Himalayan salt is rock salt or halite from the Punjab region of Pakistan. Numerous health claims have been made concerning himalayan salt, but there is no scientific evidence that it has better effects or healthier than common table salt and the claims are considered pseudoscience.
Although its salt is sometimes marketed as "Jurassic Sea Salt", this salt deposit comes from a seabed of the Permian and Cretaceous eras 100 to 200 million years ago. This sea became landlocked and evaporated, leaving a dense salt deposit, colored by a common pink microorganism that had lived in it. Over the next few hundred million years, that deposit was at the border of a continental plate, and was pushed up into a mountain range in Pakistan.[dubious ]
The concentration of salt near Khewra, Punjab, is said to have been discovered around 326 BC when the troops led by Alexander the Great stopped to rest there and noticed their horses licking the salty rocks. Salt was probably mined there from that time, but the first records of mining are from the Janjua people in the 1200s.
Himalayan salt is mostly mined at the Khewra Salt Mine in Khewra, Jhelum District, Punjab, which is situated in the foothills of the Salt Range hill system in the Punjab province of the Pakistan Indo-Gangetic Plain.
Himalayan salt is chemically similar to table salt plus mineral impurities including chromium, iron, zinc, lead, and copper. Some salts mined in the Himalayas are not suitable for use as food or industrial use without purification due to these impurities.
In the United States where the salts are manufactured as dietary supplement capsules bearing false claims of health benefits, the Food and Drug Administration warned one manufacturer about inadequate manufacturing practices and illegal advertising.
Blocks of salt are also used as serving dishes, baking stones, and griddles. Himalayan salt is also manufactured into trendy glowing salt lamps, which are hollowed then lit with electric lighting. Numerous health claims have been made concerning salt lamps, but no scientific evidence supports these claims.
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- "Video: Himalayan Salt Cutting process". Folk Market via YouTube. 25 February 2015.