“Cut down your sodium intake” is common advice you’ll get if you’re looking to lose weight or improve your health. Salt is shamed as a big health no-no. It’s well known that too much salt is bad for your health and leads to high blood pressure and water retention. But there are different types of salt – you could call them bad, better, and best – ranging from processed white table salt to natural sea salt and Himalayan crystal salt – a unique natural salt whose light pink hue is not only beautiful to look at but is actually good for your health.
It’s the white table salt that is bad for your health when consumed too much. Like white sugar, white table salt is highly refined, and is processed to remove all the “impurities” but this also removes all the minerals that are good for your body, leaving 99 percent sodium chloride that is not in its natural form. Additives are added to refine the texture. The high level of sodium chloride in table salt makes it easy to people to over-consume high levels of it, especially in processed food and junk food.
What is Himalayan crystal salt, and what makes it healthier than white table salt?
Easily recognized by its lovely pink color, Himalayan crystal salt, also known as Himalayan pink salt, comes from the Himalayan mountain range and is said to be the purest salt on earth. It developed millions of years ago when ancient seas evaporated and has remained untouched by modern day pollution. The salt contains 85 percent sodium chloride and 84 minerals. It is extremely pure, whereas even organic sea salt can be polluted from today’s sadly toxic oceans. These minerals can help your body balance its pH, regulate water content, remove toxins, help absorb nutrients, and is generally more nutritious for your body.
How do you use it to get the health benefits? The easiest way is to eat it, because after all, it is salt. Like sea salt, the flavor of Himalayan crystal salt is distinctively soft, deep, and rich, unlike processed white table salt, which has a much sharper, harder taste. When used in cooking and seasoning, it enhances the food with deeper flavor that makes it taste more delicious and more satisfying. Salt is known as a detoxifying agent among spa and holistic health practitioners, and organic salt is used in spas to detoxify the skin and air. Salt baths are known to detoxify the body by drawing toxins out of the skin, and salt body scrubs are popular treatments to cleanse and polish the skin.
Salt lamps are made by carving rocks of pure Himalayan crystal salt into a hollow lamp with a light bulb or candle inside. The heat disperses the salt, which helps detox the air by cleaning the air of dust, smoke, odors, and allergens such as pollen, animal dander, and mold spores. This in turn helps relieve symptoms of respiratory diseases, asthma, and allergies. It is known to help uplift the mood for those who are affected by depression and chronic fatigue, and has been used as natural treatments for arthritis, migraines, and ADD.
While these are the more common uses of Himalayan crystal salt for healing, one of its most unique and healing uses is in swimming pools. In the misty hills of northern Thailand, Chiang Rai’s first and only Himalayan crystal salt swimming pool can be found at Museflower Retreat & Spa, the city’s first all-inclusive vegetarian holistic retreat, located in the gentle countryside among quiet lakes, and rice fields. In keeping with the retreat’s holistic health ethos, it was only natural to offer a healing, chemical-free swimming pool.
“Himalayan crystal salt is really beneficial for the body in so many ways and as we don’t want to put any chemicals (even chlorine) in our pool”, says Tania Ho, Museflower’s founder and director. “We want to have something unique for our guests. We love the ocean because the healing properties of sea water makes you feel so good. We want to achieve a similar result for our guests to enjoy a special healing swimming pool and not just a regular pool for relaxation or exercise only.
We use only Himalayan crystal salt and ozone in our pool. Since it’s organic, it’s actually normal to see some algae buildup in the side of our pool – it doesn’t mean that the pool is dirty, it means that we are not using any chemicals, such as chlorine, in the pool. Swimming in the pool also feels different. All our guests who have used it can feel the difference. You don’t smell any chemicals, as you do in a normal chlorinated pool, and your skin feels a lot softer afterwards.”
At the moment, the pool is only open for in-house guests and workshop participants, but there are plenty of other Himalayan crystal salt experiences and offerings available at Museflower. The salt is used in cooking in all the delicious vegetarian meals at the retreat, and in spa treatments, such as the Pink Himalayan Crystal Salt Body Scrub mixed with Honey and Rose essential oil. It is also used in floating therapy for relaxation, and in the future there will be a salt room in Museflower Spa for detoxification.
Museflower Retreat & Spa offers all sorts of Himalayan crystal salt products related to healthy living. The Museflower Boutique sells Himalayan crystal pink fine salt, pink and red salt granules, and pink salt rocks. The most popular is the pink fine salt, which can be used for cooking, body scrub, foot soak or as a bath salt. It’s versatile and easy to use for people who have never used Himalayan crystal salt before. There is also a varied selection of beautiful salt lamps.
“A guest told me that he put the salt lamp in a corner where his cat never went, and once he put the lamp there, his cat absolutely loved it and went to sleep by the salt lamp all the time. “ says Tania. “Animals are sensitive to the energy of the environment, so this shows that the salt lamp is doing something, cleaning up the air in the environment.”
Himalayan crystal salt is a unique product and is usually found in specialty shops like organic health food stores. Museflower Retreat & Spa is one of the very few places in Chiang Rai where you can find not just a bag of this wonderful salt, but such a wide selection and so many types of it. “I have a guest who found me because he wanted to buy Himalayan salt and he said he couldn’t find it anywhere else in Chiang Rai,” says Tania. It is the only place in Chiang Rai that offers Himalayan crystal salt spa therapies, and the only Himalayan crystal salt pool in the area, or maybe even the whole of Thailand. It’s not exactly a dip in the ocean, but if you are far from the sea and up in the northern hills, it might be the next best alternative.
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