The health benefits of sea salt include skin care, improved dental health, and relief from rheumatoid arthritis, muscle cramps, psoriasis, and osteoarthritis. It also helps in providing relief from acne and rhinosinusitis. Furthermore, it is beneficial for exfoliation, nasal and eye wash, and an improved electrolytic balance of the body. It has healing properties that play a vital role in maintaining the acid-alkali ratio, regular heartbeat, and relaxed sleep, along with providing relief from fatigue.
What is Sea Salt?
Sea salt, also known as bay salt, is produced by the process of evaporation of salt water bodies. It is darker in color as compared to refined salt due to the absorption of essential minerals from the clay lining of the body of water. Normally, the harvesting of refined table salt involves heavy processing, including mining followed by iodizing, bleaching, and diluting with anti-caking agents. More chemicals are added during the processing of salt, which often steals all of its beneficial minerals and trace elements, except sodium and chloride.
Unlike refined salts, the preparation of sea salt usually includes very little processing, so it retains its moisture and mineral treasure. These minerals are present in a form that is easily utilized and absorbed by the human body. The climate and the geographical location of the region also play a significant role in the quality and combination of minerals offered by the sea salt.
The Mediterranean Sea, the Atlantic Ocean, and the North Sea are the most common hubs for harvesting sea salt. The method involved in harvesting it also helps retain its natural state and therapeutic qualities. These healing properties of sea salt help in maintaining the good cellular functioning of the body and have been appreciated for ages. In ancient times, it was valuable for healing hand injuries and wounds of fishermen.
Celtic sea salt is harvested differently and uses conventional Celtic methods. These methods involve working and collecting the salt entirely by hand, using only wooden tools. It does not contain harmful chemicals and additives that are usually added to refined salts to prevent them from clumping.
Nutritional Value of Sea Salt
Sea salt derives 82 essential trace nutrients from the mineral treasure trove present in seawater. These natural minerals are valuable for the healthy functioning of the body. The nutritional wealth of sea salt includes vital minerals like sodium, potassium, calcium, magnesium, bromide, chloride, iron, copper, and zinc, among other beneficial elements.
Health Benefits of Sea Salt
Sea salt consists of a similar assortment of minerals and natural healing elements as those found on skin cells. This makes it a perfect natural ingredient to be used for therapeutic treatments and beauty products.
The mineral content in Dead Sea salt has long been appreciated for its rejuvenating effects on the skin. Bathing in a Dead Sea salt solution helps in keeping the skin moisturized and revitalized. Dead Sea salt baths also help in improving the skin barrier function and eliminating the roughness and inflammation on the skin’s surface. Studies have shown that this anti-inflammatory effect is attributed to the presence of a high content of magnesium in these salts. It also helps in the detoxification of the body by flushing out toxins from the pores, while also aiding in improving blood circulation.
Sea salt contains fluoride, which is beneficial for promoting dental health. Fluoride aids in protecting the teeth from acidic damage and prevents the development of caries and cavities. Regular rinsing and gargling with tepid sea salt water help alleviate mouth sores, bleeding gums, ulcers, and the pain of sore throats.
Relief from Rheumatoid Arthritis
Dead Sea salts have been proven to be effective in providing therapeutic relief to patients suffering from rheumatoid arthritis. Studies have made it clear that baths containing these salts possess anti-inflammatory qualities and have demonstrated significant improvements in such ailments as compared to normal sodium chloride baths.
Sea salt finds another use in the cosmetic industry in the manufacturing of scrubs and other skin care products like antiperspirants and deodorants. Exfoliation with sea salts helps remove dead skin particles, tone up the skin tissues, encourage peripheral blood circulation, and also promote skin renewal. Unlike table salt, the granular texture of sea salt works very well in providing clean and smooth skin. Sea salt scrub therapy is also advised for patients suffering from low blood pressure, epilepsy, poor blood circulation, and general body fatigue as it promotes healthy blood circulation.
Sea salt is considered to be a natural remedy for the treatment of psoriasis, along with the appropriate medication. Treatment with it has shown noteworthy improvements in patients suffering from skin conditions like itching and scaling. The efficacy of balneotherapy, which is done using a sea salt treatment with mud packs and sulfur baths on those suffering from psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis has also demonstrated promising results with respect to a reduction in spinal pain and increased flexibility of the spine.
Reduces Osteoarthritis Risk
Studies have demonstrated improvements in patients suffering from knee osteoarthritis after treatment using balneotherapy with Dead Sea salt. In addition to this, some patients were able to sustain their improved health parameters even after a few weeks, unlike those who took the bath treatment with normal sodium chloride.
Research studies have proven that Dead Sea salt solution is also effective in treating rhinosinusitis. The study also concluded that nasal irrigation and sprays done with sea salt showed better symptomatic relief as compared to those made of a hypertonic saline solution. The anti-inflammatory effects of Dead Sea salts make them a natural and healthy alternative to be considered for treating nasal allergies and other respiratory disorders as compared to nasal steroids, which have certain side effects like inflammation that can lead to mucus secretion. The mineral content present in Dead Sea salts helps alleviate swelling and congestion as well.
Maintains Electrolyte Balance
Sea salt helps in maintaining a healthy electrolyte balance in the body, which is necessary for maintaining optimum blood composition and circulation, muscular strength, and overall functioning of the body. Minerals like potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium contribute to the electrolytic equilibrium of the body.
Relaxes Aching Feet
Soaking your tired feet in a warm sea salt solution helps relax the muscles, and relieve the soreness and pain in your aching feet.
Regulates Blood Sugar
Sea salts also help in maintaining balanced levels of blood sugar. It is effective in reducing the body’s dependency on insulin medication for the regulation of sugar levels.
Encourages Restful Sleep
Sea salt baths have a calming and soporific effect, thus helping in inducing profound and rejuvenating sleep. They also help in preventing excess salivation that flows out of the mouth during sleep, keeping your body hydrated.
Sea salt aids in maintaining healthy levels of blood pressure and helps normalize irregular heartbeats. It has also shown beneficial effects in preventing the occurrence of various cardiac disorders.
Prevents Hair Loss
One of the lesser known benefits of sea salt is the stimulation of healthy hair growth. Massaging the scalp with the sea salt aids in an improved circulation of blood and it strengthens the hair follicles.
Relieves Muscle Cramps
Sea salt is beneficial in relieving muscle cramps and enhancing muscular strength. Essential minerals like magnesium and potassium have therapeutic and rejuvenating qualities, thus making sea salts a natural remedy to cure aches and pains. The osmosis effect created by the solute content in a sea salt bath prevents the build-up of toxins in the body. This helps in easing any stiffness and discomfort caused by muscle fatigue and tension.
A sea salt solution helps in relieving puffiness around your tired eyes. A sea salt compress aids in reducing the dark circles and sagging bags under the eyes, while inducing a calming, stress-relieving effect.
Sea salts help in alkalizing the cells of the body by facilitating the excretion of excess acids through urination. This helps in maintaining the optimal acid-alkali ratio of the body. In case the pH value of the blood moves towards the acidic side, it can disturb the natural, healthy balance of the body and may result in chronic medical conditions like Alzheimer’s disease.
Healing & Purifying Properties
The electromagnetic force field that surrounds our body tends to attract negative energies and impurities from the environment. These energies may influence the health and well-being of some people. Baths enriched with sea salts are believed to have purifying qualities as they absorb such energies within themselves and relieve the body of toxins.
Sea salt is also valued for its distinct flavor and is added to various recipes, particularly in French and Thai cuisine.
Sea salts are naturally anti-allergenic and are considered beneficial in providing relief from asthma and other allergies. Sea salt baths also alleviate the risk of infections and contribute towards the overall immunity of the body. Sea salts are also effective in treating conditions like hives, skin rashes, dandruff, and hair loss.
Sea salt is a major source of sodium and should be consumed in appropriate quantities. Irrespective of the type of salt, excessive intake of one type of salt may lead to ailments like edema or high blood pressure, which can pose a risk for other medical conditions.