Salt has had a bad rep for raising blood pressure and contributing to heart disease, but there are actually types with surprising benefits. Himalayan salt and sea salt are two in particular, and when used in a bath, they can heal your body in many ways, says Rebecca Lee, a registered nurse in New York City.
While it's true salt can make a meal tastier, you're not reaping any rewards, there, so ditch the table salt and grab some sea salt and Himalayan salt, instead. Draw up a bath and let them work their magic.
Also, "keep a bottle of epsom salt handy for any aches and pains," she says, as epsom salts can also speed recovery and reduce inflammation. A great time for a salt bath would be post-workout, when your muscles are in need of some rest and repair.
Here are five surprising benefits of Himalayan salt baths.
"Himalayan salt improves sleep by decreasing the level of stress by maintaining adequate levels of sodium in the bloodstream," she says.
Pure salt ,such as Himalayan salt, can increase oxytocin levels, which in turn will enhance sleep. "Oxytocin is a naturally produced hormone that helps you feel calmer and more relaxed," she says, so you'll snooze off faster. (Here, a few more hacks to get a better night's sleep.)
"Low libido may be the cause of the lack of minerals that help increase your sex drive such as zinc, magnesium and selenium," says Lee. Well, the good news? Himalayan salt contains over 84 important minerals, so it's pretty darn helpful in making sure you're getting those minerals.
Besides, you can also swap the bed for a bad, instead. Maybe you'll get some added stamina.
Clears the Sinuses
"Salt water works wonders to clear up stuffy sinuses. Himalayan salt kills bacteria and binds to other contaminants that may be blocking your nasal cavities from polluted air," she says.
Try using a Neti pot sinus rinse with Himalayan pink salt. This will clear and cleanse, getting rid of any gunk that's making you congested.
Controls Blood Pressure
"All natural pink Himalayan salt is easier for your body to break down and process minerals than processed NaCl table salt," she says. So, it'll help in controlling blood pressure, which will better your heart and lower risk of disease.
How does this work? "Using Himalayan salt in your diet prevents your body from sending excess water to clear out the sodium, therefore, leading to less retention of water and less work on your overall heart," she explains.
Eases Muscle Cramps
"A warm Himalayan salt bath is great for soothing your sore and achy muscles due to its high content of magnesium and other trace minerals. These minerals are absorbed through the skin and immediately start to sooth damaged muscles and other soft tissues," she explains.
Along with Epsom salts, they are great as a recovery method for athletes or those who are on their feet for most of the day.