What are the pros and cons of Himalayan Pink Salt and Black Salt vs Sea Salt vs. Regular Salt?

by (966) Updated August 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM Created June 11, 2010 at 1:10 AM

What are the pros and cons of Himalayan Pink Salt and Black Salt vs Sea Salt vs. Regular Salt? I'm wondering if Himalayan salt is just a marketing fad or if there is real substance behind it.

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18 Replies

1930 · June 11, 2010 at 8:03 AM

Himalayan pink salt seems to be pretty similar to sea salt, Germans seem to have investigated it in early 2000's wikipedia. I found a chemical analysis here.

Black salt seems to be sea salt with activated charcoal, I can not find any testing data as to how much it contains.

Table salt in the USA has 45 mg of iodine per kilogram (.0045%). More here.

Sea salt generally has more trace minerals than table salt, concentrations and ratios vary by source and brand.

Celtic sea salt claims to have 13-23% minerals by weight, but no testing data on their website. This website's test puts it more around 1.8%.

I happen to have bought the 26 oz bag from realsalt.com as they listed the mineral content on the package. It has less magnesium and potassium compared to the celtic sea salt analysis.

Sodium Chloride - 98.32%
Calcium         - .4%
Potassium       - .12%
Sulphur         - .11%
Magnesium       - .1%
Iron            - .06%
Phosphorus      - .05%
Iodine          - .002%
Manganese       - .0015%
Copper          - .001%
Zinc            - .0006%

2762 · June 12, 2010 at 2:04 AM


  • May have some minerals missing in your diet
  • A good company to invest in because of the mark-up should make for high profits


  • May have some minerals that you want missing in your diet
  • Costs too much because of the mark-up
  • We burn how much oil to ship salt how far?!?

18909 · June 11, 2010 at 10:20 AM

It is all just salt. I can't really add any links to the ones Chris provided.

The amount of extra minerals you might gain from them are so small as to be irrelevant and you would have to eat an unhealthy amount of salt. It is a good case of a naturalistic fallacy, it must be good because it is more natural than refined salt.

I am curious about the idea of unrefined Celtic sea salt being "pure" as Western Europe seems to dump half its crap into the sea, not to mention all the pollution from shipping. Our oceans are getting quite polluted now. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Marine_pollution

Natural unrefined rock salt can contain all kinds of lovely impurities such as arsenic, mercury, fluoride and every other element naturally found in the earth. Some crazy people selling the stuff even claim the "natural arsenic, cadmium and mercury" in their salt is good for you :S http://www.fullspectrumhimalayansalt.com/page/99908202

On the other hand if you have a sensitive palate and prefer the taste of sea salt then go ahead and use it. It seems like some professional chefs prefer it for the taste. Any health claims are just an irresponsible marketing scam to sell you expensive salt. Whether consuming salt at all is any good for you is another question.

437 · June 03, 2012 at 7:50 PM

I love Himalayan pink salt. I put that s**t on everything!

171 · December 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM

Pros: Aside from any other differences, Himalayan salt has a more delicate flavor that I prefer over other sea salts. Sea salts and Himalayan salt both have better mineral content than table salt.

Table salt is to rock salt what table sugar is to unfiltered raw cane sugar juice or white bread is to a stalk of wheat. They are emphatically not the same. Did you know that you can make water in a lab that is chemically identical to "real" water (both are H2O), but if you put fish in this synthetic water, they will die? Just because all salt is NaCl doesn't mean they are the same - chemical identity is just one way of looking at something. My hand is probably chemically identical to my foot but it'd be crazy to say that that makes them the same thing because we use more than one measure when we want to understand something.

I don't suggest that natural is always better than synthetic. It's good to research the difference for any given thing - synthetic vitamin C is in no way inferior to natural vitamin C, but synthetic vitamin E carries a serious risk of toxicity that natural vitamin E does not.

However, in a situation where you don't have any research to go on, it does make a good rule of thumb that the natural version is probably a healthier bet. Biological processes tend to require many "ingredients," and natural products tend to leave the entire "package" of co-nutrients intact, making it more likely that you're supplying your body with all the ingredients it needs to do a particular job, and not just the biggest/main ones. For instance, calcium can't be absorbed by the body without adequate amounts of magnesium, vitamin D, and saturated fat present in the body. Whole milk, a natural source of calcium, is also rich in magnesium, vitamin D, and saturated fat. You'll find dozens of other examples like this. (It's no coincidence - natural selection is more or less responsible for this tendency of nature to package nutrients efficiently for our purpose, since animals and our ancestors who thrived on whole foods were the evolutionary successes who got to pass down their genes during the millions of years whole foods were the only foods available on the planet.)

20 · June 28, 2012 at 8:26 PM

Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt from http://www.saltnews.com/chemical-analysis-natural-himalayan-pink-salt/

Below is a spectral analysis of a typical Himalayan pink salt. Different parts of the deposit will differ slightly in their composition. Himalayan salt is a rock salt popular among health food advocates who seek it for the nutritional value of its fairly abundant trace minerals. Foodies (and the rest of us who just like to explore ways to make food taste better and more fun to create) also love Himalayan salt in its more massive, brick and plate form as Himalayan salt blocks.

Element Symbol Analysis Type

Hydrogen H 0.30 g/kg

Lithium Li 0.40 g/kg

Beryllium Be <0.01 ppm

Boron B <0.001 ppm

Carbon C <0.001 ppm

Nitrogen N 0.024 ppm

Oxygen O 1.20 g/kg

Flouride F- <0.1 g/kg

Sodium Na+ 382.61 g/kg

Magnesium Mg 0.16 g/kg

Aluminum Al 0.661 ppm

Silicon Si <0.1 g/kg

Phosphorus P <0.10 ppm

Sulfur S 12.4 g/kg

Chloride Cl- 590.93 g/kg

Potassium K+ 3.5 g/kg

Calcium Ca 4.05 g/kg

Scandium Sc <0.0001 ppm

Titanium Ti <0.001 ppm

Vanadium V 0.06 ppm

Chromium Cr 0.05 ppm

Manganese Mn 0.27 ppm

Iron Fe 38.9 ppm

Cobalt Co 0.60 ppm

Nickel Ni 0.13 ppm

Copper Cu 0.56 ppm

Zinc Zn 2.38 ppm

Gallium Ga <0.001 ppm

Germanium Ge <0.001 ppm

Arsenic As <0.01 ppm

Selenium Se 0.05 ppm

Bromine Br 2.1 ppm

Rubidium Rb <0.04 ppm

Strontium Sr <0.014 g/kg

Ytterbium Y <0.001 ppm

Zirconium Zr <0.001 ppm

Niobium Nb <0.001 ppm

Molybdenum Mo <0.01 ppm

Technetium Tc N/A unstable isotope

Ruthenium Ru <0.001 ppm

Rhodium Rh <0.001 ppm

Palladium Pd <0.001 ppm

Silver Ag 0.031 ppm

Cadmium Cd <0.01 ppm

Indium In <0.001 ppm

Tin Sn <0.01 ppm

Antimony Sb <0.01 ppm

Tellurium Te <0.001 ppm

Iodine I <0.1 g/kg

Cesium Cs <0.001 ppm

Barium Ba 1.96 ppm

Lanthanum La <0.001 ppm

Cerium Ce <0.001 ppm

Praseodymium Pr <0.001 ppm

Neodymium Nd <0.001 ppm

Promethium Pm N/A unstable isotope

Samarium Sm <0.001 ppm

Europium Eu <3.0 ppm

Gadolinium Gd <0.001 ppm

Terbium Tb <0.001 ppm

Dysprosium Dy <4.0 ppm

Holmium Ho <0.001 ppm

Erbium Er <0.001 ppm

Thulium Tm <0.001 ppm

Ytterbium Yb <0.001 ppm

Lutetium Lu <0.001 ppm

Hafnium Hf <0.001 ppm

Tantalum Ta 1.1 ppm

Wolfram W <0.001 ppm

Rhenium Re <2.5 ppm

Osmium Os <0.001 ppm

Iridium Ir <2.0 ppm

Platinum Pt <0.47 ppm Gold Au <1.0 ppm

Mercury Hg <0.03 ppm

Thallium Ti <0.06 ppm

Lead Pb <0.10 ppm

Bismuth Bi <0.10 ppm

Polonium Po <0.001 ppm

Astatine At <0.001 ppm

Francium Fr <1.0 ppm

Radium Ra <0.001 ppm

Actinium Ac <0.001 ppm

Thorium Th <0.001 ppm

Protactinium Pa <0.001 ppm

Uranium U <0.001 ppm

Neptunium Np <0.001 ppm

Plutonium Pu <0.001 ppm

Mark Bitterman :: Aug.25.2010

The analysis you see here is from a work entitled Water & Salt: The Essence of Life, by Peter Ferreira and Dr. Barbara Hendel, M.D. It’s consistent with our own analysis as well.

a new post to answer a question about iron in salt – http://www.saltnews.com/2012/03/are-there-dangerous-amounts-of-iron-in-salt/.

20 · May 29, 2012 at 4:07 PM

I am not a scientist and don't have any training in that field. I just want a simple answer , BACKED UP BY SCIENTIFIC RESEARCH. I was recently told that Himalayan salt was better because it didn't have, or had very low levels of, sodium chloride.

This clearly isn't true reading Miso Beno above. PEOPLE SHOULD STATE THEIR SCIENTIFIC QUALIFICATIONS when they answer these questions. I have difficulty believing sites named godsblessings or the trees told me if no qualifications or hard research sites are referred to.

This salt stuff is a serious health issue.

1944 · November 08, 2010 at 7:40 PM

Pros and cons to whom? The seller, or the buyer? As you can see, I am somewhat cynical, and I believe that much fuss is being made of nothing, by those who stand to gain the most.

54 · November 07, 2010 at 10:29 PM

I have no intention on making this a big whiny match. There are a lot of differences between standard table salt, sea salt, and Himalayan salt. Aside from the atomic structure of the salt itself, the mineral content and purity, or should I say lack of pollutants, is what make up the difference. You can read our articles at http://www.fullspectrumhimalayansalt.com/information and get a better understanding of what it really is. As for the sodium chloride comment, it is funny how some people get a bit of information and run with it. I have seen with my own eyes people who absolutely cannot eat regular table salt because their ankles were so swollen, eat Himalayan salt and their swelling went away! If Himalayan salt was so bad for you and the sodium chloride level is so high, this would not be possible.

Of course we are not going to willingly drink poison just because it is "found in our blood". Our body needs a lot of minerals and elements that it does not get because of the degradation of our food supply. Where would you propose we get these needed trace minerals? With out being laced with pollution? And being easily assimilated by the body? We can look at technical data all day long and look at all the numbers that will differ from lab to lab. We also can look at this as salt, leaving the mineral equation totally out of it and you will still find that Himalayan salt is the purist form on planet as well as the easiest to assimilate. We will all have our own opinion regarding everything in life and I don't intend on changing everyone's mind on this matter. I know what my experiences are and the experiences of those I have been fortunate enough to be around.

603 · November 08, 2010 at 10:25 PM

We use Himalayan Salt because it has not been in the oceans since they have been polluted.

54 · October 27, 2010 at 5:38 PM

I just happened to be the crazy person you referred to from www.fullspectrumhimalayansalt.com. Though your claims may seem to hold water, I am here to tell you that you are very mistaken. Your blood has the same minerals in it as Himalayan salt and if you think that traces of these so called poisons are not supposed to be in your own blood, then why are they there? I suppose that fluoride in your tooth paste and drinking water is OK also? Are you also claiming that refined table salt ie. sodium chloride, is much healthier for you? Seems to me you need to get your facts straight before you start to make claims of being an authority in this subject. Have you been around people who have turned their health around by taking this so called poison? How about the aches and pains that disappeared with its use? I have many testimonials on my site that state the obvious truth. We even have written many articles that have been published on the web relating to this very subject. There is so much mis-information regarding health out there, that I can understand how easy it is to be misled. I urge the readers of this forum to find out for them selves what the truth really is. I have personally used Himalayan Salt for the last 15yrs and can tell you that it is not a poison and that it has helped many people with their health.

11555 · June 11, 2010 at 9:44 AM

Another kind of black salt is this: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kala_Namak

0 · August 24, 2013 at 11:32 PM

I was very concerned about the content of this Himalayan salt, because I was poisoned by arsenic in my well water. So, I did a little math.

So, if the analysis above from saltnews.com is correct, Let's say we eat one level teaspoon of salt per day for this equation. Say, we put 1/2 teaspoon in a glass of water in the morning, and the remainder half teaspoon sprinkled on our food throughout the day. That's a fairly good amount of salt, wouldn't you say? I'm guessing that there would be about less than 1000 grains of salt in one level teaspoon. (I did not count them. I'm guessing.) So for this hypothesis, we'll go with that formula. If that is the case and

As<.01 ppm .01 ppm/1,000,000 = 1./100,000,000

Pb<.1 ppm .1 ppm /1,000,000 = 1./10,000,000

If I eat 1000 grains of salt a day (if 1 teaspoon = 1,000 grains) 1,000 grains x 100,000 days = 100,000,000 grains salt/1pt(Grain) As., It would take 100,000 days to get 1 grain of arsenic. That's 273.97 years to eat 1 grain of As (arsenic)

& 1 grain of Cd (Cadmium) [same qty.];

91.32 years to eat 1 grain of Hg (Mercury);

So 1000 grains of salt x 10,000 days = 10,000,000 grains of salt / 1 pt (grain) Pb (Lead).

10,000 days / 365 = 27.40 years to ingest 1 grain of Lead.

Al <.661ppm: .661 ppm/1,000,000 = 6.61/10,000,000

So 1000 grains of salt x 10,000 days =10,000,000 grains of salt/6.61 pts (grains) Al.

10,000 days / 365 = 27.40 years to ingest 6.61 grains of Al. Or 4.15 years to ingest 1 grain of Al (Aluminum)

This may put things in perspective. However, DO NOT use this formula for comparing contaminants in water; because we drink way, way more (than 1 teaspoon of) water each day, then we eat salt.

I don't claim to be a math expert; so please, if someone is a math wizard, please check my math! Thank you. Hope this helps someone else.

0 · August 09, 2013 at 3:39 AM

I have been using Himalayan Salt everyday drinking it in pure water now for 8 years and it well corrected an acidity challenge which I had in 2001-2004 in just one day...I repeat..one day. My nails grow so fast that I have to cut them every other day. I believe I am getting substantial minerals and my blood pressure which was not high has now been lowered even more. Instead of rambling on about your studies, please speak from your personal experiences and if you younger than 8 years old I can see where that may be an issue so just accumulate some more experiences and then when you are fully grown up, start posting again. I am 69 years very young and healthy and grateful for my pursuance of optimal health!

John Michael

0 · August 05, 2013 at 11:16 PM

WHAT IS FLUORIDE? Fluoride is a mineral occurring naturally in soil, water, plants, and animals in trace quantities. It is also an entirely natural component of bone. In water, fluoride is in the form of calcium fluoride (CaF2). But artificial fluoride (used in the water fluoridation process) is also found in pesticides. WHERE IS IT FOUND? It occurs naturally in tea leaves and vegetables such as endives and curly kale. Artificial fluoride is found in toothpastes, tooth gels and mouth rinses - in Europe, it is even added to salt. Half the fluoride ingested is retained in the body - in the bones and teeth - the other half is excreted.

Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/health/article-180567/Is-fluoride-good-health.html#ixzz2b8iH0KPb Follow us: @MailOnline on Twitter | DailyMail on Facebook

0 · July 26, 2013 at 9:52 PM

If you like how it enhances your food, then choose to use it. If not, then don't.

0 · June 18, 2012 at 4:39 AM

Table salt undergoes a bleaching process and heated to a 1,000 degrees; our bodies hate it over the long run. Why is it so difficult to find out the fluoride, aluminum, mercury content of Himalayan rock salt?

0 · June 03, 2012 at 6:15 PM

As a consumer, in reading all this material and other websites, I have come to the conclusion that if one wants to benefit with many many minerals and not just synthetics with only iodine, they one should use himalayan pink salt or one of the natural colored naturally salts with many minerals. White salt is like white sugar - processed and we have seen scientifice evidence that those are not good for us. I am switching for my health. Others, do what you want but stop arguing. Do your research and make an informed decision on this and other topics. That is why so many things in this country are so askew - people don't do research, they just vote or decide something without so much as a thought of the consequences.

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