Salt Therapy Benefits
I have been intrigued by salt therapy for months now and recently took a dive into the research. So what is it? No…it’s not dousing your food in excessive amounts of salt…nice try.
What is Salt Therapy
Salt therapy is a general term that encompasses several types of therapeutic uses of salt. It’s natural antihistamine, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, antimicrobial and anti-fungal properties lead to a range of powerful healing.
Numerous respiratory, skin and immunity benefits have been discovered as a result of salt therapy including relief from asthma and allergies, rashes, eczema, and psoriasis along with anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties.
It can further be broken down into two main categories, wet salt therapy, and dry salt therapy. As the term implies, wet salt therapy pairs water with salt to achieve therapeutic benefits. Conversely, dry salt therapy looks to create an environment without humidity or moisture. Dry salt therapy can also be referred to as halotherapy or speleotherapy.
Wet Salt Therapy Includes:
- Neti pots
- Gargling salt
- Salt scrubs
- Saltwater baths
- Internal salt water flushes (drinking a glass of purified water and pure sea salt to flush toxins)
Dry Salt Therapy Includes:
- Man-made salt rooms or “caves”
- Salt inhalers (usually a ceramic inhaler filled with pure pink Himalayan salt)
- Salt Lamps
Benefits of Salt Therapy
Improve Respiratory Conditions
Dry salt therapy is particularly beneficial for respiratory health. Dry salt particles are abundant in bactericide, mucokinetic, hydrophilic and anti-inflammatory properties which all play a role in reducing inflammation throughout the respiratory tract. In turn, this can open up airways to allow for easier breathing and more oxygen uptake.
Furthermore, dry salt aids in the detoxification and “cleaning” of the respiratory tract. These particles act as an absorbent sponge, soaking up foreign substances (pollen, smoke particles, other environmental/synthetic toxins or allergens) that can build-up throughout the respiratory system. This cleaning allows for faster transportation of mucus, faster elimination of toxins, more oxygen uptake, increased energy, and a stronger immune system. A few of the specific respiratory ailments that dry salt therapy can improve include:
- Common cold
- Cystic fibrosis
- Ear infections
- Smokers cough
Improve Skincare Conditions
Dry salt therapy (halotherapy) has been found to provide a number of benefits for the skin. Salt helps balance the pH of the skin’s surface, triggers healing of damaged skin cells, triggers generation of new skin cells, improves firmness, circulation of blood flow, reduction of acne-causing bacteria and reduction of inflammation.
Likewise, wet salt therapy (salt bath, salt scrub) has been found to improve skin hydration, smooth roughness of the skin and reduce redness. Common skin conditions that dry salt therapy may help improve include:
- Swelling & Inflammation
- Dry & Flaky Skin
- Skin Aging
Salt is highly antimicrobial, a main reason why it is so widely used as a preservative in foods. One study found that salt was able to reduce bacterial contamination in food from the following bacteria: Escherichia coli, Salmonella typhimurium, Staphylococcus aureus, and Listeria monocytogenes.
Along with this, the quicker and more thorough elimination of toxins along with reduced inflammation all helps lighten the load on our immune system. In the long run, this can lead to increased immunity.
Wet salt therapy in the form of a salt bath appears to reduce inflammatin throughout the body. “It seems as though the hypertonic solution produces an osmotic gradient through the skin. An osmotic gradient is a pressure caused by water molecules that forces water to move from areas of high water potential to areas of low water potential” (source).
Reduce Stress & Anxiety
Similar to grounding, salt releases negative ions. In large quantities (in a salt cave for example), there are enough negative ions present to help our body shift towards a more negative charge. The excess of EMF’s from computers, phones, wifi, etc all plays a role in shifting the balance of our body’s electrical charge.
Bringing the body back to a stronger negative charge helps normalize breathing, lower blood pressure, release tension and bring about an overall sense of relaxation. On a personal note, I make sure I am grounding myself outside throughout the day and have started to end each workday with a solid 30-minute grounding session. I cannot even tell you how calming and relaxing this has been! The effects were so noticeable for me that I can’t imagine going without my grounding sessions.
Other Potential Benefits with Consistent Use:
- Improved sleep
- Muscle relaxation
- Improved mood
How to Add Salt Therapy to Your Life
Most of the studies seem to point to dry salt therapy as being the most impactful on overall health. I would do a quick web search for “salt rooms” or “salt caves” near you and consider weekly sessions, particularly for those who struggle with respiratory or inflammatory skin issues.
This Spring, I plan to use a salt room about once a week during the heavy allergy months to fight my seasonal allergies. I am hoping this will be a potential replacement for conventional allergy medications! I will share an update for everyone in a few months on the benefits I noticed.
For general skin health, try adding magnesium-rich salt to your baths or using a non-toxic salt scrub while in the shower. My far, my favorite company for bath salts is Osea Malibu. They are an incredible, family-owned company that focuses on creating vegan, organic, non-toxic, cruelty-free, gluten-free products. I genuinely love everything they make and trust the cleanliness of their products impeccably.