacteria, loosen mucus, and ease pain, according to Penn State Medicine. Just mix 1/2 teaspoon of finely ground pink Himalayan salt with a cup of warm water and gargle.
You may notice that more spas are offering Himalayan salt rooms, where you zone out in a man-made salt cave. Some experts believe it may relieve symptoms of COPD or asthma, according to the American Lung Association. The theory: When you inhale tiny salt particles, they'll pull water into your airways, thinning out mucus and reducing inflammation in the process.
Although there isn't much evidence to back up salt therapy (also known as halotherapy) yet, relaxing in one of these rooms could simply make you feel better through a placebo effect. If anything, you'll have around 45 minutes of uninterrupted serenity in a blissful salt cave—which may be worth a visit in and of itself. Just be sure to check with your doctor before going if you have a respiratory, heart, or kidney condition.