What's Happening Wednesday- Additives Cont. Salts

I know that we recently discussed Dead Sea Salts (and mud), but there are other salts available too. So todays additives is salts!

When making bath salt recipes, there are a variety of mineral salts to select from. Table salt is a mined salt, sodium chloride, but it has very little trace elements left in it. It's composition is also different from sea salts. Although they both contain sodium and chloride, the sea salts still contain their trace elements that were obtained from the sea water. 

Of course the various sea salts have compositions that differ too. Ocean sea salts contain approximately 4% mineral content, where the Dead Sea salts contain approximately 60% mineral content. The minerals of magnesium, calcium and potassium are known for soothing the skin, easing aches and pains, acts as an anti-bacterial, and draws out toxins and impurities at the skin level.

Epsom Salts are Magnesium Sulfate, also known as bitter salts. They are
used in baths, for flotation therapy, foot soaks, for the alleviation of rough patches, and for the reduction of inflammation. They can also be used to fight  skin problems such as blemishes and acne when applied directly to problem areas in a poultice. When used to exfoliate skin this salt does not leave the skin feeling dry like other salts will. They are an emollient and will give the skin a nice silky smooth texture. Epsom Salts are able to blend well with oils, so they make a great addition to your bath blends.

Epsom salts have many medicinal uses and is even used as first aide. Soaking in an Epsom Salt bath can help relieve the symptoms of Herpes. The paste form is used as a dehydrating agent to treat abscesses, carbuncles and boils, and in the case of barium poisoning, this salt is administered as first aid. This salt is also used to provide relief from insect bites, sprains, bruises and is even used to draw out splinters. Epsom Salts can be absorbed through the skin, so the magnesium level in/of the body will increase when the skin is exposed to these salts. This increase in magnesium can stimulate serotonin production within the brain. Since serotonin is a mood-regulating neurotransmitter, it can elevate feelings of well-being, happiness, and positivity. Magnesium sulfate also works to sedate the nervous system.

Of course, if you want to take your Epsom salts to the garden, magnesium sulfate is great when added to the soil of potted plants that need more magnesium, or to the soil of crops that need a high amount of magnesium, like roses, tomatoes, peppers and potatoes. Using Epsom salts is preferred over other magnesium soil amendments because of its high water solubility. 

Himalayan Salts come in a variety of colors and are a pure, hand-mined salt,  found naturally, deep inside the Himalayan Mountains. These high mineral crystals range in color from white, to varying shades of pink, to deep reds, which indicates a beneficial amount of 84 trace elements & iron. This 250 million year old, Jurassic era sea salt is known for its healing properties, and is used by health professionals, spas, and individuals who are interested in utilizing natural products to heal the body and relax the mind. For centuries, salts have been used as folk remedies for a variety of health issues. Stimulating circulation, lowering blood pressure and removing toxins such as heavy metals from the body are just a few of the many benefits of Himalayan  salts. 

Rio Salt Crystals are pure Atlantic sea salt. These crystals are solar evaporated from the clear blue waters off the coast of Brazil. The salt rocks are minimally crushed and left in pretty large pieces. The salt crystals are semi-transparent, and can be rinsed to create a clear shimmering crystal. The composition is the same as high-end bath salts, which makes this salt very versatile. They are also the ideal size to be used in Salt Potpourri or Crystal Potpourri. The large crystals are semi-porous, which enables them to be infused with color and essential oil. The, when heated, the crystals will slowly diffuse the Essential oil into the air. The crystals can be re-scented every 3-5 months, making this a great, long-term investment.

Traditional Alaea Hawaiian Red Sea Salt’s unique flavor is ideal for seasoning a variety of foods, especially red meat. Hawaiian Salt is harvested from the sea surrounding the island of Molokai. As a small and isolated island, the ocean waters of Molokai remain pristine and unpolluted. These salts are harvested using the highest of standards through a slow and careful process of solar evaporation, allowing the salt crystals to form with the much desired trace minerals intact. Reportedly, there are over 80 trace minerals in this salt, all of which are minerals that are found naturally in this sea’s water. The Hawaiian volcanic clay called “alae” is added to this salt to enhance it with iron-oxide,  which is what gives the salt its extraordinary red color. Though adding the alae clay does not affect the taste of the salt, it does increase the health benefits of the salt by providing a source of digestible dietary iron. 

While this salt is most often used for seasoning and preservation, its color and mineral content make it a new addition to the cosmetic industry. 

When using salt as an additive in your soap, remember to NOT use Dead Sea Salts, as they will weep. 

Here is a summary of various Salt benefits; 

Dead Sea Salt:
* excellent for soothing aching muscles
* used as a body scrub
* perfect general relaxant
* highest content of any sea salt
* improves skin health
* restores skins moisture balance
* naturally treats psoriasis and eczema

Himalayan Salt:
* known to stimulate circulation
* soothes sore muscles
* removes toxins
* relieves arthritis pains
* alleviates skins rashes
* lessens flu and fever symptoms
* less polluted of other salts
* dozens of trace minerals
* re-mineralizes the body
* and cleanses wounds.

Epsom Salts:
* also known as Magnesium Sulfate
* carries a high mineral content
* great for skin exfoliation and detoxification
* absorbs excess oils
* flushes heavy metals from skin cells
* reduces inflammation
* reduces blood pressure
* increases circulation
* and relieves stress.

Pacific sea salts:
* quality salts at a lower cost
* moisturizes skin
* removes toxins
* relaxes the muscles
* great for scrub recipes.

Dulse Sea Salt:
* fine salt blended with dulse powder
* good for any marine and botanical salt blend.


Linda said...

Very informative article. I enjoyed it. Do you have any favorite salt blends or know where I can find quality recipes for making my own bath salt blends?


Unique Garden said...

Hi Linda! I am so glad that you enjoyed this post. There will be more additives coming next week, so make sure to stop back by.
As for blends, you may want to read this post; http://uniquegardenessences.blogspot.com/2008/06/herbal-bath-recipes.html
The herbal blends listed can be changed to Essential oils. Just add the Eo's to a tablespoon or so of oil or liquid soap, mix a bit, then add that to the bathwater just prior to your getting into the tub.
Do not add more than 10 drops total, and better to start with less and add more if you desire. Also, be cautious, as some EO's can sting. So make sure to use citrus, aniseed, camphor, clove, eucalyptus, ginger, juniper, black pepper, peppermint, sage, savory, spearmint, and thyme in very small amounts, no more than 2 drops to a full tub. And dont ever use cassia (cinnamon bark) or cinnamon.

For other recipes, try looking at the TeachSoap.com web site for recipe blends. This is the BrambleBerry.com recipe and help site and it is a great resource.

Enjoy your bath!

Unique Garden said...

oops, one more place for bathing blends, see http://uniquegardenessences.blogspot.com/2008/09/drown-yourself-in-something-good.html
Most of these are EO blends, not the herbs. Have fun!