Dead Sea salt

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Dead Sea salt refers to salt and other mineral deposits extracted or taken from the Dead Sea. The composition of this material differs significantly from oceanic salt.

History[edit]

Dead Sea salt was used by the peoples of Ancient Egypt[1] and it has been utilized in various unguents, skin creams, and soaps since then.[2]

Mineral composition[edit]

The Dead Sea's mineral composition varies with season, rainfall, depth of deposit, and ambient temperature. Most oceanic salt is approximately 85% sodium chloride (the same salt as table salt) while Dead Sea salt is only 30.5% of this, with the remainder composed of other dried minerals and salts. Major ion concentrations in the water of the Dead Sea have given the following results (which do not necessarily reflect those of Dead Sea salt):[1]

Major ions of Dead Sea water
Ion Concentration (mg/L)
Chloride and Bromide 230,400
Magnesium 45,900
Sodium 36,600
Calcium 17,600
Potassium 7,800

The major minerals present in Dead Sea mud—the result of runoff streams flowing into the Dead Sea and bringing large deposits during the Holocene era—have been shown to be the following:[1]

Minerals of Dead Sea mud
Mineral* Content (percentage)
Silicon dioxide 20
Calcium oxide 15.5
Aluminum oxide 4.8
Magnesium oxide 4.5
Iron(III) oxide 2.8
Sodium oxide 1.7
Potassium oxide 1.3
Titanium(IV) oxide 0.5
Sulfur trioxide 0.4
Phosphorus pentoxide 0.3
Chloride 6.7
Bromide 0.2
  • Expressed in equivalent oxides, as appropriate; for example the neutral sodium sulfate (Na2SO4) would be analyzed as basic sodium oxide (Na2O) and acidic sulfur trioxide (SO3), neither which occur in free form in this mud.

Therapeutic benefits[edit]

Dead Sea salts have been claimed to treat the following conditions:

Rheumatologic Conditions – in balneotherapy of rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, and osteoarthritis. The minerals are absorbed while soaking, stimulating blood circulation.[3]

Common skin ailments – for treating skin disorders such as acne and psoriasis which may be relieved by regularly soaking the affected area in water with added Dead Sea salt. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends Dead Sea and Dead Sea salts as effective treatments for psoriasis.[4] [5] High concentration of magnesium in Dead Sea salt may be helpful in improving skin hydration and reducing inflammation,[6] although Epsom salt is a much-less-expensive salt that also contains high amounts of magnesium and therefore may be equally as useful for this purpose.

Allergies – The high concentration of bromide and magnesium in the Dead Sea salt may help relieve allergic reactions of the skin by reducing inflammation.[6]

Skin ageing – Dead Sea salt may reduce the depth of skin wrinkling.[6]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c Ma’or, Zeev et al. "Antimicrobial properties of Dead Sea black mineral mud", International Journal of Dermatology, May 2006. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  2. ^ The Rough Guide to Jordan: the rough guide. Matthew Teller, Ian J. Andrews, Tony Howard, Rana Husseini. Published by Rough Guides, 2002. ISBN 1-85828-740-5, ISBN 978-1-85828-740-9
  3. ^ Harari, Marco; Shani, Jashovam. "Demographic evaluation of successful antipsoriatic climatotherapy at the Dead Sea (Israel) DMZ Clinic". International Journal of Dermatology. 36 (4): 304–305. doi:10.1046/j.1365-4362.1997.00204.x. 
  4. ^ "The Dead Sea" National Psoriasis Foundation. Retrieved on 2008-04-10.
  5. ^ Proksch, Ehrhardt MD, PhD et al. "Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution improves skin barrier function, enhances skin hydration, and reduces inflammation in atopic dry skin", International Journal of Dermatology, February 2005. Retrieved on 2008-04-13.
  6. ^ a b c Ehrhardt, Proksch; Nissen, HP; Bremgartner, M; Urquhart, C. "Bathing in a magnesium-rich Dead Sea salt solution: follow-on review". International Journal of Dermatology. 44 (2): 151–7. doi:10.1111/j.1365-4632.2005.02079.x. PMID 15689218.