Why Hawaiian black salt is the coolest salt you never heard of
Updated: Oct 30, 2022
Isn't salt supposed to be white? Well, mostly...with the exception of the black salts of Hawaii, which are rare and exciting salts made by mixing activated charcoal with sea salt to achieve the stunning color and powerful detoxifying properties.
The Hawaiian history with salt
Hawaiians have traditionally held salt sacred and used it for rituals for thousands of years. They began trading with the West hundreds of years ago by using traditional methods of evaporating seawater and mixing it with clay to produce a uniquely coloured salt. But the benefits of Hawaiian black salt go far beyond artisanal production.
The Hawaiian islands are so isolated from the mainland that its ocean waters are about as pure and untouched as they come. Once evaporated from the Pacific waters by members of the Sea Masters Guild of Hawaii, the salts contain just 84% sodium chloride (the stuff that makes salt salty - table salt, super-heated and processed to the gills, is 99% sodium chloride). The remaining 16% is naturally occurring electrolytes and minerals - the stuff our body is really craving when we gravitate towards the chips.
Is Hawaiian lava salt really made with lava?
Hawaiian black salt is also known as black lava salt, but it really contains no lava, though it's easy to see how the romantic name has stuck (Hawaii already has black sand beaches; it's not too hard to picture an undersea volcano erupting and gorgeous black salt crystals raining from the sky, too). The startling black colour comes from being infused with activated coconut shell charcoal which, combined with the therapeutic effects of the salt, creates a detoxifying blend that increases circulation, draws out impurities and toxins from the body, and improves the condition of the skin.
Where to find Hawaiian black salt
Of course, you could go to Hawaii and enjoy some 'me' time in one of their legendary spas...but in Toronto, you can find Hawaiian black salt used sparingly in certain bathing salt formulas as well as in bulk in specialty retailers like Selsi Sea Rocks, where its exfoliating and detoxifying properties can be put to good use. Be warned: when using larger quantities in bath salts, Hawaiian black salt will leave a noticeable black bathtub ring - that's the activated charcoal pulling out all the dirt, oil and toxins from your skin. Well worth the tub-cleaning, we think.
Aloha and Mahalo!