What is Sea Salt?
Sea salt is a type of salt that is manufactured from the evaporation of seawater. The texture, taste, and processing process of sea salt sets it apart from your regular table salt.
Sea salt is generally not processed, or it can be available with minimal processing as it is produced directly from the evaporation of seawater. According to the American Heart Association (AHA),(1) because of the minimal processing involved in the production of sea salt, it is possible to find several types of trace minerals in sea salt including:
Since regular table salt is used on food and in various recipes, it undergoes significant processing to lend it a finer texture. When this happens, though, you end up losing many of the minerals that are present in sea salt.
Types of Sea Salt
There are many types of sea salt available on the market today. One of the most popular ones is sea salt that hails from the Dead Sea. Dead Sea salt is directly sourced from the Dead Sea and is available in many varieties of grains, such as:
- Extra coarse
Some brands of sea salt also contain scents like:
Sea salt from the Dead Sea is known to be naturally rich in potassium, magnesium, calcium, and many other minerals.
It is important to note that the place of origin of the sea salt you use can also make a huge difference in terms of the benefits you derive from it. For example, salt from the Dead Sea is known for being one of the highest quality and is known to provide the best results when used therapeutically for:
- Providing relief from skin conditions
- Easing sore muscles
On the other hand, regular sea salt from other ocean water is typically used in culinary settings.
What are the Benefits of a Sea Salt Bath?
Having a sea salt bath is one of the best ways of relieving stress, treat irritated skin, and ease aching muscles.
Generally, also, soaking in a tub after a stressful day is a good way of pampering yourself and relieving stress. Adding sea salt to this bath water will boost the benefits of a bath for your skin, joints, and muscles.
Let us look at some of the other benefits of a sea salt bath:
Helps in Rheumatic Diseases
According to a review of several studies published in the Seminars in Arthritis and Rheumatism journal,(2) sea salt baths are effective in treating many rheumatic diseases, including:
Seat Salts Baths are Beneficial for the Skin
- Skin is the body’s largest organ. Taking a sea salt bath is known to have many benefits for your skin.
- In fact, many medical experts recommend taking sea salt baths for patients who have eczema, psoriasis, or other dry skin conditions. Sea salt baths can help in relieving the symptoms of these skin diseases.
- Sea salt baths also help remove the scales associated with psoriasis and also reduce itching commonly caused by dry skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema.
- Sea salt baths can also help people with atopic dermatitis and acne.
- Good for Aching Muscles and circulation
Some of the other benefits of taking a sea salt bath include:
- Easing muscle cramps
- Boost blood circulation in the body
- Helps relieve stiffness in joints
- Soothes aching and overworked legs and feet
How to Take a Sea Salt Bath?
If you are planning to take a sea salt bath for relaxation, then the following steps are recommended:
- Begin by adding 1/4 cup of sea salt to a standard size bathtub. You can fill the water level as per your comfort.
- The water temperature should be at least two degrees warmer than your body temperature so that you can experience the healing benefits of the sea salt.
- Soak in the tub for at least 15 to 20 minutes.
- After finishing your bath, dry off and apply a moisturizer to your skin to prevent drying.
- You can also add up to 2 cups of sea salt to warm water in a standard tub size, but not more than that. Depending on your body size and skin condition, 1/4 cup might not be enough but ask your doctor first before using more than 2 cups of sea salt.
Are There Are Side Effects of a Sea Salt Bath?
- Sea salt is considered to be generally safe for most people. A sea salt bath in warm water does not have any side effects, but there are certain precautions to take and some things to keep in mind before you start your bath.
- If you know that you have an allergic reaction such as hives or rash, or you suffer from a skin infection, then you should avoid using sea salts in your bath. Also, avoid taking a sea salt bath if you have an open wound anywhere on your body.
- Furthermore, if you have skin conditions such as acne, psoriasis, or atopic dermatitis, then you should consult your doctor first before trying a sea salt bath.
- It is especially important that you consult your doctor if your skin condition is chronic or severe. Your doctor will then help you decide which type of scrub is the best for your specific skin condition.
- One concern that you may come across while you research the different types of sea salts is the potential contamination by microplastics.
- A research study(3) published in the Environment Science and Technology journal, discovered that the samples of sea salt collected from all over the world were contaminated with microplastics. The sea salt samples were collected from the US, the US, China, and Spain.
- Microplastics are the microscopic remains of the plastic waste people dump in the ocean or plastics, which somehow find their way into the water bodies of the world.
While the exact health effects of microplastics remain unclear, being aware of such potential contamination of sea salt is essential when you are choosing which sea salt to buy.
Indulging in a sea salt bath will not only help you relax, but at the same time, it will also calm irritated skin, provide relief to aching muscles and joints, and also boost the circulation of blood in the body.
Taking a sea salt bath before bedtime is also going to help you sleep better.
There are many varieties of sea salts available on the market, with many of them also including other ingredients and fragrances to enhance the overall experience.
If you suffer from a skin condition, it is best to first consult your doctor before taking a sea salt bath.
- www.heart.org. (2019). Sea Salt vs. Table Salt. [online] Available at: https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/eat-smart/sodium/sea-salt-vs-table-salt [Accessed 18 Dec. 2019].
- Katz, U., Shoenfeld, Y., Zakin, V., Sherer, Y. and Sukenik, S., 2012, October. Scientific evidence of the therapeutic effects of dead sea treatments: a systematic review. In Seminars in arthritis and rheumatism (Vol. 42, No. 2, pp. 186-200). WB Saunders.
- Kim, J.S., Lee, H.J., Kim, S.K. and Kim, H.J., 2018. Global pattern of microplastics (mps) in commercial food-grade salts: sea salt as an indicator of seawater MP pollution. Environmental science & technology, 52(21), pp.12819-12828.
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