Ok, this one a little out of left field I know, but I did promise to expand my knowledge on other chemical free options after the great crystal exhibition episode of 2018, so grab a beer, take a seat and come with me on a salty man-journey! Like much of the stuff I write about here, this little post was inspired by my beautiful wife – and a light bulb she wanted me to purchase. This one started with a text as she is currently away working – “Hey, when you are in town today can you see if you can get a bulb for the salt lamp?”. My response… “We have a salt lamp?”.
So after my re-edumancation into the things that we have in our house, I managed to open said lamp, find a bulb and get it replaced – turns out they are at the local health food store… Who knew? And of course, now that my tiny little mind is constantly consumed with what things do in the world of chemical free living – added to the fact that I was too afraid to ask Nic, I decided to have a look into the benefits of Himalayan Rock Salt.
What is it?
Yep it’s salt! It comes from the Khewra region of Northern Pakistan and its pink colour comes from the minerals that are contained within it. This salt is said to be millions of years old and contains trace elements of 84 minerals including potassium, calcium and magnesium.
Now, time to be a little skeptical here… The trace elements are so small that I really struggle to understand how they can be of benefit, I mean if you want potassium, eat a banana. There is also no real discernible difference between natural rock salt and natural sea salt, however the human body does in fact need salt as part of a balanced diet and both types are much much better for you than processed white salt – and let’s face it, natural sea salt looks soooo much better on the side of a margarita glass than the processed stuff!!.
What are the benefits?
Now, before we start, as I do with Essential Oils – and crystals for that matter, I need to be clear here. I am not going to sit here and promote the use of any type of natural salt as a magical cure for every disease known to man. I don’t agree with that and will never try to say otherwise. Unlike the benefits which, again like oils etc. are largely in the eye of the beholder, there are some proven health risks to those with high sodium intakes including high blood pressure, heart disease and kidney failure.
However unless you are piling it onto your nightly steak and veges, it does seem to have some benefits to the human body. These include:
- Muscle relaxant and stimulant
- Assisting the body in maintaining proper fluid balance and preventing dehydration – we have all seen the sports drink ads
- Assisting nervous system impulses
- Assisting with the prevention of low blood pressure
- Assisting with mood/sleep
How do we use it?
So, in order to gain the manly benefits of this type of salt without the negative effects, you can try the following:
Salt lamps are claimed to improve the air quality of your home and are created by carving a large chunk of salt out of the mine, gouging a hole in the bottom and inserting an electrical light socket and plug – well that is the simple process anyway. Their use is even simpler, make sure there is a bulb in it, plug it in and switch it on.
I use the term ‘claimed’ as I have not been able to find any proof that they do this but proponents will tell you that as they absorb water and particles from the air, taking positive ions with them. The heated salt then releases water vapor back into the air leaving the impurities on the lamp. They also then expel negative ions. This process is supposed to leave the air clean and pure leading to improved sleep and a clearer, calmer and more focused mood.
Ummmmmm…. we use one, it is essentially on all day. I have to be honest, I have to put it in the category of if you feel it making a difference, then it probably is. It does look nice at night though. If you suffer from allergies etc. then I would probably give it a try!
Back when I wrote about manly uses for lavender essential oils, I did mention for those of us who are a little more comfortable within ourselves that a lavender bath might be worth a go. If you tried it and loved it, then I have a treat for you. I didn’t love the lavender bath – of course I had to try it for research’ sake but I am not a fan of baths. But after a hard game of indoor soccer or a busy day on the beach, or any other manly stuff like, you know, working, a salt bath is the bomb (no pun intended)!!!
Again, I am not sure there is any real health benefit as such, however these baths will make you feel like a new man… For a good old salt bath you will need:
- A bathtub (obviously)
- 2 – 4 Pink Himalaya Salt rocks
Anything else you need to make the whole thing a little more manly such as:
- Sports Magazine
- Man drink and nachos
- TV (you know a TV in the bathroom is a good idea)
Fill the bathtub, add your Himalayan salt rocks and stir until the salt is mostly dissolved. Then submerge as much of your body as you can for around 20-30 minutes.
As one man to another… if your body is stiff and sore… do this, you will not regret it, and will probably even tell your mates how good it is!
Epsom salts – Epsom salts are not actually a salt but rather a pure mineral compound of magnesium sulfate in crystal form. It is not salt as it has no sodium chloride. It looks like salt, can smell like salt but, unlike the duck, is not salt. That aside, if you are a little low on the old pink Himalayan rock salt this week, you can substitute the old Epsom salts for a fairly good result.
Salt does get a bit of a bad rub in the dietary world. However, scientists have long outlined some very strong benefits of eating salt – which is the only reason I am mentioning it – if it is proven in science, then I will talk about it. As I said earlier, this does not apply to processed table salt, rather natural sea salt or natural Himalayan rock salt. I mentioned some benefits at the start of this post, below is some of the extra benefits to be had by eating moderate amounts of natural salt:
- Improved vascular health and blood circulation
- Improved respiratory and lung function
- A stable pH balance of your cells
- A lowered blood pressure
However, these benefits are only recognised as part of a controlled diet – and by this I mean healthy foods in moderation – too much salt in your diet will have the reverse effects of these benefits. To reduce blood pressure and lower the risk of heart disease, the Australian Heart Foundation recommends adults eat less than 5g of salt (2000mg of sodium) a day. That’s less than a teaspoon a day.
There’s no salt is buffalo wings right? anyone?
Himalayan Salt Plate
Ok, so this one has no benefit at all, I just wanted to add some manliness to this post. Now I ask you what man doesn’t want to find a way to impress his mates with a little out of left field salt cooking. A salt plate is a big flat lump of very hard rock salt that can be heated on the grill, or in the oven and then used to cook meat, seafood or anything else to add a little bit of a salty flavour to it.
They can also be chilled and used as a flavour enhancement to your manly fruit and cheese platters, seafood platters or even some deli meats…
I haven’t used one, and in the interest of full disclosure, didn’t know they existed until now but I might have to give one a bit of a go at some stage. Will keep you posted. Oh and ladies, if you are reading this – it is coming up to Christmas so *cough cough* Gift idea *cough*.
So there you have it, a simple request to change a light bulb and this is what you get. A long-winded exchange into a product that in terms of real health benefits I am still more than a little skeptical about in regards to salt lamps but comfortable with in terms of consumption. The bath does feel good though. Now, must go as I have to turn the salt lamp on, pour a glass of red and run me a man-bath!
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