Himalayan Pink Salt
WHY WE LOVE THESE GLISTENING CRYSTALS:
Himalayan pink salt has really only come to our collective attention and landed in our supermarkets within the past five to ten years, but it’s quickly gained a place in people’s kitchens, home decor, and skincare regimens. This begs the question: what’s so special about Himalayan pink salt?
Himalayan pink salt has navigated some serious adventure to reach its current home in the Salt Range of Pakistan. The salt deposits formed sometime in the Precambrian era when colliding tectonic plates trapped an inland sea underground as they vaulted upwards to form the Himalayas. The sea water evaporated, resulting in 186 miles of very salty foothills just south of the Himalayan Mountains. Legend has it that Alexander the Great discovered the natural wonder when he noticed his horse licking the saline ground.
There are a few major mines in operation today, but the largest and oldest is Khewra Salt Mine in Punjab. Its pink walls and many marvels built entirely out of salt attract thousands of tourists while also churning out about 400,000 tons of salt per year. A digital jaunt into the depths of those illuminated pink tunnels (via quick Google search) reveals the wordlessly fantastical visuals of an ancient resource hidden at the foot of the Himalayas.
Himalayan pink salt is hand-harvested according to traditional mining practices established over centuries. Only half of the salt in each area is mined with the other half left as support for the “rooms” in the mountain. At the current rate of Khewra’s harvesting (remember that was about 400,000 tons of salt per year), the 220 million tons of salt accessible could keep the mine in business for another 550 years. That’s without taking into consideration the other estimated 6 billion tons of salt present in the mine—feel free to solve for that mind-blowing little math problem!
- Up for a simple aromatherapy DIY project? You can make your own Himalayan pink salt diffuser! Just put two tablespoons of coarse salt into bowl or other some such receptacle and add eight to ten drops of your favorite essential oil.
- Our pink friend has little company out there as far as naturally occurring pink salts go. One other type is alaea salt, or Hawaiian salt, which has trace amounts of iron oxide from volcanic clay to give it a color ranging from brick red to reddish-pink.
Sendha namak is used in cooking during the nine-day fast of the Hindu festival known as Navratri due to its purity and “cooling properties”. Sendha namak is often conflated as being the Hindi word for Himalayan pink salt, but really it just translates to rock salt.
- The Hutchinson Salt Mine in Kansas, 650 feet under the tornado-prone surface of Kansas, houses an underground archive to help preserve pieces of history including medical research biopsies, secret U.S. government documents, and the hundreds of original film negatives for familiar titles such as “The Wizard of Oz”.
OSMIA CREW TIPS:
“Want a really close shave? Use Himalayan Body Buff beforehand.”
- Lisa, Osmia's Purchasing & Inventory Manager
“Following our salt scrub with a body mousse is divine and so nourishing.”
- Annie, Osmia's Wholesale Manager
"Got a cold? Try one cup of Himalayan pink salt in a hot bath with five to eight drops of pure eucalyptus essential oil. Soak for 30 minutes while sipping cool water to prevent overheating."
- Sarah, Osmia's founder and CEO
Want to experience the benefits of Himalayan pink salt? Try our Himalayan Body Buff and our upcoming fall soap, Himalayan Crystal (hint: this unique soap releases Tuesday, September 10th at 9am, mountain time)!
With love and sparkling salt crystals from us to you,