Celtic salt is sea salt. Sea salt is no different than table salt if you compare the sodium chloride content. And you know that salt kills! That basically sums it up. I have addressed this issue in two separate blogs referenced below.
Celtic salt claims to be salt from a particular region in the Mediterranean coast of France. The promoters claim Celtic salt to be superior to other sea salts because of its special mineral content.
There are several problems with this promotion.
For starters there is no independent validation of the claim that this salt actually comes from the coast of France. There is also no independent validation of the contents.
These two issues are important because of the lack of sufficient oversight over the under-regulated dietary supplement industry. Once a particular name is popularized by propaganda, mass production can be done from anywhere.
As far as the health claims of the additional minerals supposedly present in Celtic salt, after extensive research a second time around, I am unable to come up with any published data in the medical field to support these claims. The alternative physicians who are quoted as recommending Celtic offer no documentation of research or proof.
I am particularly concerned about the claim in the propaganda material that Celtic salt is useful for people suffering from high blood pressure or diabetes. These are the two the deadliest health problems for millions of Americans. Even the skeptics against restriction of salt consumption agree that people with high blood pressure or diabetes should consume very little salt (the current recommendation is 1500 mg a day). Salt under any disguise will hurt far too many people. So many agencies worldwide are working very hard to educate people about the dangers of salt. The Celtic salt propaganda works against these efforts.
Among the many minerals claimed to be present in Celtic salt, there is no validation that any of them help with human diseases. Magnesium, for example, is useful, but consuming the amount of sea salt required to get enough magnesium is dangerous. Only consuming potassium-rich fruits, such as raisins, has been shown to be beneficial for people who have high blood pressure.
I am even more concerned with regards to the Yoga Research Foundation (YRF) and Swamiji’s name associated with Celtic salt. People often seek Ashrams, Sages and Saints, Temples and pilgrimages out of desperation that stems from dealing with hardships in life. Some of these people regress into what is described as irrationalism. They are prime targets for exploitation. If you look at the TV programs and news magazines dedicated to religious matters, you will see how they are bombarded with many of these advertising campaigns promoting unproven and disproven therapies simply to make a quick buck. (If you can fool some people all the time and all the people some of the time, you have it made).
Swamiji does not encourage superstition. Having been blessed by him for so many years, I can emphatically say that becoming his devotee does not mean you become irrational or accept irrationalism.
As Swamiji has said many times, proper understanding and application of philosophy is not in conflict with science. As I see it, put it simplistically, when adding two plus two, you will get four. It is always four; that is science. But from the social responsibility and philosophical perspective, there may be problems with dealing with “four”. So you may decide not to ever add two and two. But you cannot get away for too long with promoting the idea that two plus two is not four.
An event that occurred in July 2012 will put my concerns in focus. Water was dripping from the feet of the statue of Jesus at Our Lady of Velankani Church in Mumbai, India. Desperate gullible people were lined up to have a chance to drink this water which they believed to be a miracle of God that would cure all their ailments. Further investigation by suspicious rational individuals revealed that the water dripping from under statue was coming from a nearby bathroom drain that was clogged. Instead of being concerned about making innocent people drink sewage water, the church authorities were very upset to the point of threatening a law suit against the people who busted their dubious miracle.
A large number of visitors to YRF are on multiple medications for high blood pressure and other preventable illnesses. The American Heart Association and the American Medical Association are among the many international healthcare organizations advising salt restriction. Any association of the harmful propaganda of Celtic salt with the visitors to the Ashram who come seeking spiritual guidance from Swamiji is not right.