It’s not healthier for you. It doesn’t technically come from the Himalayas. But pink salt’s appeal has exploded nonetheless.

For decades, I was under the impression that salt is white. Table salt, sea salt, kosher salt, whatever—the sky is blue, the salt is white, and that’s just how things are. Then, about three years ago and for reasons that were not clear to me at the time, much of the salt I encountered was suddenly pink. I bought some pink salt, but I didn’t know why. It seemed like the right thing to do.

Specifically, almost all pink salt is branded as Himalayan. Most of that comes from the enormous Khewra Salt Mine, situated between Islamabad and Lahore in Punjab, a bit south of the actual Himalayas in Pakistan. Those salt veins, formed when ancient seabeds were pushed inland, are hundreds of millions of years old, and legend holds that the site of the mine was originally discovered by Alexander the Great. Now pink salt is available from a slew of food, beauty, and home-decor brands. Instagram wellness influencers insist it will help you regulate your blood sugar and sleep cycle. You can buy a set of shot glasses carved out of rose-colored Himalayan salt for about 30 bucks at Williams Sonoma.

Although pink Himalayan salt is perfectly functional for its intended culinary purpose—making food salty—it’s never before been particularly prized or venerated for its quality. That makes its meteoric rise from food-world also-ran to modern lifestyle totem all the more unlikely. For it to happen, a lot of seemingly separate dynamics in food, media, and health had to collide.

Even if you lack high-end gourmet tendencies, if you’re interested in food at all, you’ve probably encountered pink Himalayan salt periodically since 2009. That’s when Trader Joe’s started carrying it prepackaged in a grinder, according to Erin Baker, a representative for the grocery chain. Baker wouldn’t disclose sales but noted that Trader Joe’s stores carry fewer products than traditional grocery stores do and cycle out products that don’t sell quickly. “A nine-year (and counting) run [for our pink salt] would be indicative of customer interest,” she told me in an email.

The Trader Joe’s version was my first brush with the product a few years ago, and after I noticed it (which was easy, because it’s pink) on the table at a friend’s dinner party, it seemed to pop up in the home of everyone I visited afterward. The grinders cost only a few bucks, and they appear to catch on like a yawn in social circles of young home cooks assembling their first solid, adult pantries.

That memorable look gives the product an advantage that would otherwise be difficult for marketers to assign to something as mundane as salt: a distinctive brand. “I mean, it’s really pretty, right?” says Megan O’Keefe, the business manager of SaltWorks, America’s largest salt importer. “The pink color and the natural look make seeing a grinder filled with it impactful, and that’s attractive to consumers.”

When the chef and food scientist Ali Bouzari first encountered pink Himalayan salt in a store, it was in a specialty spice shop in Denver. “I asked one of the clerks what it was good for, and she just looked at me and deadpanned: ‘Being pink,’” he told me.

The salt’s color is certainly key to its success as an Instagram icon of aesthetically pleasing home cookery; there are more than 70,000 images under the #pinksalt hashtag. But it also works on another, less obvious level. According to Mark Bitterman, the author of several books on fine salts, Himalayan pink’s aesthetic difference allows consumers to read other differences into it. “We’ve been told we’re not supposed to eat salt, but we need to, and we’re biologically compelled to, and flavor doesn’t work without it,” he says. “So we had to find some way to understand this tension between the existential terror of eating it and the physiological reality of needing it. What we did was we said, ‘Uh, natural salt, pink salt, whatever—that’s safe.’”

Bouzari has seen a similar phenomenon among clients at his food-product consultancy. “Pink salt is ‘good salt.’ Some of our clients literally say that phrase: They want to make sure their paleo pork rind or whatever only has good salt,” he says. Pink salt might be pretty, but it wouldn’t have reached its current popularity without a significant boost from trendy notions of wellness. Often that means single foods or ingredients end up with a vague reputation for quasi-medicinally, often based on notions of their purity or naturalness.

Although many things become popular because of specious health claims attached to them on Instagram by people with lots of followers and few credentials, Himalayan salt seems to be a slightly different case: People saw it and liked it, and many of them reverse-engineered a justification for that desire from there. That often hinges on the elevated levels of trace minerals in the salt, which are what give it its distinctive look. Although those minerals are indeed present, the health claims attached to them are fiction, according to Bouzari. “Compositionally, it doesn’t check out that you would have enough zinc or magnesium or calcium in this salt to make a difference,” he told me. And because salt lacks the chemical context of more complete foods, which contain other elements that help your body efficiently absorb nutrients at a molecular level, it’s doubtful salt would even be a good way to get those nutrients inside you.

Still, the food’s fabled origins are enough to give those claims a veneer of authenticity for plenty of people. Because of Himalayan salt’s American branding as healthful and Eastern, it joins things like turmeric and matcha as ingredients that have long been used outside the United States but that have become fetishized—and sometimes appropriated—for their mystical foreignness and near-magical medicinal properties. “I don’t know that pink salt is anyone’s hallowed cultural touchstone,” says Bouzari. “But I wonder if it was called Pakistani if people would be quite as taken with it.”

To Bitterman, Himalayan salt’s status as an outsider in American and European traditions seems key to its success. “Right around the time that pink salt made its debut on the American scene, French gray sea salt and fleur de sel were making their debut, which are fancy salts,” he says. “And people seemed to believe they couldn’t be healthy.”

The salt’s popularity probably wouldn’t be possible without the context of rising concerns about industrialized food systems. American Millennials, raised on the processed foods of the ’80s and ’90s, want to know what they’re eating. “It’s almost a farm-to-table idea,” says O’Keefe. “That story of pink salt coming out of the mountains and being mined from these ancient seabeds is romantic.”

And it’s not just food. People love the salt so much that it’s begun showing up in beauty products and decor, such as bath scrubs and salt lamps. Hillary Dixler Canavan, the restaurant editor of the food-culture website Eater, sees that as part of a larger attitude in wellness. “Gwyneth Paltrow once dipped a french fry in Goop face cream and ate it to show how organic it is,” she says. “There is this idea that your beauty supply should be food, and your food should be beauty, as a signifier that you really value natural and organic ideals.”

Dixler Canavan is a little more skeptical about whether pink salt’s uses outside food are proof of its quality. “It’s very telling that it’s not widely used in high-end restaurant kitchens,” she says. “The pink-salt thing is aesthetic. It’s the same thing as having one of those Diptyque candles. It’s another marker of taste and your adherence to what your taste is supposed to be.”

Pink salt is more expensive than its less photogenic counterparts: A five-pound bag of coarse pink Himalayan from SaltWorks will cost you $19, compared with $11.40 for Mediterranean sea salt in the same quantity and coarseness. And because it’s not necessarily eight bucks more functional as an ingredient, that won’t be worth it for some people. For others, though, Bouzari understands the impulse. “It’s theater, it’s performance,” he says. “Little flecks of unicorn cocaine on a nice charred beet? That’s aesthetically appealing, and that will influence flavor indirectly … Functionally, it’s good for everything that salt’s good for, full stop.”

Everybody like to keep the air of his house purified to maintain a healthy indoor environment. While selecting a device which can create a healthy environment some cautions should always be kept in mind. The device which you are using at your home may be harmful in some cases if not used properly. The house should be safe both for humans as well as pets living inside that house. Some people also consider their pets as their family members and spend a lot to give them special care and healthy environment. That’s why all the devices or equipment you are having at your home must be safe for your pets as well. The safety of a salt lamp actually depends upon the proper use of a salt lamp. Generally, the salt lamps are safe for
pets, but in some cases salt poisoning can occur if proper care is not taken, especially in the case of furry pets like cats and dogs. The properly placed salt lamps areabsolutely safe for your pets and does not cause harm to your pets, but on the other hand salt lamps can be somewhat dangerous if your pet licks them excessively. As the salt lamps give a beautiful glowing light, the pets can be easily attracted towards them. Pets also have do recommended intake dose of salt (sodium chloride) which is 16.7 mg sodium and 23.7 mg chloride for cats, whereas 3 mg/pound of body weight for dogs. If the pets excessively lick the salt lamps or the intake is increased than recommended amount, it can have serious health effects. For that reason it is recommended to keep the salt lamps out of the reach of pets by placing them in the area where pets are not allowed.

Himalayan pink salt can be used in various ways. It can be used for cooking, construction, decoration, as well as for therapeutic purposes. Himalayan salt foot detox is one of the best products which are used for healing and therapies. Himalayan salt consists of more than 80 different minerals which are useful for the human body. These minerals are easily absorbed by the feet because of their pores which aid in absorption. Some of the amazing benefits of Himalayan salt foot detox are listed below:

Aid Muscle Function

The essential minerals present in Himalayan pink salt aid in the proper conduction of nerve impulses in the body. The increased hydration of cells allows calcium to conduct the messages more easily throughout the nerves.

Detoxify the Body

Himalayan pink salt helps in removal of toxins from the body. The main process involved in this is reverse osmosis, by which the excess fluids and toxins are excreted out of the body.

Hydrate the Body

Himalayan pink salt maintains a healthy balance between electrolytes and water in your body. This balance helps to keep your body hydrated throughout the day.

Improve Blood Circulation

Himalayan pink salt reduces the inflammation of arteries consequently resulting in improved blood circulation in the body. It maintains the elasticity of arteries and aids in regulating the blood pressure.

Reduce Muscle Pain

Lactic acid produced during exercise or physical activity is accumulated in the muscles and cause muscle cramp or pain. Himalayan pink salt has minerals like magnesium and potassium that help to remove the lactic acid out of the muscles and into the bloodstream from where it is eliminated through the skin.

Remove Bad Odour

Himalayan pink salt has antibacterial and antifungal properties. Thus, have a salt foot detox will kill the bacteria and fungus which are responsible for bad odour in feet.

salt lamp

The health benefits of Himalayan pink salt lamps are supported by different professionals, but it is widely suggested to use these lamps regularly to get maximum benefits. Moreover, salt lamps must be placed properly for the best outcomes. Following are some tips to place these lamps:

Bedroom

The negative ions emitted by the pink salt lamps as well as their hygroscopic nature provide various benefits to your health.  They can help in easy respiration, reducing stress and getting better sleep. So, it is suggested to place a salt lamp in your bedroom.

Kids Room

In addition to usual accessories and toys, having a pink salt lamp in your kid’s room is a great option. The health-promoting effect of the salt lamp can boost your child’s health, protecting them from the harmful particles and positively charged ions present in the room’s air.

Living Room

To get the maximum benefits closely, place a pink salt lamp in your living area which is mostly used by your family. This is a great way to décor your living room while getting countless health benefits.

Massage and Spa Room

Massage and spa rooms are the places for getting mind and body relaxation. Good spas always try to have all the accessories to satisfy their customers. So, a pink salt lamp can be a great addition to a massage, meditation or spa room. The soothing light and negative ions emitted by the salt lamps help to get rid of mental and physical stress.

Office Room

The positive ions are continuously emitted by the electronic devices around you, especially in your office. These positive ions actually have a negative effect on your health, but it is almost impossible to avoid these electronic devices. Salt lamps emit negatively charged ions which counter the harmful effect of positively charged ions by neutralizing them. So placing a pink salt lamp in your office room can be useful.

Patient Room

Patients always need a natural and clean environment which can aid in their healing process. Clean and pure air is desired by the patients, especially those who are suffering from respiratory disorders. So, placing a pink salt lamp in their room is one of the best gifts for your loved ones.

Window Shelf

Nowadays, air pollution is increasing rapidly. Doors and windows are the main source of dust and other contaminants. So it is suggested to place a pink salt lamp on window shelves of your home, as it can combat these pollutants and protect you from these harmful particles.

With a growing market, it has become difficult to distinguish between real and fake Himalayan salt lamps. Usually, one can only be exposed to the characteristics of a fake lamp by carefully reading the reviews of the product or by buying or using a salt lamp. However, there are several ways to differentiate between real and fake ones. Following are some of the signs of fake Himalayan salt lamp:

No Positive Health Effects

Real Himalayan pink salt lamps have some great positive effects on health. If you are using a proper salt lamp at your place and are in regular exposure for a long time, but did not feel any positive effects on your health then you must rethink about the originality of your salt lamp.

White Crystals

A real Himalayan salt lamp usually gives pinkish or orange hue. Prefer buying a lamp with these versions if you want a real one. Although there are some salt lamps with white crystals it is very rare. Moreover, the real white salt lamps are too costly, so if a white salt lamp is not significantly expensive then it is probably a fake one.

Light Intensity

Real pink salt lamps do not have very bright light. Actually, this is because of the high mineral content of Himalayan salt that its light is somewhat dim and irregular. If a salt lamp if giving very bright light and illuminating a full room then it is probably fake.

Resistant to Moisture

Salt has hygroscopic nature, so it absorbs moisture from the surroundings. If a salt lamp is not adversely affected by moisture than it is probably a fake one. On the other hand, a little sweating occurs when a real salt lamp is placed near a moisture source.

Origin not Pakistan

Real Himalayan pink salt always originates from the Khewra salt mines of Pakistan. To check whether you have a real salt lamp of not, look for the origin of the product or ask the lamp manufacturer about the salt lamp’s origin. If your salt lamp is not from Pakistan, it is a fake one.