Salt FAQs

What is Salt?

Salt is a mineral comprised of the elements sodium, a metal that explodes on contact with water, and chlorine, a poisonous element commonly found in bleach. Combined, they wondrously form the only rock we humans eat and provide one of our basic tastes: saltiness. Salt is also one of the only minerals found on earth that will dissolve in water.

Where does salt come from?

All salt originated as sea salt. Even though much salt is inland mined in crystal form, at one time it was seawater. Salt can be harvested using several methods: salt can be mined from the earth; saltwater can be filtered and evaporated; salt brine can be pumped to the surface from underground and evaporated.

How much salt is there?

If all the world’s salt were extracted and dried it would cover all the land on earth to a depth of almost 500 feet. Sustainability is not a major concern when it comes to salt, as it is never really destroyed. There is almost exactly as much salt on earth as existed 100 million years ago. It just changes form and location as it dries or dissolves.

Is eating salt bad for you?

We humans need salt for life. In order to have proper bodily function we need to maintain a certain minimum level of salt (about .75 percent-.85 percent). We lose salt during exercise and other activities so about a teaspoon of salt needs to be replaced each day. Recent studies indicate that eating either too much or too little salt can have negative health effects. The exact amount of salt that one can consume depends on a variety of factors including age, exercise routine, genetics, weight and other factors. For a comprehensive discussion of recent studies on salt and health see the following New York Times article here.

What is Himalayan salt?

Beautiful Himalayan salt is mined in Pakistan from the Khewra Salt Mines, the second largest salt block mine in the world. The salt is about 96 percent sodium chloride and has a reddish or pink color due to other trace mineral elements within (especially iron oxide). Of the earth’s 93 natural minerals trace amounts of 84 have been found in this salt. It is mined as huge pink crystals and can be made into colorful lamps that emit negative ions, tableware that adds flavor to food, building décor materials that accent any space or simply consumed as a food. Simply put, Himalayan salt is the most useful and fascinating salt in the world!

What is Dead Sea salt? What are its benefits?

Dead Sea salt comes from the Dead Sea, which is not technically a sea but actually salt lake, situated between Israel and Jordan. The Dead Sea has the distinction of being located at the world’s lowest altitude, about 1250 feet below sea level. The salt density (salinity) of the Dead Sea is just below 30 percent (our oceans are about 3 percent salt). Where Himalayan salt is 96 percent sodium chloride Dead Sea salt used in bath soaks is under 20 percent sodium chloride and includes potassium chloride, magnesium chloride, bromide, as well as a large number of oxides. Dead Sea salt is not used as a food seasoning. Dead Sea salt is a great bath therapy for psoriasis, acne, arthritis and other disorders. All Salt Cellar brand Spa products have genuine Dead Sea salts and minerals and are manufactured by our business partners in Israel.

What is the difference between common table salt and Salt Cellar salt?

Common table salts are over 99 percent sodium chloride with added ingredients to prevent caking and in some cases iodine. Most of these salts have been mined as salt blocks and heavily processed to remove any minerals. Salt Cellar salts are natural sea salts made from evaporated seawater. Our salts contain no anti-caking agents or any other chemicals. In fact, many of the artisans from around the world who make our salts intentionally introduce natural minerals that give them their distinctive colors.