Why are Pakistani stones used so often
What's behind the Himalayan salt advertisement?
You pay a lot of money for the alluring nickname "Himalaya": At 4 to 5 euros per kilogram, the pink salt costs 5 to 10 times as much as conventional table salt. The higher price is justified with alleged health benefits.
Various guides and websites are promoting Himalayan salt as a panacea for many diseases such as gout or high blood pressure. The salt should also have a detoxifying effect and regulate the acid-base balance in the body.
It is also described that the salt makes a significant contribution to the supply of minerals. The reason for the special health benefits is often scientifically lowerable statements about the special "vibration pattern" or the bio-photon energy of Himalayan salt, which is obtained through manual extraction. In return, conventional table salt is criticized and portrayed as harmful, aggressive or toxic.
However, these advertising promises have not been scientifically proven. And with the exception of sodium and chloride, the daily requirement for minerals is by no means covered by the pink salt. The composition of Himalayan salt is 98 percent the same as that of conventional table salt. Only a few other minerals could be detected in traces. The statement "rich in minerals" violates the prohibition of misleading advertising and the regulations on nutritional information.
Himalayan salt, like Central European salt, comes from salt deposits that have arisen from the evaporation and deposition of the primordial sea; the geological history is the same.
Most of the salt is not mined in the Himalayas itself, but in industrial salt mines in central Pakistan. In a landmark judgment, the Federal Court of Justice (Az. I ZR 86/13 of March 31, 2016) ruled that a provider may not advertise with the statement "Salt from the Himalayan region" if the salt is actually from the Pakistani 200 kilometers away Punjab Province originates. Since then, the salt offered in retail stores has mostly been titled with the addition "from Pakistan" or simply called "Pink Crystal Salt". Other names are ancient salt, Karakorum salt or Hunza salt.
What should I consider when taking Himalayan salt?
- The daily intake of salt from all sources should not exceed 6 grams.
- Himalayan salt does not contain iodine. Most people in Germany do not get enough iodine, so iodized salt is the healthier option for many. the German Nutrition Society even recommends table salt fortified with iodine and fluoride.
- The use of Himalayan salt as bath salt is unproblematic for healthy people. A really important difference between conventional table salt and Himalayan salt are the transport routes. Regardless of whether it is the Himalayas or Pakistan: The mining region is a few thousand kilometers further away than, for example, the German salt pans in Rheine, Bad Doberan, Bad Friedrichshall or Bad Reichenhall.
Does the body need Himalayan salt?
An analysis by Stiftung Warentest showed that the sodium chloride content of Himalayan salt fluctuates between 97 and 99 percent. Its composition is therefore very similar to conventional table salt, which has a sodium chloride content of around 98 percent.
The Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety has identified a somewhat broader range of minerals as the only difference to conventional table salt. However, instead of the promised 84, the office found only 8 other minerals in addition to sodium and chloride - and most of them only in minimal traces. Compared to "normal" salt, Himalayan salt contains slightly more iron compounds, which cause the slightly pink tint. Microscopic algae may also contribute to the coloration.
With the exception of sodium and chloride, the daily requirement for minerals is in no way covered by this salt. In contrast to iodized table salt, Himalayan salt also does not contribute to the iodine supply.
In some guidebooks it is recommended to drink Himalayan salt in the morning as brine (salt dissolved in water). This is supposed to balance the body's acid-base balance. But the organism regulates this independently. The advice to use brine to lower high blood pressure is extremely dangerous in terms of health, because it can not only disrupt the metabolism and water balance, but also put a strain on the kidneys. On the contrary, the additional salt can increase blood pressure even further in sensitive people.
The German Nutrition Society (DGE) recommends consuming a maximum of six grams of salt per day from food and table salt for seasoning. Since this amount is often exceeded anyway, the additional consumption of Himalayan salt is not advisable.
German Nutrition Society e.V .: Selected questions and answers on table salt Status: March 2020 (accessed on June 26, 2020)
Kühn A; Franz W: The business with the Himalayan salt (accessed on June 26, 2020)
Frühschütz L (2003): Nix Himalaya! "Miracle salt" comes from industrially exploited mines. BioHandel June 2003, p. 11 ff
Tüting L (2003): News from the esoteric rip-off "Himalaya Salt". (accessed on June 26, 2020)
Stiftung Warentest: Tao Asia Himalaya Salt from Norma: With a herbal scent and a deceptive name, as of October 11, 2013 (accessed on June 26, 2020)
Bavarian State Office for Health and Food Safety (Ed.): Salt from the Himalayas: Does the product keep what the advertising promises ?, Status: 23.03.2004 (accessed on 26.06.2020)
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