Types Of Salt In Salt Therapy: Rock Salt Vs Sea Salt Vs Table Salt
Salt and Types of Salt in Salt Therapy
NaCl or sodium chloride is a natural mineral known as halite, found worldwide in white cube-shaped crystals. It consists of two elements: sodium and chlorine. Salt occurs naturally in underground salt deposits within sedimentary layers and domal deposits. Domal deposits accumulate over thousands of years through the evaporation of saltwater from previous marine basins. Additionally, bedded salt forms sedimentary layers containing not only salt but also minerals like sodium, potassium, phosphorus, iron, zinc, and calcium.
Salt is also present dissolved in the water of oceans and salt lakes. Most of the world’s salt is harvested from underground salt mines, or sea water by evaporation. It’s used in the food industry for flavor and preservation. Different types of salt include Grey Rock Salt, Himalayan Pink Salt, Kosher Salt, Sea Salt, Celtic Salt, and refined table salt. This analysis focuses on these types from the SaltAir – Home Salt Therapy perspective.
Refined salt, or table salt, is the most common type of salt available to buy. It is usually highly processed by grinding and removing most impurities and trace minerals. Due to salts hydrophilic properties, grinding it finely will cause it to clump together and for this reason various substances called anti-caking agents are added to prevent this. Due to these factors, this type of salt is not recommended to be used in salt therapy treatments.
Sea salt is made by evaporating seawater from seas, oceans, salt lakes or other mineral-rich waters. Like table salt, it is mostly just sodium chloride. However, depending from where it was harvested and how it was processed, it usually does contain traces of minerals like potassium, iron and zinc. On the other hand, it may also contain trace amounts of heavy metals like lead or other pollutants, due to pollution of oceans. The darker the sea salt, the higher concentration of impurities and trace minerals. There is a huge market promoting the use of sea salt but it’s far from the best option. We do not recommend the use of sea salt in salt therapy for breathing problems!
Halite as a mineral or Rock salt, typically occurs as colourless isometric crystals, but it can also be light blue, dark blue, purple, pink, orange or grey depending on the amount and type of mineral impurities.
Rock salt, scientifically known as halite, predominantly originated during the Middle Miocene Epoch, marked by warmer global climates. It resulted from the accumulation of salt deposits over tens of thousands of years due to evaporated saltwater in marine basins or sedimentary layers. These salt layers, concealed by rock formations, are typically situated underground or within mountains. However, rock salt can also be found at the surface in desert regions.
Rock salt is extracted from underground using two procedures – evaporating brine and mining. In the process of brine evaporation, water is ‘injected’ into the rock salt layers, deep underground, and the salt solution flows through pipelines to a collection tank to undergo re-crystallization in an evaporator plant. Through this method, many natural minerals are washed out and lost. In the process of mining, rock salt is extracted from rock layers with the help of various mining methods. Most salt mines operate underground, but there are open-cast mines where rock salt is mined on the surface.
This type of salt is the best salt because it preserves all its natural properties while remaining minimally processed. After extraction it is mostly only crushed and sieved for particle size distribution.
Types of Salt in Salt Therapy
Rock salt is the only salt recommended in halotherapy (salt therapy) for breathing problems, as it is the most natural type of salt. Sodium chloride, together with naturally occurring minerals in rock salt, have a synergistic effect on respiratory mucosa, allowing for remarkable health benefits.
SaltAir – Home Salt Therapy device by Halosense uses grey rock salt, the same as in most halotherapy medical studies. Other types of salt, such as Himalayan rock salt have higher concentrations of iron oxide (rust) which gives it the pinkish colour. Because of this, it is not suitable for use with the ultrasonic devices in salt therapy. However, it looks very nice in salt lamps and also delicious in cooking.