In a movement to live a healthier life, more and more people are shifting to a healthier lifestyle that not only benefits them but those around them and the environment too!
One such product that is an integral part of our lives, on every table and in all our food — Salt! The commonly sold table or iodised salt is heavily processed to eliminate minerals, followed by iodizing, bleaching, and diluting with anti-caking agents. More chemicals are added during the processing of salt, which often steals all of its beneficial minerals and trace elements, except sodium and chloride.
A better alternative and the original and natural source is, of course, sea salt!
Also known as bay salt, sea salt is produced by simply evaporating the water from the sea water leaving behind natural salts and essential minerals.
The method involved in harvesting it also helps retain its natural state and therapeutic qualities.
These healing properties of sea salt help in maintaining the good cellular functioning of the body and have been appreciated for ages. In ancient times, it was valuable for healing hand injuries and wounds of fishermen.
Production in Oman
With its long beautiful coastline, it is inevitable that different parts of the Sultanate have become famous for sea salt production that to this day has maintained the traditional method of extraction.
One such place is Khor Al Mahl in the Wilayat of Quriyat which is well known not only in the region but across the country for the production of salt.
The name “Khor Al Mahl” when translated literally means salt creek and staying true to its name, even today this area is used even on a commercial level to produce sea salt that is sold across the country.
Even today, locals in the area still collect and produce salt in the traditional way — The process of extracting salt starts with digging deep square basins, sometimes 10 or more in a row. Once filled with sea water, the water is left undisturbed and with Oman’s high temperature and bright sunshine, soon the water starts evaporating, leaving behind raw salt deposits inside these deep basins.
A real natural treasure, salt production, and collection take place through the hotter months between may up until September. Fishermen from around the area would collect the salt and leave it in special allocated collection points, leaving the salt out to dry out even further.
Once dried, they would work together to pack up the fresh, now dry salt into water-resistant sacks to take and sell in local markets.
As preparation of sea salt includes very little processing, it retains its moisture and mineral treasure. These minerals are present in a form that is easily utilised and absorbed by the human body. The climate and the geographical location of the region also play a significant role in the quality and combination of minerals offered by the sea salt.
Fresh and naturally, this commonly available and locally produced salt has various health benefits for people as it is free of chemical additives and preservatives.
Sea salt, especially when it is organic and unrefined, will likely retain more of the nutrients it originally had than its more refined cousin table salt. These minerals may include magnesium and calcium as well as potassium, zinc, iron, and even iodine, all of which naturally occur in the salty waters of the ocean.
Adding sea salt to your bath may be beneficial if you suffer from joint pains and aches related to arthritis. Therapeutic baths using Dead Sea salts, in particular, have helped those with such ailments more than standard sodium chloride baths. Adding some sea salt to your bath along with essential oils of your choice can help cleanse your body and detoxify the skin. Its exfoliant properties help get rid of dead skin cells and any excess oil that you may have applied to the body or added to the bath.
Salt water rinse can also cut down any inflammation, helping fight off allergy- and infection-causing particles, bacteria, and viruses.
Sea salt has large crystals and, like sugar, can make a great scrub for exfoliating skin. Simply add it to your scrub to slough off dead skin cells. Table salt is no substitute because it is far too fine and soft to touch. Sea salt with its coarse grains is ideal for cleaning skin, leaving it smooth and soft.
Sea salts are also effective in treating conditions like hives, skin rashes, dandruff, and hair loss.