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Is Himalayan salt a scam???

post #1 of 39
Thread Starter 
My SIL and mom use the pink Himalayan salt and raved about it's supposed fantastic qualities (healthier, more pure, etc.) so we bought some and had been using it for a month. I went online tonight to actually do some research into why it was so great for you, and came across a site that said that it's basically a scam.

http://www.poisonfluoride.com/pfpc/html/himalaya.html

It's not mined in the Himalayas. It's mined in Pakistan, in a salt mine.

The site said that the doctor who 'found' it and marketed its super qualities blatantly lied about it being from the Himalayas (therefore free from pollution, chemicals, etc.), and basically every other site promoting it I found cut and pasted his words onto their marketing ads.

So confused. So is this stuff for real or really just another health scam?
post #2 of 39
Actually, the Himalayas do extend into Pakistan. There are six countries in which the Himalayan mountains run, and Pakistan is one of them. For instance, K2 (the second highest mountain on Earth and in the Himalayan range) is on the border between Pakistan and China.

Geography of the mountain range aside, I don't think the salt comes from the actual mountains. I was in a really cool salt shop and their literature said it came from near the Himalayas but not in them ( I think maybe 200 miles away, or something close to that?). I'm sure the name "Himalayan Salt" was coined because it sounds much more exotic, and is more marketable, than "Pakistani Salt."
I think of it as being like when i went to BC Canada and all the tourist spots had "Canadian Maple Syrup" for sale in expensive little bottles. Sure, it was from Canada, but from clear across the country.

And yep, it is definitely mined, but then all non-sea salt needs to be. This particular "sea" salt is from really ancient sea beds: about 600 million years old. The salt is supposed to be very, very pure as far as salt deposits go (97% sodium chloride as opposed to a more common 94% in mined salt), but I don't know the actual mineral makeup. As for pollution and other chemical contaminates: I think it is pretty logical that the deposits, despite not being in the Himalayas, have been well protected deep within the Earth for millions of years and are probably as un-polluted as it gets.

The mine is supposed to be the second largest salt mine in the world. It is the Khewra salt mine, and there is lots of info on it if you do a web search. It's been a source of salt for people since before 300 BC, and actual mining started in the 1200's AD (I think There is a lot of interesting history surrounding it. Apparently it is a huge tourist attraction, and thousands of people visit it every year. There is a beautiful mosque inside made out of salt blocks: it is really lovely.

As for the actual mineral content and the fluoride concerns... i don't know, honestly. Some sources out there say it is really high in fluoride, and other sources say otherwise. Probably the only way to be sure would be to find someone independent, who doesn't have anything to gain or lose by the results, and get a good analysis done. Since many of the sites who are providing the analysis are either selling the salt or are vehemently against it it is hard to know who is telling the truth.

And as to whether it is this amazing miracle salt that all the hype would lead us to believe... I think probably not. It seems to me that the health industry loves to promote cool products, and neat things like this really take off on the health retail market and become a big fad. Some of the claims they make about the salt do seem a little "scammish."
The salt itself is beautiful, the lamps are gorgeous, the salt serving platters are a cool idea, the salt cooking platforms are awesome, and I'm sure it tastes lovely. But at the end of the day I don't think of it as one of those "must have" health items. There are lots of really great sources of salt out there, and this is but one of them.
post #3 of 39

First off we must keep in mind that salt is part of our DNA makeup. It is a mineral that the body needs. However, we cannot get the nutritional value out of simple table salt. It is chemically processed. Natural and organic is the way to go. Secondly do not believe articles such as the one posted stating it is a scam. Those are posted by the competition and do not want us to use another brand/ product. They are only interested in us buying their product only. If you read articles around the net on different products you will find this to be true with many different things, such as, Restaurants, types of foods, organics and etc.

 

Also keep in mind that regular Sea Salt might not necessarily be the healthiest alternative either due simply to how much toxins have been dumped in the oceans throughout the years. Find out how the companies clean the salt. If it is chemically processed then do not use it. The Himalayan salt I use is clean water washed and not chemically processed and you can actually taste how good it is.

 

As far as the Himalaya’s are concerned, that is where Pakistan is so, do not be concerned with that. Eating healthy is very important especially here in the states because of all the processed junk that is in everything now. Our food supply is now becoming the worst in the world due to corporate greed and it is a shame. For more healthy information you can check out one of my favorite sites at: www.mercola.com...

 

post #4 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigjh View Post

First off we must keep in mind that salt is part of our DNA makeup.


DNA is made of carbon, hydrogen, oxygen, and nitrogen. C, H, O, N.

 

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigjh View Post

However, we cannot get the nutritional value out of simple table salt. It is chemically processed.


You are joking, right?

 

Quote:
Originally Posted by dabigjh View Post

 

As far as the Himalaya’s are concerned, that is where Pakistan is so, do not be concerned with that.

 

Depends on the reasons for the worry.

 

http://www.nti.org/db/china/lopnur.htm

 

"The test site is the world's largest, occupying an area of over 100,000 sq km, with over 2,000 km of highways. Commercial satellite imagery shows that about 20,000 sq km have been used for testing. No duplicate facility was ever built under the "Third Line." Also the site for China's nuclear weapons training. Possibly also the location of a nuclear weapons stockpile. The headquarters of the test base is in Malan, about 125 km northwest of Qinggir."

 

Here's a map, the Himalayas are right there:


http://www.maplandia.com/china/xinjiang-uygur/yuli/qinggir/

 

The salt deposits probably formed before the nuclear testing, though. smile.gif 

 


Edited by DoubleDouble - 11/1/11 at 1:52pm
post #5 of 39

I get Utah Mineral Salt from San Francisco Salt Company. I can see the mineral colors in it; it tastes great, and I figure it is a lot more "local" to me than ordering salt from another hemisphere, kwim?

 

As far as the debate that table salt=mineral salt and that you are getting the same things out of it, it comes up here on MDC every now and again, and I've seen it get pretty heated  lol.gif  Personally, I feel confident that whole foods as close to their original form are a greater benefit to my health than processed foods, so I don't really get into the debate and just stick with my mineral salt whenever possible. :D But I don't feel good about paying for the super expensive stuff from the Himilayas because I do think, even though I'm sure it's great salt, it's just a little excessive for me to pay that much for special salt from that far away (ditto with the Celtic Sea Salt, I'm sure it's great, but pricey and a lot of shipping). That's how I came to the conclusion that the Utah Mineral Salt is the way to go for my family. 

 

Hope that helps!

post #6 of 39

Actually the human body is made of over 60 different chemical elements. Salt roughly being one of them. All though about 96% (roughly) is made of just 4 ingredients; oxygen, carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen, with a lot of the in the form of water.

So I'm nearly positive that salt (or at least the stuff that makes up this salt) is part of our DNA!

 

post #7 of 39

You have to look up the chemical formula of the DNA. Then you'll be absolutely positive that salt is not a part of DNA.

 

See for yourself - here is an illustration - all four bases of DNA are listed there and their chemical elements.

 

Notice the elements C, H, N, O (and the phosphorus bonds between the aminoacids.)

 

 

Salt is not a chemical element. The formula of table salt is NaCl. That's what salt is. Natrium and Chloride, dude.

 

Here is the spectral analysis of Himalayan salt.

 

The main ingredient is Chloride, 590.93 g/kg. The second one is Natrium, 382.61 g/kg. 

 

Note that it contains some P (phosphorus) at <0.10 parts per million. Carbon, <0.001 ppm. Nitrogen, 0.024 ppm. Not much, really. (And it also contains lead, at the same concentration of <0.10 parts per million as well! and traces of cadmium, arsenic,and mercury.)

 

 

Water is H2O, at least those elements are the same as in the DNA. But if someone tried to sell me water "Ooohh, buy this expensive water, from the Himalayan streams, because it's part of your DNA", I'd just laugh at them.

 

Salt is part of our body that is NOT DNA. So if some scammers try to advertise their salt as "essential part of DNA", you should be able to see that it is a scammy claim.

 

If they just said "Hey, it's a nice salt, tastes fine, is visually pleasing with that 'back to Mother Earth' vibe to it, it's from an exotic locale that brings up images of pristine mountains and simpler cultures with natural values. Pay us some extra money for the illusion of purity and harmony with nature, and try it in your lentil stew!" - I would not have a problem with that. The DNA connection is bunk.

 

(It is a nice salt, I'd use it, it's just when I hear that it is necessary for loving nourishment of our DNA, then it's funny.)

 


Edited by DoubleDouble - 2/8/12 at 5:32am
post #8 of 39

I once did a Him. salt flush, and it did nothing but made me feel HIGHLY irritable. Like the way people describe a Herx reaction. And no, it's not because I have some sort of "mercury based mineral transport derangement" or any of that stuff. It did not seem right going down, like Celtic SS does. I'd stick to high quality sea salt.

post #9 of 39

Double Dude, you need to go back to your books.  NaCl is the formula for salt.  Cl is chloride, but Na is sodium, not natrium.  Sodium is the element that gets everyones panties in a twist.  Yet it is one of the three key elements between every nerve to allow nerve conduction in our body.  The three elements are calcium, potassium, and sodium.  There needs to be a balance of all three.  Most people get far more sodium in their diet than needed.  Yet again there are people who are prone to low sodium.  Now about whether this salt being talked about is a scam, It will have other trace minerals incorporated into it.  again it depends on what those other minerals are.  Natural flouride is harmless in the minute amounts you would get in this salt.  The harmful flouride is the processed flouride you get put in today's products and how it is processed.  This salt has far less of the harmful chemicals today's table salt in the round canisters at the grocery stores have in them. 

post #10 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by frcontrone View Post

Double Dude, you need to go back to your books.  NaCl is the formula for salt.  Cl is chloride, but Na is sodium, not natrium.

Actually you need to go back to *your* books, frcontrone. Natrium is the Latin term for sodium and is where the chemical symbol Na derives from. Not commonly used today perhaps but not incorrect either.
post #11 of 39

So is it a scam or not? (confused)

post #12 of 39
Scam in the it gets promoted, but probably delicious anyway.
post #13 of 39

The interesting thing to me about himalayan sea salt (uh, and other gourmet salts, because let's be real, that's what this is) is that they all taste slightly different and also taste different from table salt.  I prefer the himalayan because it tastes good and is easily accessible for me from our grocery store.  I was under the impresson, however, that the different flavors of gourmet salts (like fleur de sel, for example) are because they have slightly different mineral contents?  I will say that I'm not completely clear on this, though.

 

I am clear on the fact that DNA is not the same as our bodily make up, so I'm with Doubledouble, there.  Salt is part of our bodily composition, but not part of the DNA molecule itself... or at least that's what my biology degree tells me.  lol.gif

post #14 of 39

It's not a scam in the sense that it really is salt, and, when applied to your food, really will make it taste salty. It's mined in Pakistan. Enjoy.

post #15 of 39

Thanks ~Adorkable~ and MichelleZB peace.gif

post #16 of 39

DoubleDouble, thanks for the lesson in the dead language, I really always wondered why the Periodic table had Sodium as "Na" (no really). However, English teachers gave up (over 20 years ago) the philosophy of using big & confusing words to seem smart. As soon as I started college (way too long ago), all the English teachers focused on clarity, which means catering to your intended audience, who in this case, is the average Jane.

 

Too often people just live for arguments on newsgroups picking on a couple of mis-spellings or grammar as proof the writer is smart the wrong way, and since I caught it, "I'm smarter than you!" While I appreciate the lesson on Natrium, it didn't become clear until frcontrone called you on it.

 

Practically speaking, your argument about the nuclear testing does bear concern, but supposedly the salt is dug up from way deep under the earth, and I feel it's still "purer" than the mass produced Morton's. I certainly don't have any facts either way, but unless someone provides traceable data of the radioactivity of the Himalayan salt, neither do you.

 

Gone are the days only graduates of philosophy were allowed to speak in public, and gone is the need for the Electoral College in the U.S. Presidential voting process. Bring on the Kardashians!

post #17 of 39

Actually, Germans call sodium Natrium; and potassium is Kalium (corresponds to the periodic table's names). So it's not dead, doubledouble might not be a native English speaker. ;)

 

Apart from that, sheesh, I just bought some Himalayan salt to try it. Should I be worried now? I usually buy grey celtic sea salt, but since we will move soon I didn't want to order another 5lb bag of salt! I also found the pink salt from Utah at the health food store and it tastes great. The big crystals from Pakistan will go into my salt grinder. Does it really have a lot of fluoride? 

post #18 of 39
Quote:
Originally Posted by ID10Tlikeu View Post

DoubleDouble, thanks for the lesson in the dead language, I really always wondered why the Periodic table had Sodium as "Na" (no really). However, English teachers gave up (over 20 years ago) the philosophy of using big & confusing words to seem smart. As soon as I started college (way too long ago), all the English teachers focused on clarity, which means catering to your intended audience, who in this case, is the average Jane.

 

Latin is hardly a "dead" language. Sad when someone thinks it is.

post #19 of 39
post #20 of 39
Back to salt -- there is one health reason that I know of for using old sa. If you are using sea salt, and are allergic to shellfish, ocean water sea salt has microscopic crustaceans in it. Salt from ancient seas doesn't cause allergic reactions.
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