In every kitchen, there is a container with salt that the cooks use to add more flavour to their food. Scientists have proved that both excess salt and lack of salt are harmful to us. We all heard the old saying that salt is a white death. This is a rather negative image for this product, so the advertisers try different tricks to assure us salt irreplaceable not only in the kitchen, but also for self-care. Thus, additional qualities of salt have been highlighted. We will talk about trendy salty goods with exotic names and bright colors. Truth or a myth? Is Indian, Himalayan, Tibetan salt useful or dangerous for health?
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Advertising myths and truths
Table salt, which we consume daily, is made from halite, a mineral consisting of NaCl. This element is responsible for the salinity of sea water, saline and our tears. In addition, halite has other components: chloride compounds of potassium, magnesium and calcium, iodine, fluorine, manganese, and others. There is an established norm of additives to table salt, that is, the usual rock salt is purified several times. But due to the fact that halite itself can vary in composition in different regions, the properties of salt will also be different. The NaCl compound remains unchanged at no less than 80%.
How an “alternative salt” is formed
According to advertising, fashionable colored salt is mined in hard-to-reach areas: in Pakistan, in India, in the Chinese province of Qinghai. The high price is justified by the fact that salt is extracted manually and in ecologically clean areas. But they keep silent about the fact that most of the salt produced in those regions passes exactly the same purification process. And only a small part is packed without going through this process. Alternative salts are advertised as the purest and completely free from extraneous substances, since salt deposits, they say, arose millions of years ago, when the ecology of the planet was perfect.
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What determines the color and properties of decorative salts
Useful properties of salt directly depend on the amount of impurities contained in it. Mechanical impurities of iron compounds give salt a specific hue. Pink and red salt contains iron oxides: magnetite, hematite and brown iron ore. If we talk about the popular Indian salt Kala Namak, then sulphide and sulfate compounds of sodium, potassium and other elements give it its brown-black colour. When ground, this salt becomes pink. But be prepared to for an unpleasant rotten egg “aroma,” since this salt also contains sulfur compounds.
How to use the salts
Experts advise to use “alternatively-coloured” salts to treat ARI, to gargle, or even salt your food. Ordinary table salt or food sea salt can be used for same purposes. It is perfectly suited for inhalation in cases of bronchitis or pneumonia, for lotions and compresses to treat joint diseases.
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Be careful, since there is a chance you’ll come across imitations of alternative varieties of salts in a store. Often, instead of the Himalayan pink salt, dishonest sellers sell ordinary but slightly tinted salt. Salt consumption should be limited. After all, the usefulness of salt components is still being investigated.
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