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Nancy writes: “What’s your take on sole water? I’ve been hearing a lot about it and how fantastic it can be, but don’t want to jump on the bandwagon if it’s detrimental to my health.”
What is Sole Water?
Sole (so-lay) water, if you haven’t heard of it, is a new fad being promoted by various “alternative” health and wellness gurus. Basically, it amounts to drinking salt-water. Not just any salt-water, mind you. But a special solution made from Pink Himalayan Salt and purified water.
Himalayan salt is harvested from the Himalayan mountains, which used to be ancient seabeds. The pink color is due to the presence of various minerals and impurities in the salt. Most of the minerals found in Himalayan salt have no known function in the human body. Some, such as potassium and magnesium, are essential. Others, such as cadmium, mercury, and arsenic, are actually harmful if consumed in sufficient quantities. Fortunately, the quantities we’re talking about here are too small to be harmful—but, by the same token, are also too minute to be nutritionally meaningful.
These pink crystals have become fairly ubiquitous. They do look pretty in a salt grinder. The trace minerals can impart a mellower, more complex flavor that a lot of people find pleasant. And, because they’re not as pure, unrefined sea salts are sometimes a bit lower in sodium than regular table salt.
But now, Himalayan salt is also being used to make sole water. The usual procedure is to dissolve pink salt crystals in water to make a concentrated solution. Then, you mix a teaspoon of this concentrate in glass of water and drink it once or twice a day. I’m not clear on why this two step process is necessary. It seems to me that you could just dissolve a ¼ teaspoon of salt in a glass of water. But apparently, that disrupts the vibrations…or something.
In any case, drinking this on a daily basis is said to provide an astonishing array of benefits. Here is a list gleaned from the Internet (that most reliable of sources).
The Supposed Health Benefits of Sole Water
- Detoxifies the body
- Balances systemic pH
- Improves hydration
- Improves mineral status
- Reduces muscle cramps
- Helps balance blood sugar
- Supports hormone balance for everyone, no matter what hormonal issues you face (no, seriously, that’s a verbatim quote)
- Helps balance blood pressure
- Improves sleep
- Acts as a powerful antihistamine
- Supports weight loss
- Supports thyroid and adrenal function
- Reduces cravings for addictive substances
- Rids the body of heavy metals
- Prevents arthritis, kidney and gall bladder stones
- Boosts energy
- Prevents varicose veins
- Strengthens bones
Whew! Can you believe how powerful this stuff is? Yeah, neither can I.
Does Sole Water Really Work? Not Really…
Some of the claims—such as balancing your blood pressure—don’t even make sense. Others are far-fetched extrapolations based on biological functions that involve sodium and/or various minerals.
But the amount of minerals that you get from using Himalayan salt or drinking sole water are far too small to be affecting these functions in any measurable way. And there’s no substantiation for the claims that these tiny amounts of minerals are somehow more usable or powerful because they are in some sort of energetically-charged form or harmonically-balanced proportions.
The “Science” Behind Sole Water
But what about the double-blind placebo controlled research that’s cited as scientific proof that this stuff works? There does appear to have been a single, unpublished study which used a highly questionable, unvalidated testing methodology to measure various indicators of “optimal wellness.” And the findings didn’t come close to supporting the kinds of claims that are being made for sole water.
Drinking salt water can act as a laxative, which may be helpful if you’re constipated but will not remove toxins from your body. Drinking salt water can also cause nausea or vomiting, so it’s not a strategy I would recommend.
Of course, the internet is full of anecdotal reports about how drinking sole water has had miraculous effects on people’s health. But I think we’re looking at a whole lot of placebo effect, uncontrolled variables, and just plain old marketing. Pink Himalayan salt can be an attractive way to season your food. Drinking sole water, on the other hand, is a pseudo-scientific fad with little proven—or even plausible—benefits.
Image of Himalayan Salt © Shutterstock