Several years ago, I had the good fortune of being able to spend a day at the Dead Sea. It was amazing and truly healing. I swam in the sea, soaked up the sun, and enjoyed slathering the Dead Sea mud on me as an easy, albeit messy, spa treatment. Now, I still reap the benefits of the Dead Sea with an occasional soak in a therapeutic bath at home, such as this easy to make Remineralizing Aromatic Spa Bath.
But why are Dead Sea salts so therapeutic?
Dead Sea Salt Contains Important Minerals
Unlike regular sea salt, which is high in trace minerals, but mostly sodium chloride, and Epsom salts, which are primarily magnesium sulfate, you get a full range of minerals in Dead Sea salt. In fact, 21 minerals can be found in Dead Sea salts, including the following essential minerals:
- Calcium: One of the most prevalent minerals in the body, calcium is essential for proper nervous system functioning, muscle contractions, bone formation, blood clotting, and more. We lose calcium from our bodies everyday, so taking in more from our diet and through other means, such as soaking in a mineral bath, is essential to our good health. By the way, our bodies need Vitamin D to absorb calcium, so don’t skimp on some time in the sun, foods rich in Vitamin D, or supplements, such as cod liver oil.
- Chloride: Commonly found in table salt, chloride is an essential mineral that helps keep proper cellular fluid balance in your body. You excrete some everyday through your urine, so replenishing this vital electrolyte is essential. Often, you get what you need through your diet alone, but sometimes chloride is drastically diminished when you’re sick, such as with a stomach flu, due to vomiting and diarrhea.
- Magnesium: Important for relaxing your muscles, easing aches and pains, and relieving stress, this mineral is a godsend at the end of a bad day!
- Potassium: Ever got a really bad Charley Horse — that unbearable muscle cramping in your leg? That could be due to a lack of potassium (and even magnesium). Potassium, an important electrolyte, is necessary for normal muscle contractions, including your heart, and also critical for normal nervous system functioning and fluid balance.
- Sodium: This mineral is much easier to come by, but nevertheless essential for every cell in our body to function properly. Sodium helps maintain our body’s fluid balance, but of course, too much of it isn’t a good thing — as is evident when we eat too many potato chips and our body just bloats up and holds onto the fluid! So, choose sea salt over regular table salt.
- Zinc: Zinc has many functions, most notable of which is how it helps stimulate the activity of dozens of enzymes in your body. It also helps boost the immune system, which is why you’ll find it in many cough drops and natural cold remedies. Because it’s one of those minerals that many of us are deficient in, trying to work it into your diet is essential.
Dead Sea Salt Aids Detoxification & Helps Reduce Cellulite
If you’re in the process of detoxifying, taking Dead Sea salt baths regularly can assist your body in removing toxins, reducing excess fluids, and eliminating cellulite. Adding in some grapefruit essential oil to the salts is beneficial, too, not to mention, delightful smelling! By the way, don’t forget to drink plenty of water, such as lemon water, before and after your bath to assist detoxification.
Dead Sea Salt Improves Skin Conditions
Dead Sea salt has been shown to be useful in treating skin conditions, such as eczema and psoriasis, and rheumatologic conditions such as rheumatoid arthritis. Not only that, but a German study published in the International Journal of Dermatology in 2005 showed that soaking in Dead Sea salt improved skin hydration, reduced redness and skin roughness, and improved barrier skin function. So, it’s definitely something worth considering adding to your beauty bag! Check out some on-line sources, such as Amazon, for Dead Sea salts as you can often get it in bulk and at cheaper prices than in your local grocery store.
Photos © Karen Peltier and Well Gal, 2012-2014.