As you can probably guess from the name, Himalayan Salt comes from the Himalayas, a mountain range that spans more the 1500 miles (2400 km) in Asia. However, there is so much more to learn about this amazing mineral. In this chapter you will learn the basics about sea salt, including Himalayan Salt, as well as information about its mineral composition, how it is collected and what it can be used for. By the time you finish this section you will have a good basic understanding of Saltpur 100% Original Himalayan Salt.
What is Sea Salt?
You are most probably familiar with salt, the white substance that you use to flavour food, but you may not be as familiar with sea salt. Sea salt is produced through the evaporation of saltwater (seawater) and it can be used for a variety of purposes, not just for cooking. Sea salt has been produced for centuries.
OTHER NAMES FOR SALT
- Sodium Chloride
- Bay Salt (sea salt)
- Solar Salt (sea salt)
- Halite (Himalayan Salt)
- Rock Salt (Himalayan Salt)
- Himalayan Crystal Salt
For thousands of years, sea salt has played an important role in human history. During the times of ancient Egypt, it was used in religious ceremonies and for trade with the Phoenicians. In fact, salt was so valuable that it was utilized as a form of currency in many areas. At one time, salt was traded ounce-per-ounce with gold – if that were still the case today, you would be paying $300 (R3450) or more per ounce of salt. The modern word: SALARY: which is just one more testament to the importance of this mineral throughout human history.
Sea salt exists in many forms but one of the most popular types in Himalayan Salt, also known as halite. This type of salt comes largely from Pakistan and it origins lie in the primal sea, an underground sea located deep within the Himalayan Mountains that was formed about 250 million years ago. What was once a sea dried up over the thousands of years, leaving large deposits of pure, crystal-like salt that is now known as Himalayan Salt. The salt is chipped out of the large salt formations and used to create a variety of products like Salt Lamps, Bath Salts, and even Salt for cooking and natural remedies.
Different minerals have different chemical compositions – all minerals are made up of various ions. What makes Himalayan Salt so interesting is that it contains 84 trace naturally-occurring mineral elements, many of which are essential for maintaining optimal health. Himalayan Salt contains many elements described below:
Full list of minerals found in Himalayan Salt as follows:
Hydrogen Fluoride Chloride Lithium Sodium Potassium
Beryllium Magnesium Calcium Boron Aluminium Scandium
Carbon Silicon Titanium Nitrogen Phosphorus Vanadium
Oxygen Sulfur Chromium Manganese Palladium Holmium
Iron Silver Erbium Cobalt Cadmium Thulium
Nickel Indium Ytterbium Copper Tin Lutetium
Zinc Antimony Hafnium Gallium Tellurium Tantalum
Germanium Iodine Wolfram Arsenic Caesium Rhenium
Selenium Barium Osmium Bromine Lanthanum Iridium
Rubidium Cerium Platinum Strontium Praseodymium Gold
Ytterbium Neodymium Mercury Zirconium Promethium Thallium
Niobium Samarium Lead Molybdenum Europium Bismuth
Technetium Gadolinium Polonium Ruthenium Terbium Astatine
Rhodium Dysprosium Francium Radium Protactinium Plutonium
Actinium Uranium Thorium Neptunium
To give you a frame of reference for comparing Himalayan Salt to other Salts, consider this:
- Table salt contains about 97.5% sodium chloride and 2.5% other chemicals including iodine and absorbents.
- Pink rose salt contains about 95.5% sodium chloride, 0.02 magnesium, 0.64% potassium, and 0.07% calcium.
- Black lava salt contains 0.34% magnesium, 0.20% potassium, and 35.94% sodium.
Where does it come from?
The Khewra Salt Mine is the largest source of Himalayan Salt in the world and the second largest salt mine in general. This mine is located in Khewra which belongs to the Jhelum District in Pakistan. The mine is located about 125 miles (200 km) from Lahore and Islamabad within a mineral-rich mountain range that extends for more than 125 miles (200 km) throughout Pakistan from the Jhelum River to where it joins with the Indus River. The mine itself is the largest and oldest mine in Pakistan and a major tourist attraction, hosting as many as 250,000 visitors per year.
a) Alexander’s The Great’s & Himalayan Salt
The Khewra Salt Mine was discovered by the Alexander the Great’s troops as early as 320 BC but it didn’t start trading until the age of the Mughal Empire during the 16th century. The salt range in which the mine is located was formed over 800 million years ago by the evaporation of the of a shallow underground sea. The geological movement that followed led to the formation of a salt range that extends more than 185 miles (300 km). The credit for the discovery of the salt range does not go to Alexander the Great himself, nor to his troops – it goes to his horses that were founded licking the stones in the area.
b) Mughal Empire, Sikh raj & Himalayan Salt
During the age of the Mughal Empire in the 16th century, salt from the range was traded in markets all over the continent, as far away as Central Asia. When the Mughal Empire fell, the mine was taken over by the Sikhs. The mine was divided into two sections – Hari Singh Nalwa, The Sikh commander-in-chief, was given control of the Warcha mine; while Gulab Singh, The Raja of Jammu, was given control of the Khewru Mine. Throughout the time the mine was controlled by the Sikhs, its salt was used for both food and as a source of revenue through trade.
c) British Empire & Himalayan Salt
By the last 1800s, the British Empire had taken control of the mine and developed it further.