What is Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt?
Hawaiian sea salt comes in two varieties: black and red. Both are commonly harvested in salt ponds on the shores of the island of Kauai. The reason for the difference in colors is that the red salt is infused with clay, and the black salt has activated charcoal added to it. Both have gained popularity for their flavor and their medicinal properties, but the qualities of Hawaiian black salt are different from those of red salt. Hawaiian black salt is also sometimes referred to as Hawaiian lava salt.
It is important to note that although an item might be sold as Hawaiian black salt, some varieties aren’t actually from Hawaii at all. It is also produced on the Eastern Mediterranean island of Cyprus. Similar to the Hawaiian version, black lava salt from Cyprus was harvested from lava, however it is now created by combining activated charcoal with sea salt.
Many alternative health practitioners and dermatologists alike believe that activated charcoal is good for ridding toxins from the body and helping with digestion. In fact, there are many people who take it as a nutritional supplement.
What does Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Taste Like?
Hawaiian black salt has a distinctive, strong flavor. Users claim that the charcoal in it gives it an earthy, smoky taste when compared to regular table salt, which makes it a tasty addition to dishes that are intended to have a smoky flavor.
It is important to note, however, that most sea salts — including Hawaiian black salt — lose their flavor as they cook, so they’re generally added to dishes as a finishing salt after they’re cooked and immediately before serving.
What does Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Look Like?
The dark color of true Hawaiian black salt is said to come from Hawaiian lava. However, most of what’s sold today consists of regular sea salt with activated charcoal added to it. Although the name, “black lava salt” may make it sound more appealing, it most likely doesn’t come from volcanic lava at all.
What does Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Smell Like?
Unlike kala namak, which is said to have a sulfuric smell when mixed with food or water, Hawaiian black salt may only give off a slight charcoal aroma if any at all.
Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Benefits, Uses and Effects
Hawaiian black salt may have a reputation as a health supplement, but it actually doesn’t have enough activated charcoal to have strong health benefits when simply sprinkled on food or taken on its own. Nonetheless, many alternative health practitioners promote using it as a healthy seasoning alternative to regular table salt.
Although the human body needs salt to function, too much salt can be bad for your health. For those who rely heavily on table salt, switching to a sea salt alternative like Hawaiian black salt can help, since it is said to have a stronger flavor than table salt. Therefore, people tend to use less of it, meaning the cut down on their sodium intake.
Hawaiian black lava salt shares some of the basic health benefits of regular table salt, since both are primarily composed of sodium chloride. Although sodium needs to be consumed in moderation, our bodies need it in order to:
- Regulate hydration in the body.
- Improve brain function. Sodium deficiency is often associated with confusion, so people with low levels of sodium can increase their intake of salt in order to improve clarity.
- Provide relief from muscle cramps. Muscle cramps are sometimes caused by an imbalance of electrolytes, and sodium can help in moderation.
Hawaiian black salt has the benefit of being more pure than table salt. The more sodium we eat, the more potassium and magnesium our bodies need to stay balanced. Those minerals are removed from regular table salt, but not from sea salt. By using sea salt like Hawaiian black salt instead of table salt, many health practitioners believe that electrolyte levels can stay balanced more easily. Unlike regular table salt, Hawaiian black salt has the addition of activated charcoal, and many people believe it can:
- Remove toxins. In fact, activated charcoal is commonly used to remove poison from the body.
- Fight premature aging. The adrenal glands, liver and kidneys are also said to gain added protection from activated charcoal.
- Treat gas and bloating. By binding to the components of food that cause gas, activated charcoal is believed to prevent flatulence.
More Evidence Against Processed Table Salt
The human body needs salt, just as it needs water. However, processed table salt is heavily refined after it is mined from the earth. Refining table salt increases its shelf life and makes it more convenient for consumer use. It is also soaked in a solution that could contain bleach and sulfuric acid before being heated to a temperature high enough to remove its trace minerals and elements. Some salts are even coated with iodine after processing.
After processing, table salt loses the ability to combine with bodily fluids, meaning it can’t be easily metabolized. Therefore, the body either tries to get rid of it or eliminate it. If people consume more processed salt than their bodies can eliminate, the body has to do something with the excess. The result can lead to water retention, extreme thirst, high blood pressure, kidney problems, gall stones and other health problems.
What is Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Used for?
Hawaiian black salt can either be consumed orally or applied topically. Its dark color and smoky notes make it a unique addition to salads, vegetables, sushi, tofu, steak and chicken. Its coarseness can add an interesting texture to foods as well. It is best used as a finishing salt right before serving instead of for cooking with it, since cooking with it can give dishes an unpleasant, grayish color.
As more people have become aware of the benefits of charcoal as a topical remedy, some people use Hawaiian black salt in their body scrubs and bath gels. One home remedy involves adding equal parts Hawaiian black salt with your favorite body wash to treat acne and oily skin. Another idea is to add a handful of Hawaiian black salt to a warm, running bath and then soaking in it for 20 minutes to detoxify the skin.
Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Dosage
Hawaiian black salt should be sprinkled in moderation on food for seasoning purposes only. Since it is mostly composed of sodium, taking it as a supplement or consuming it with the intention of getting any health benefits could actually be detrimental to one’s health.
Topically, many people swear by its detoxification properties, and it is safe to use if added in equal parts to a body wash or by adding a handful to a running bath.
How to Store Hawaiian Black Salt
Since salt reacts with metal, which changes its chemical composition, Hawaiian black salt should be stored in a wooden, glass or ceramic container.
Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt Side Effects, Safety, Dangers, Contraindications and Warnings
Just like regular table salt, Hawaiian black salt can cause health conditions like hypertension and high blood pressure if used in excess. Although Hawaiian black salt has 98 percent sodium and processed table salt has 100 percent sodium, both need to be consumed in moderation.
Hawaiian black salt is safe for pregnant women since the body doesn’t digest charcoal. In fact, some expectant mothers claim that it helps with morning sickness.
Hawaiian Black Salt vs Himalayan Pink Salt
Hawaiian black salt and Himalayan pink salt both have their own unique benefits. Perhaps the biggest difference between the two is where they’re from. Himalayan salt comes from the Khewra Salt Mines in Pakistan at the foothills of the Himalayas. The salt from Khewra includes varieties that are transparent, white, pink and red.
The pink Himalayan salt gets its color from iron oxide. It is a full-spectrum salt, meaning that it contains over 80 minerals when it is harvested and minimally tainted by environmental pollutants due to its secluded location.
Unlike Hawaiian black salt, Himalayan pink salt does not have charcoal added to it. Therefore, any health benefits that are thought to come from charcoal would be missing from Himalayan pink salt.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Is Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt the same as kala namak?
Hawaiian black salt is not the same as kala namak. Kala namak is also known as Himalayan black salt, Indian black salt, kala loon and sulemani namak. It is widely used in Asian countries like Pakistan and India. Kala namak is actually Himalayan pink salt that has been altered by heating it to very high temperatures and then combining it with a variety of Indian herbs and spices that contribute to its taste, color and odor.
How is Hawaiian Black Lava Sea Salt made?
Hawaiian black salt may sound like it is found in nature, ready to use, but it is actually man-made. Historically, it came from above ground pools formed by flows of lava. When the pools dried up, they left the salt behind. Today, however, the salt is man-made in above ground pools before manufacturers add crushed black lava and activated black charcoal to it for color and supposed detoxifying effects.