I recently discovered that Mexico has its own sea salt production in Colima. These salt flats have been in use since pre-Hispanic times. Hueytlatoani Colimotl, the king, paid his tributes to the Aztec emperor with salt. In fact, the salt flats were the cause of the 30-year La Guerra del Salitre (Saltpeter War) between Colimotl and the leader of the Purépechas Cazonci Tangáxoan II, both factions vying for control of this valuable mineral.
After the Spanish conquest, salt increased even more in value because it was used in the extraction of silver. At one point, the salt flats were producing 3,600 tons each year. In the 1890s, cyanide replaced salt in the mining process and production dropped off.
Mexican sea salt is from the La Laguna de Cuyutlán. It is still harvested using the traditional processes. Microplastics are filtered out through the black volcanic sand that surrounds the estuary. The salinated water is dehydrated in the sun and the salt crystals are collected by hand. Because the process is organic, it is only done 16 weeks per year.
According to experts, you can distinguish sal de mar from Colima from other sea salt varieties by its color, bright white, size, smaller than most sea salt, and humidity. When you crush a grain between your fingers, your fingers will be damp.
Sal de mar is high in trace minerals not found in processed table salt. It has medicinal properties that you shouldn’t miss out on. Bathing in sal de mar helps reduce pain associated with rheumatoid arthritis and psoriasis outbreaks.
Those trace minerals provide immunostimulatory activity and enhance the electrical signals in the cells of the heart, brain, and nervous system. Sal de mar can be used as an inhalant to improve nasal congestion, runny nose, and sleep quality. Regular consumption is renal protective and works as a natural anti-cancer compound. It is also anti-bacterial.
Note: Sal de mar does not have added iodine, which means those that have thyroid issues should not use it to the exclusion of regular table salt.
Jugo de Limón & Sal de Mar Inhalation for Stuffy Nose
- 4 limónes (Citrus aurantifolia)
- 1 teaspoon Colima sal de mar (sea salt)
Squeeze the juice from the limónes. Add ½ cup boiling water and salt. Inhale the steam to help with stuffy nose and congestion.
Interested in discovering a path to wellness through traditional medicine? Discover Mexican herbalism with common remedies used today in the Exploring Traditional Herbal Remedies in Mexico series.