Imagine eating something old. Really old. Like, more than 800 million years old.
Next time you sprinkle a pinch of Himalayan Sea Salt on your dinner, you’ll actually be seasoning your food with a truly ancient spice.
These beautiful pink salt crystals are mined from the great Salt Range of the Himalayas, an area that geologists estimate could be 800 million years old. You could be eating a salt crystal that was actually formed in the Precambrian era — around the same time the first multi-celled life began (we’re talking little tiny organisms that were the first sign of life on this planet).
In all senses of the word, this salt is a truly old spice.
It’s a pretty interesting blast from the very distant past, and a unique experience to eat something so pure and untouched for millions of years.
The Khewra Salt Mine is located just north of Pind Dadan Khan, a district of Punjab in Pakistan. It’s the world’s oldest salt mine (and still the second largest). It is world famous, annually attracting 250,000 tourists, who come to see the unearthing of huge bricks of this unique pink salt.
Geologists believe that the Great Salt Range was formed when tectonic plate movements formed a mountain range that trapped a shallow inland sea, which was slowly dehydrated and buried deep in the earth, forming thick, mineral-rich sea salt deposits.
For millions of years the Salt Range went untouched as animal and human species developed all around it. The rock salt wasn’t discovered until around 300 BCE, when local peoples encountered the salty outcroppings in the hills called salt seams. In 326 BCE, Alexander of Macedonia and his men on horseback discovered the salt while camping in the region before battle. The men were tipped off by their horses, who licked the salty rock deposits. This discovery lead to the revelation of the great Salt Range to the Greeks. For many years following, local tribes mined the surface outcroppings and traded the salt with neighboring regions.
In 1849, when the British arrived in the region, the use of the salt mine changed dramatically.
A British mining engineer named Dr. Warth helped design and build a tunnel into the salt range, allowing better access to the salt deposits. His “pillar and chamber” mining method — still in use today — called for the excavation of 50% of the salt, while the remaining 50% was left as structural support for the mine.
Now the mine tunnels about 730 meters into the mountain, and the underground mine covers about 43 square miles! It is estimated that the total amount of salt still remaining in the region is somewhere between 80-600 million tons.
Unlike many other mining operations, the Khewra Salt Mine represents something deeply sacred – a connection to worlds long past.
Rather than mass exploitation of the prized commodity it produces, it garners great respect from those that both visit and work the mine. Its sacred healing power is left untouched as the crystalline pink salt from the mine reaches the hands of consumers unprocessed and unrefined. Salt rocks from the mine are also carved into sculptures and used to create healing rock salt lamps.
Sea Salt vs Himalayan Pink Salt. Why does this matter to you?
At this point you might be thinking, ‘great, but it’s just salt and salt is bad for my health…’ right?
The story behind pure Pink Himalayan Sea Salt matters because the source and purity of this unique salt are the reason why its flavor is rich and more complex, and its effects on the body more positively nourishing.
Table salt, or straight sodium chloride, is the most commonly consumed salt.
It is mostly mass-produced and undergoes several processes that strip the salt crystals of natural minerals, while adding “supplements” like iodine. Typical table salts also have chemicals added to prevent clumping.
The Pink Himalayan Sea Salt we source from the Khewra Salt Mine, on the other hand, is rich with minerals that have been undisturbed in the salt deposit for millions of years — and we keep it that way. Not only does this salt contain a multitude of minerals like essential electrolytes that are necessary for the healthy function of the human body, is also un-tampered-with.
We bring the salt straight from the Himalayan mountains to you – no processing required – so all the natural minerals are left in tact and no “de-clumping” toxins are added!
Because this salt comes from such an ancient salt deposit, it’s been unexposed to toxic pollution from the air and water and is therefore some of the purest salt on earth.
Many other sea salts, on the other hand, are mined from salt beds by our oceans, which are unfortunately highly polluted. This results in the risk of toxic contamination that is hard to avoid when mining salt from exposed areas.
Knowing that this salt comes from a source that pre-dates man-made pollution though, we can be sure we’re providing you with clean, toxin-free food.
A Journey Back in Time
It’s a trip to think about this salt as more than just a flavoring for your next meal. It’s also a prehistoric artifact that pre-dates human existence, a substance more pure and archaic than anything else our bodies ingest, a sacred substance of the earth. With each bite, the history of our natural world nourishes with unadulterated majesty.
Written by one of our suppliers: Essential Living Foods. Who we thank for all their great products over the past 10 years.