Himalayan salt, which came into being millions of years ago and is today a popular commercial item in the world, gets extracted from the salt mine in Pakistan's Khewra region, some 300 kilometers to the south of the Himalaya mountains.
Himalayan salt is believed to have been formed when the Indian land piece collided with the Asian continent and the remaining sea evaporated by leaving behind salt.
Himalayan salt remained below soil for millions of years and became solid under high pressure.
The Khewra Salt Reservoir was first discovered by the troops of Alexander the Great when they stayed in the region for a while on the way to conquering India. It is believed that Himalayan salt was taken to Europe from here.
As an important commercial commodity, Himalayan salt was taken to the east and the west by ships or through the Spice Road.
Himalayan salt is an important source of income and employment in Pakistan. Himalayan salt is known in global markets well especially in the past 10 years.
While it was first used as a food item, Himalayan salt is now being used in fields ranging from health to architecture, from illuminating to decorations, and from industry to space technology.
With its crystal stone like appearance, unique color, ability to absorb light, and easy processing, Himalayan salt is mostly preferred in the health sector.
-Is it a source of healing or a commercial commodity?-
Himalayan salt is believed to be more valuable than other salts as it possesses minerals found in sea water.
Minerals in the Himalayan salt are believed to be beneficial for human health as the salt was not exposed to environmental pollution and is used without getting refined.
According to researches, Himalayan salt has 84 minerals. Himalayan salt absorbs electromagnetic waves, radiation and ions.
Some researchers argue that the Himalayan salt helps in balancing water needs of the human body, in balancing acid and alkaline in cells, in speeding the exit of dangerous substances from the human body, and in regulating blood circulation.
Himalayan salt is being used for asthma, diabetes, circulatory disorders, some allergies, hormonal disorders and certain bone diseases.
In a study conducted by Microbiologist Dr. Albert Krueger of the University of California, it was seen that the Himalayan salt increased ions up to 300 percent and that air with ions prevented the formation of bacteria and led to a clean and healthy atmosphere.
On the other hand, Himalayan salt, according to some researchers, is not much different than other salts on earth.
Certain researchers argue that the Himalayan salt has been turned into a commercial commodity marketed very professionally.
Such arguments are based on various scientific studies.
Accordingly, the German agency to protect consumers, "Bayerisches Landesamt für Gesundheit und Lebensmittelsicherheit", underlined that 98 percent of the Himalayan salt was the same as normal table salt.
The German agency reported after studying 15 different salts being sold under the title "Himalayan salt". While the agency found some different minerals in the Himalayan salt, it said that 98 percent of the Himalayan salt was the same as table salt.
The German agency has warned consumers to be careful about high blood pressure after consuming the Himalayan salt.
Again in Germany, the Clausthal Technical University studied the Himalayan salt and found out that 97 percent of the Himalayan salt was similar to other salts.
According to the German university, 2 percent of the Himalayan salt was made up of lime while 1 percent was made up of different minerals.
Certain experts are against using the Himalayan salt for health purposes. They believe that the minerals possessed by the Himalayan salt do not provide any advantages to consumers.
Having done researches on the issue, experts argue that essential minerals enter the human body through various food items and that humans can make up for deficient minerals by taking mineral pills sold in pharmacies.