Up Yours, Dr. Oz Tells Our Noses / by sylvia kronstadt
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|Thu, 03-28-2013 - 2:40pm|
This "completely pure" salt is unclean and laced with toxins.
Last year, Dr. Oz urged his viewers to discover yet another "ancient remedy" -- the Himalayan Salt Inhaler Immunity Booster. If you're feeling "run down," he said, this $30 "miracle"-- a ceramic container filled with Himalayan salt crystals -- will "calm and cleanse your airways." (Are your airways tense?)
I reported at that time that Oz was wrong to promote this salt as "totally pure." The product is tainted and potentially harmful, and its very premise is dubious. But Oz, ever winking and grinning, is promoting it again.
They mess up the mountainside, but they give us cashmere. Seems fair.
(I wonder if Oz knows that the world-famous pashmina goats are hanging out up there, in the Kashmir region of the Himalayas, undoubtedly peeing and pooping up a storm, as they are certainly entitled to do. So even if there's any salt lying around, it's probably not "completely pure"!) Aside from the dubious premise of the inhaler, it is important to know (and why doesn't Oz care?) that a 2002 investigation by by the international nonprofit Tourist Watch and the Pakistan Holistic Health Society agreed that there are no salt mines in the Himalayas. The salt is actually mined in the Khewra mine in Pakistan, one of the largest, busiest salt mines in the world (and probably not very sanitary -- it's a big, industrial operation). The salt can contain up to 84 trace elements, some of them metals. Do we want this stuff in our lungs and nasal passageways?
Himalayan salt: Is it a spiritual wonder, or just pretty? And is it true that some
of it is dyed to convey the desired magical and otherworldly radiance?
"I recently reviewed the mineral content of Himalayan salt sold by several natural products companies and wholesale suppliers. I became alarmed when I saw the fluoride content at a whopping 192 mg.," says Yoda Bal, a 50-year nutrition health researcher and editor of Natural Health News. "I no longer recommend it for anything except as a gourmet conversation-starter. I certainly wouldn't breathe it." Even if it were pure, why would we want to breathe salt, which Dr. Oz says "draws moisture from the membranes"? He is constantly urging us to ADD moisture to our membranes, by using steam inhalers. He is an ardent proponent of Neti Pots, which flood our nasal passageways with cleansing moisture. This is just another one of his "to die for" novelties, like Shizandra berries, jade rollers and slurpy sea cucumbers. Regular Oz guest Dr. Joe Mercola is peddling Himalayan salt for kitchen use, even though "the suppliers of this salt have no standard infrastructure available and we have to work through people that have no idea of how normal business operates. It has to be hauled through several countries and takes two years to get here." That doesn't sound too pure!
Mercola's 16'' x 8 '' Himalayan salt slab is $40.00.
'VIBRATIONAL ENERGIES' -- SOUNDS LIKE IT'S MANY SPLENDORED "It has vibrational energies," he adds. That doesn't sound too scientific! But it is representative of the wind-chimey, mystical benefits that are attributed to this salt by those who are trying to sell it. In fact, none of the claims for this "miracle" substance, which is used in lamps and for bathing, as well as cooking and inhaling, has been substantiated, according to researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Center. Himalayan salt, along with olive oil, has been named as one of the top ten global products that is most likely to be deceptively labeled, diluted or tainted. No health claims have been substantiated for the salt, according to a review of the literature by eHow.com, which concludes that it is yet another foodie fad. It seems that Oz would have done a bit more homework on this product and the science behind it before causing an online stampede that has yet to end. I find that irrigating my sinuses with a $1.00 turkey baster and plain old American salt works pretty well. Clean as a whistle without actually whistling. And much more thorough than a Neti pot.
When he's done, he'll be mining Himalayan salt for your inhaler.