What is Celtic Salt? Why It’s Better Than Plain Table Salt – and How to Use it

Kiki Powers

by | Updated: August 12th, 2023 | Read time: 5 minutes

Are you familiar with Celtic (pronounced “keltic”) salt? Also known as “French grey salt,” this is a unique type of sea salt which was originally harvested from the coastal regions of Brittany, France and prepared by evaporating ocean water. It can now also be sourced from coastal zones in Guatemala, Hawaii and other locations as well.

Concept of What is Celtic Salt Represented by Bowl of Salt on White Surface with Greenery

What is Celtic salt, and how does it differ from commercial table salt?

Naturally derived Celtic salt has a different taste and texture than table salt, which is industrially refined and processed at high temperatures, turning it into sodium chloride. According to Dr. Edward F. Group III, DC, NP, founder of Global Healing, commercial salt is made by taking natural salt and cooking it at 1200° Fahrenheit, a level of heat that destroys many valuable, naturally occurring minerals.

Commercial salt is often further adulterated with ingredients such as ferrocyanide, dextrose, talc and silica aluminate, which is a name commonly applied to chemical compounds derived from aluminum. We would ideally avoid consuming this heavy metal in any form, because once an aluminum load exceeds the body’s excretory capacity, the excess is deposited in various tissues, including bone, brain, liver, heart, spleen and muscle. This accumulation appears to be linked to a host of health problems.

You also saw talc among the ingredients above. The National Institutes of Health determined that accidental or long-term inhaling or swallowing of talc dust, especially in infants—can cause a variety of symptoms, from coughing to throat irritation to lung failure. And yet, according to current regulations, table salt can be comprised of up to 2% talc. It is also customarily treated with chlorine bleach to attain the pristine white tone most people are accustomed to.

Does Celtic salt have wellness benefits?

Celtic—or French grey sea salt—helps to support healthy longevity in a variety of ways. In fact, it has for centuries played a significant role in traditional healing modalities such as Ayurveda, a natural system of medicine which originated in India over 5,000 years ago. The term Ayurveda derives from the Sanskrit words ayur (life) and veda (science or knowledge). Translated to “knowledge of life,” Ayurveda is based on the belief that illness is associated with an imbalance or stress in a person’s consciousness, and that we must have complete knowledge of our lives for optimal well-being.

According to Ayurvedic teachings, raw sea salt in small amounts may help soothe the throat, clear the sinuses and aid in detoxification. Also, since sodium plays a vital role in fluid balance, insufficient levels in the body can lead to clinical dehydration, especially during high-intensity exercise. As electrolytes, sodium and potassium work in tandem to ensure a proper fluid balance in your body’s cells as well as your blood plasma and extracellular fluid. Celtic sea salt is rich in additional electrolytes as well, including magnesium, calcium and potassium.

Don’t we need salt with added iodine?

The biggest and often only—argument in favor of mass-market, commercial salt is that it is fortified with iodine. Why is that required? As it happens, naturally occurring iodine is stripped during the process of manufacturing table salt, along with many other beneficial elements. If people fall short on iodine, the thyroid may be impaired, potentially leading to metabolism and growth dysfunction.

That’s one reason the commercial salt industry began to add synthetic forms of iodine to their products. There is no need to “fortify” Celtic salt, however, as it is already a rich, natural source of iodine. Other food sources of iodine include seaweed, prunes, and navy beans, as well as dairy products and seafood.

Does Western medicine agree with Ayurveda on Celtic salt benefits?

Ayurvedic healing and Western medical science are aligned around certain benefits of Celtic salt, such as how it can help cultivate a healthy microbiome. According to Ayurveda, the state of your digestion is closely connected to your immune health. Ayurveda teachings refer to Ojas, which are believed to reflect healthy digestion and robust immunity with associated mental, physical and emotional benefits.

Can Ojas be identified by modern science? One team of researchers exploring this question referred to the Ayurvedic description of seven basic tissues or dhatus and three waste products or malas, all of which correspond to the tissues as discussed in modern physiology. Digestion includes the transformation of food into each of these tissues and ultimately to Ojas. In modern science, this may correspond to a metabolic process characterized by a well-functioning digestive system and a balanced microbiome.

As the research team discovered, there are several possible candidates for Ojas including serotonin, a key regulator of mood, sleep, appetite and other brain functions. Serotonin in the body is mainly produced in the gut, then circulates throughout your bloodstream influencing not only your immune system, but your heart rate, blood clotting, intestinal motility, pulmonary arteries, heart, brain and mammary glands, as well as the cell growth of liver and bone cells.

How to use Celtic salt

Chefs of all stripes and “foodies” alike tend to appreciate this earthy, natural seasoning, choosing it over processed commercial salt because of its unique taste and texture. That distinctive flavor is a result of the rich mineral profile. As to texture, Celtic salt is comparatively moist, with larger crystals than regular table salt, making it especially well suited as a finishing salt. It is also a great addition to bread, pastry, and cake recipes, as it helps to retain moisture in baked goods.

If you feel inspired to try Celtic salt, it’s a beautiful finishing touch over thick slabs of lush, ripe Heirloom tomatoes drizzled with this gorgeous White Truffle Oil and this lovely Balsamic Fig Dressing & Dipping Sauce. Conversely, if your sweet tooth is calling, or if you want a fancy dessert for company, you will love these Salted Caramel Brownie Parfait Jars. Enjoy this timeless gift from the ocean in good health!

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