Himalayan salt is rock salt or halite from the Punjab region of Pakistan, which rises from the Indo-Gangetic Plain. It is mined in the Khewra Salt Mine, located in Khewra, Jhelum District, province of Punjab. The foothills of the Salt Range are located 190 miles (310 km) from the Himalayas, 160 miles (260 km) from Lahore, and 185 miles (298 km) from Amritsar, India. Some crystals have an off-white to transparent color while impurities in the salt give it a reddish or pink color.
Himalayan salt is predominantly sodium chloride (95-98%), contaminated with 2–3% polyhalite and small amounts of other minerals. The pink color is due to the presence of iron oxide in the polyhalite.
It is commonly used in cooking, in place of other table salt, in brine, and for bath products such as bath salts. Blocks of salt are also used as serving dishes and in the preparation of food. Fish and some meats can be preserved for use in certain dishes, and blocks of salt can be slowly heated to a temperature of around 200 °C (392 °F) and used as a cooking surface thereafter.
Large crystal rocks, mined in Europe and Asia, are also used as salt lamps. Most of such lamps on the market are made of coloured salt rocks mined in Poland (Kopalnia Soli Kłodawa), Pakistan (the area of Kashmir) and Iran (Esfahan). A salt lamp is a lamp carved from a larger salt crystal, often colored, with an incandescent light bulb or a candle inside. The lamps give an attractive glow and are suitable for use as nightlights or for ambient mood lighting. There is a belief that heated salt crystals emit negative ions or positive energy waves into the air, however there is no scientific evidence that salt lamps actually give out a measurable amount of ions, nor is there any evidence of any health benefits from the lamps.
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