Why Himalayan Salt?
Himalayan salt has been found to contain a multitude of therapeutic benefits that support our bodies physically, emotionally, and medicinally. Today, the majority of Himalayan salt is mined in the foothills of the Salt Range system located in Punjab, Pakistan, less than 200 miles from the actual Himalayan mountains (1). Although similar in chemical make-up to what we know as “table salt”, Himalayan salt contains three times as much potassium and more unfiltered trace minerals than table salt, such as magnesium and calcium (2). Pairing the sodium with these other trace minerals is what gives Himalayan salt its synergy, and as a result balances our bodies and how we process it. Research on Himalayan salt has been found to have many benefits, such as:
- Supports thyroid and adrenals
- Balances pH of body through detoxification
- Reduces muscle cramping
- Supports blood sugar levels
- Balances hormones
- Increases bodies hydration levels
- Aids respiratory system
- Reduce eczema and dermatitis breakouts
What else do we know about Himalayan salt?
For starters, we know that Himalayan salt contains 84 essential minerals and trace elements, which support our body and more specifically, our respiratory system (3). To receive the benefits of Himalayan salt, many people turn to Halotherapy. Halotherapy is a broad term for using salt as a way to support whatever physical, mental, or emotional ailments someone might be going through. Some of the more popular halotherapy practices include the use of salt lamps, visits to a salt room, salt baths, or the use of salt inhalers.
Benefits of Inhaling Himalayan Salt
Inhaling Himalayan salt has been found to reduce the symptoms of allergies, sinus congestion, asthma, bronchitis, and even Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease, or COPD (4). While salt lamps are pretty to look at and are effective at cleaning out microbes from the air, our bodies benefit more from the actual inhalation of Himalayan salt and the minerals it contains. Inhaling the negatively charged ions found in Himalayan salt has the potential to reduce inflammation throughout or respiratory system, including breaking up mucus and supporting lung function. The benefits also include:
- Allergy relief
- Reduces asthmatic symptoms
- Relieves coughing and congestion
- Improves lung function
- Aid in smoke damage
A study conducted in 2007 found that inhaling salt water stabilizes the airway lining fluid which in turn reduces the spread of airborne infectious diseases (5).
Another study found that COPD patients who inhaled dry salt were able to control their breathing more efficiently and walk a further distance without experiencing discomfort (6).
Salt inhalation was also found to benefit those with symptoms of bronchitis by reducing bronchial hyperresponsiveness (7).
How to use Himalayan Salt for Aromatic Therapies
The inhalation of Himalayan salt on its own is an effective way to combat respiratory issues, but adding aromatherapy will improve the therapeutic effects these practices have on the respiratory system.
You may use Himalayan salt in place of the cotton stick found inside any inhaler. This way you are receiving the benefits of the therapeutic benefits of the essential oils, along with the therapeutic effects of Himalayan salt. Research done on the inhalation of Himalayan salt on the respiratory system is growing. The therapeutic benefits are not only limited to the respiratory system, but to potentially support our body as a whole.
3 drops Roman Chamomile (Anthemis nobilis)
4 Laurel Leaf (Laurus nobilis)
4 Sandalwood (Santalum spicatum)
4 Siberian Fir (Abies sibirica)
5 Balsam Copaiba (Copaifera officinalis)
Directions: Remove cotton stick from inhaler, replace and fill with Himalayan salt. Add essential oil drops directly on the salt. Reassemble the inhaler. Keep sealed tightly when not in use.
*Not intended for children under 5 years of age, pregnant or nursing mothers, or the infirmed.
Combining essential oils and Himalayan salt in a body scrub is a great way to exfoliate the skin while reviving the body by removing toxins and impurities. Body scrubs are versatile because you can use them in the shower, in the bath, as a hand or foot scrub, or of course as an all over body scrub. You may add green tea or freshly ground coffee to a body scrub for their antioxidant, stimulating and purifying affects.
Himalayan Body Scrub For Cellulite:
1/2 cup Himalayan salt
1/4 cup dry ground coffee or green tea
1/2 cup fractionated coconut oil
10 drops Cedarwood (Cedrus atlantica)
10 drops Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi)
10 drops Juniper berry (Juniperis communis)
Directions: Mix together Himalayan salt and ground coffee or green tea. Add coconut oil, mix well. Add essential oils and thoroughly mix together. Store in a cool, dry place. Use 2-3x a week on affected area.This recipe does not contain and antioxidant or preservative. Use within 1-3 days.
Himalayan Detoxifying Bath
Bath soaks are a great way to combine the benefits of aromatherapy and Himalayan salt. They are a great way to relax after a workout, before going bed if you have troubles sleeping, or to manage acute or chronic pain and inflammation. You may add other salts, such as Epsom salt, which contains high amounts of magnesium, partnered with magnesium flakes.
1/2 cup Himalayan salt
1/2 cup Epsom salt
1/2 fractionated coconut oil
10 drops Cypress (Cupressus semprevirens)
10 drops Fennel (Foeniculum vulgare)
10 drops Ginger (Zingiber officinale)
Directions: Blend the salts and coconut oil together. Add drops of essential oil and thoroughly mix together. Fill up tub with water at desired temperature. Add the bath soak and sit in tub for 10-20 minutes. Rinse off.
TIP: Essential Oils In The Bath
Use a solubilizer. A solubilizer evenly distributes essential oils throughout ahydrous product or any product containing water. Solubilizing is an easy and effective way to help avoid any negative skin reactions, such as irritation or sensitization.
To learn more about the chemistry and chemical make-up of essential oils, so that you can become more confident when blending for family and friends, the Institute is offering a single day essential oil class. Visit our courses page to find the times and dates here.
- Brielle Curtis, Certified Aromatherapist of the Institute of Holistic Phyto-Aromatherapy