Kim is an RN and author of the book "360 Health: Your Guide to Cancer Prevention, Healing Foods, & Total Body Wellness."
21 Benefits of Drinking Lemon Water & Himalayan Sea Salt
- Removes toxins by improving digestion and elimination
- Boosts hydration
- Reduces muscle cramps and migraines
- Improves adrenal and thyroid health
- Increases energy
- Improves sleep quality
- Balances pH
- Strengthens bones and teeth
- Clears skin
- Improves heart and cardiovascular health
- Facilitates weight loss
- Dissolves uric acid to prevent kidney stones and arthritis
- Relieves allergies
- Destroys bacteria
- Balances hormones to improve sexual health
- Reduces inflammation
- Boosts immunity
- Balances blood sugar levels
- Detoxifies liver and cells
- Relieves heartburn
- Lifts the mood, in moderate amounts
Why Drink Lemon-and-Salt Water Instead of Coffee in the Morning?
Many people struggle to keep their energy levels high enough to keep up with life. While many things can contribute to fatigue, sometimes the issue is simple: Routine consumption of coffee throughout the day, which can interfere with sleep quality.
Here's how to tell if this explains your fatigue:
- You wake up feeling exhausted due to lack of quality sleep.
- You're unable to begin your day without first drinking coffee.
- You fatigue again by mid-afternoon.
- You experience headaches or other aches and pains.
If exhaustion and lack of energy plague you, try weening yourself off coffee and substituting warm lemon water with Himalayan sea salt as a morning beverage. Not only does this combination boost energy in a natural, effective way, it also provides myriad other health benefits.
What we'll cover here:
- The difference between Himalayan sea salt and regular table salt.
- The health benefits of Himalayan salt and lemons.
- Some side effects to look for.
- A recipe for Sole water made with salt and lemons.
“You can trace every sickness, every disease, and every ailment to a mineral deficiency.”
— Dr. Linus Pauling, two-time Nobel Prize winner
What Is Himalayan Sea Salt?
Himalayan sea salt is mined by hand directly from ancient sea salt deposits. It is less refined than table salt and has not been stripped of its naturally high mineral content. Table salt is generally supplemented with anti-clumping additives like ferrocyanide, talc, and silica aluminate.
In order for our bodies to function in the best and most efficient way, our health depends on having adequate micronutrient and mineral stores. Himalayan sea salt is widely known for possessing 84 trace minerals. This is what makes this type of salt is so nourishing.
Why Is It Pink?
Himalayan salt is mined from an ancient seabed in Pakistan that became landlocked and evaporated. While it is rich in calcium, chloride, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, and sodium, this salt gets its rosy hue from the common pink microorganisms that lived in the sea centuries ago.
1. Improves Digestion and Elimination to Prevent Constipation
Sea salt helps to stimulate enzymes that aid in digestion. It encourages the production of hydrochloric acid in the stomach to help break down and digest food. Salt also promotes food and water absorption in the body, allowing nutrients to be assimilated and move through smoothly.
2. Boosts Hydration
Adding sea salt to water hydrates the body without over-diluting it. Contrary to what one may think, it is possible to consume too much water and to put the body in a state of hyponatremia (low sodium levels). Of course, this severe dilution typically happens when people are taking diuretics or have participated in long, vigorous sporting events—essentially sweating too much. However, drinking plain water may not nourish the cells as well as expected. Consuming water with natural salt allows the body to absorb and use the water more efficiently.
To learn more, read How Sea Salt & Lemon Can Help You Hydrate Better on Body Unburdened.
3. Prevents Muscle Cramps and Relieves Migraine
Electrolyte imbalances and dehydration are often the root causes of both muscle pain and headaches. Sodium, potassium, calcium, and magnesium work synergistically in muscle contraction and relaxation. Magnesium is also anti-inflammatory which helps to relieve headaches. Natural Himalayan sea salt is rich in these essential nutrients.
Who Shouldn't Drink Salt Water?
Consult your doctor before drinking salt water if you have:
• heart problems
• kidney problems
• high blood pressure
• gastrointestinal issues, such as ulcers or inflammatory
4. Supports Adrenal and Thyroid Health
Sea salt reduces demand on the adrenals first thing in the morning. When we wake up, our body naturally wants to raise our blood pressure. Drinking salt water in the morning overrides this system by slightly raising blood pressure for a short period of time. This means the adrenals have to do less of the work in raising blood pressure, thus saving their output for the rest of the day. Poorly performing adrenals can also contribute to thyroid dysfunction. Sea salt nourishes the thyroid by supplying it with iodine and selenium, minerals known to help thyroid function.
To learn more about salt's effect on adrenals, read Heal Your Adrenals With Himalayan Salt on The Synchro Life.
5. Boosts Energy Levels
Adequate mineral stores provide the body with the energy it needs to begin the day. When the body has the micro-nutrients it requires, it has a more solid baseline from which to function and doesn't require the drug-induced stimulation of caffeine. Also, if drinking lemon water with sea salt can replace the morning cup of coffee, a natural, calming, long-lasting energy replaces the spiky, temporary "high" of coffee.
6. Better Sleep
By providing calming minerals like magnesium and calcium, sea salt can improve sleep. Research shows that sea salt helps reduce cortisol and adrenaline, two stress hormones, by preventing dehydration. Also, if one consumes lemon water with sea salt instead of coffee, there is no chance of chemical stimulation from caffeine. For some people who struggle with sleep issues, replacing coffee with salt water and lemon can keep energy levels more even and help prevent insomnia.
7. Balances Body pH
The Western diet is filled with processed, refined foods. This creates an overly acidic pH to our body and bloodstream. By providing the body with so many necessary trace minerals, Himalayan salt helps to alkalize the body, which helps prevent inflammation and disease.
8. Strengthens Bones and Teeth
The trace minerals in sea salt can actually help to "remineralize" teeth, thus preventing or even reversing cavities and dental decay. Osteoporosis and other bone disorders are thought to leach calcium and other minerals from the bones for survival and to neutralize acidity in the blood. Sea salt is naturally full of minerals and alkalizing, so there is speculation that it is helpful with bone health as well.
9. Promotes Skin Health
Minerals have a profound effect on the skin. Chromium can help prevent or reverse acne. Sulfur helps to keep skin smooth, reducing the incidence of eczema, rashes, and scaly skin. Zinc heals wounds and regulates oil production. Iodine increases oxygen consumption in the skin. Drinking water with sea salt also helps to hydrate the skin from the inside out. It's even thought to help diminish cellulite.
10. For Hearth Health and Better Blood Pressure
We've already mentioned that sea salt helps the adrenals by gently boosting blood pressure in the morning. Research shows that natural sea salt does not contribute to high blood pressure in the same way that regular, refined table salt does. Because the sodium chloride in sea salt is accompanied by myriad other necessary minerals, it is balanced out and does not cause edema in the body. In fact, the overall effect of sea salt-laced water is to "reduce" blood pressure. It actually promotes healthier, stronger veins. It also has the effect of normalizing an irregular heartbeat. Low potassium and magnesium are known to create arrhythmias.
11. Promotes Weight Loss
By improving digestion and nourishing the body on a cellular level, sea salt can help with weight loss. It's also thought to reduce cravings for sweet or sugary foods. If you google "How does sea salt help you lose weight?" you'll find a ton of sites about sea salt flushes. A study published in the Journal of Alternative and Complementary Medicine found that drinking salt water stimulates the bowels to empty the colon. This type of "flush" is not the same as drinking the sea salt water for pure nourishment, however. While it can aid in temporary weight loss, it is not a safe method to repeat as it can lead to dehydration and dangerous mineral and electrolyte loss.
12. May Help Prevent Kidney Stones
Uric acid build-up in the body can stimulate gout, kidney stones, gallstones, and some forms of arthritis. One of the most effective measures to prevent kidney stones is staying hydrated. Since sea salt works to help prevent dehydration, this type of saltwater mixture may help keep kidney stones from forming and even dissolve those that are already present.
Is Himalayan Sea Salt From the Himalayas?
Historically, the people of the Himalayas used this salt to preserve fish and meat. Today, what we call Himalayan sea salt is actually mined from the Punjab region of Pakistan.
13. For Allergy Relief
Sea salt water is a natural antihistamine. It can help you breathe better when your nasal passages are swollen from allergies. It also works as a decongestant as it hydrates the body and allows passage of fluid from swollen tissues.
Sea salt and water in a Neti pot is an easy remedy for nasal congestion without the side effects of medication. To prepare and use nasal irrigation mixture, follow these steps:
- Mix 3 teaspoons of iodide-free, preservative-free salt with 1 teaspoon of baking soda. Mix 1 teaspoon of this mixture in 8 ounces of distilled, sterile, or previously boiled and cooled water.
- Add this mixture to a Neti pot. Insert the tip of the pot into one nostril (make sure you're over a sink!) and tip your head so the liquid can flow into your nose.
- Allow the liquid to flow around through your nasal cavity and out the other nostril. This may take a moment if your nose is very congested.
- Blow your nose to remove mucus and salt water. Then try on the other side.
- If you experience burning or stinging, add more water and less of the dry ingredients. For children, use a half-teaspoon with 4 ounces of water.
14. As an Antibacterial
Sea salt added to filtered water is antibacterial and never spoils. When consumed, it can help eliminate bad bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Have you ever swished or gargled with salt water to soothe a sore throat? Drinking water with Himalayan sea salt works in a similar fashion. It can help pull toxins from cells to be eliminated from the body.
15. For Hormonal and Sexual Health
Sea salt water has been shown to reduce stress hormones like cortisol in the body. Its hydrating properties help maintain healthy hormone levels, making it a libido booster. Real salt also supports fertility and can improve reproductive health in both men and women.
16. As an Antioxidant and Anti-Inflammatory
Lemons are rich in Vitamin C, a known powerful antioxidant. It helps the body deal with stress. It has been shown to help with arthritis and can be helpful for preventing the development and progression of atherosclerosis and diabetic heart disease.
17. For Immune-Boosting Properties
Thanks to our friend Vitamin C, lemons help curb and prevent illness. Phagocytes and t-cells rely on Vitamin C to perform their tasks of protecting the body by attacking and destroying bacteria and viruses. The Vitamin C in lemon water can also help the body more efficiently absorb specific nutrients, making them more readily available and absorbed by the body. So, combining the lemon water with sea salt helps the body take in all of the health sustaining minerals it needs.
18. To Stabilize Blood Sugar Levels
The fiber and acidity in lemons help to slow digestion and prevent any subsequent rise in blood sugar. Research has shown that lemon juice lowers the glycemic index of any food it is added to. Although one might think of lemons as acidic, they have a strong alkalizing effect on the body.
To learn more about lemons' effect on blood sugar, read Do Lemons Affect Blood Sugar? What People With Diabetes Need to Know on Livestrong and Diabetic Diet: How Lemon And Lemon Water Can Help Cure Diabetes on the Nairaland Forum.
19. Liver and Cell Detox
Vitamin C helps to increase glutathione, which helps the liver detoxify fat before bile is emitted, taking stress off of the gallbladder. It also helps the body purge environmental toxins and metabolic waste. Vitamin C can also help pull toxins from cells and the liver because antioxidants help cells neutralize free radicals that cause cellular damage.
20. Heartburn and Acid Reflux Relief
Lemons are alkaline-forming, although they taste sour. In this way, lemons also help neutralize acidity in the stomach. They also contain potassium, which is a neutralizer. It is said that drinking one tablespoon of freshly squeezed lemon juice mixed with water about 10 minutes before a meal can help prevent acid reflux.
21. Natural Anti-Depressant
Researchers at the University of Iowa found that salt is a natural mood-elevating substance, which is why many people are tempted to eat too much of it. While too little salt can lead to mild depression, the study found, too much salt leads to high blood pressure, heart disease, and other problems.
Possible Side Effects of Drinking Himalayan Sea Salt Lemon Water
- Drinking too much salt water on an empty stomach may cause nausea and vomiting.
- Drinking salt water can also cause cramping, bloating, and dehydration.
- This drink is essentially a colon cleansing mixture. Consumed in excess, it may cause an electrolyte imbalance due to the rapid loss of sodium and fluids. If this happens you may experience muscle spasms, weakness, confusion, an irregular heartbeat, seizures, or blood pressure problems.
Ever Heard of "Sole" Water?
So what is the best way to get the benefits of Himalayan sea salt and lemon into your diet? Enter "Sole" water. Sole water (pronounced "so-lay") is an electrolyte-dense brine. It is made by adding Himalayan sea salt crystals to purified, filtered water and letting the mixture sit until the salt crystals no longer dissolve but remain intact at the bottom of a glass jar. This process may take several days to a week, adding a little each day. Once your Sole is ready, you can add a teaspoon of Sole to a mug of warm water. Then squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
Sole Water Ingredients
- 1 glass Mason jar, (with plastic lid)
- 1-2 cups Himalayan sea salt crystals
- Filtered water
- 1/2 Lemon
How to Make Sole Water
- Fill the jar 1/4 full with Himalayan sea salt crystals.
- Pour filtered water into the jar, leaving about 1-2 inches at the top.
- Cover the solution in the jar with a plastic lid.
- Shake and let it sit overnight or up to 24 hours. No need to refrigerate...ever (since Sole is a natural fungicide and anti-bacterial).
- After the elapsed time, check to see if all of the salt crystals are dissolved. If all have dissolved, add more sea salt.
- When the salt no longer dissolves, the Sole water is ready to drink.
- To drink, pour warm filtered water into a mug. Add 1 teaspoon of the Sole water to the filtered water.
- Squeeze in the juice of half a lemon.
How Much Sodium Is in a Teaspoon of Himalayan Sea Salt?
Most salts, including sea salt, table salt, kosher salt, and Himalayan pink salt, are about 40 percent sodium. Table salt has about 2,300 mg of sodium while Pink Himalayan salt has about 1700 mg. Why? Because the salt crystals are bigger so less Himalayan salt fits into a teaspoon!
How to Drink Sole Water
- Drink it in the morning: Lemon water with Himalayan sea salt is best consumed first thing in the morning. It can help provide a natural boost of energy. Try replacing your morning cup of coffee with a mug of Sole and lemon water. It's also best on an empty stomach. It can stimulate digestion and also elimination to truly get your day "moving."
- Avoid coffee: Coffee should NOT follow Sole and lemon water because coffee acidifies the body and digestive tract. This would negate the alkalizing effects of the water. So if you must consume coffee in the morning, have it prior to your lemon water with sea salt.
- No metal lids: The mason jar should have a plastic cap. (These are the Mason jar plastic caps I use.) Metal de-ionizes the salt. And if metal is in prolonged contact with the salt, it can release other metals and chemicals into the salt water as the metal lid (or metal spoon) will start to corrode. Even if they are stainless steel or other non-corrosive metals that won’t rust in theory, they can still react to the salt water.
- Don't use table salt: This recipe is to be used with Himalayan sea salt or Celtic sea salt, NOT table salt. As mentioned, table salt is highly processed.
- Add-ons: Lemon really makes the Sole water palatable. However, you could also add in some honey or ginger for additional flavor. Just know that honey will have an effect on fasting blood sugar. Additionally, some people claim that adding apple cider vinegar (ACV) gives an added zing and is also packed with additional health benefits. You would definitely want to incorporate some honey if you do add ACV.
- Easy shortcut method: If you don't have time to make the Sole water brine, alternatively you could add a pinch of granulated Himalayan sea salt (not the crystals) to a cup of lemon water and stir. Although the brine is deeply nourishing because it has been saturated over time, a tiny pinch of sea salt would also instill some of the same benefits. (Warning: Do NOT add a teaspoon of the granulated salt. A teaspoon of sea salt itself contains 5 times the amount of sodium as a teaspoon of Sole water!)
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.
© 2016 Kim Maravich
Breana Michael on September 03, 2020:
Thanks for sharing this great article here. https://www.centralalbertatowing.ca/
Alma Chaidez on May 18, 2020:
Kim Maravich, Thank you ! This article has been supremely helpful.
Steve on May 15, 2020:
Tad, There are studies such as the one referenced above in #10 showing distinct benefits of sea salt not experienced in table salt. I suspect that some of the other benefits might be shown in studies also, but I really don't know that.
I too am often skeptical but we should endeavor to temper our skepticism with research. Sometimes we are surprised, as in this case.
Carol on March 20, 2020:
Very interesting stuff here!
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on November 18, 2019:
I now consume and recommend Redmond's Real Salt which is a widely available form of sea salt. You can look on their website for a list of minerals found in their salt. They are a very transparent company. Iodine is present in their product.
Pan Yah on November 17, 2019:
I have purchased Himalayan salt and the description says, "this salt does not provide iodine, a necessary nutrient," which caused me to be under the impression that Himalayan salt does not contain it. In your article you say it does, but you do not specify Himalayan salt, but sea salt.
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on July 06, 2019:
You can certainly add HSS to reverse osmosis water. I typically add 1/8 to 1/4 tsp of HSS to my lemon water each morning (between 12-16 oz.). It's absolutely safe. But make sure it's "real salt" or Himalyan, and NOT regular table salt which is essentially devoid of nutrients. I recommend reading "The Salt Fix" by Dr. James DiNicolantonio for more info on safety and effectiveness plus loads of medical research on the issue.
Maureen on July 06, 2019:
Wondering if a person could use Himalayan sea salt to re-mineralize their store bought ro water.....some say it is a hoax others say you could add a half teaspoon to a gallon of ro water to re-mineralize...it...is this true...and better yet..would it be safe and effective to do...verses buying trace minerals to add to the water....
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on May 17, 2019:
Merryheart, You can drink this as often as you like. I recommend just once a day in the morning. You should start to see some results with things like energy, skin, and blood sugar regulation within a few days to a week.
Merryheart on May 06, 2019:
Hello, thanks for the article, it was very informative. Please I will like to know how long one should take this mixture.
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on April 29, 2019:
If you are making the sole brine, it's best to wait for it to completely dissolve the crystals, otherwise you're not getting all of the benefits. Lately, I've been recommending just sprinkling a pinch of Himalayan sea salt or Redmond's Real Salt into a glass of lemon water. It's much easier and will provide the same benefits without waiting for the brine.
Molya on April 27, 2019:
Hi, needs to stay exactly 24 hours or its fine to drink after I make? Sorry for my English.
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on March 31, 2019:
Sophie, the water doesn't need to be warm but the warmth assists with digestion and is just a nice replacement for that morning coffee. You can certainly put HSS in water of any temperature. Natural sea salt isn't exactly the same as Himalayan. Sourcing matters, so just be sure it's coming from a quality source. Lately, I've been recommending Redmond's Real Salt which is a form of sea salt. It's widely available and has been tested for purity (which is what counts since we don't want any heavy metals in our salt). Hope that helps!
Sophie on March 30, 2019:
Does the water have to be warm? And is natural sea salt the same?
Lalitshanker on March 14, 2019:
Very informative and interesting article on “Sole” water health Benefits
Thanks to the writer !
Tad on December 28, 2018:
Pink Himalayan salt is chemically similar to table salt. It contains up to 98 percent sodium chloride. Although there are reportedly an estimated 84 different minerals and trace elements found in pink salt — thus giving it it's unique color, and slightly different taste — only 2% of the salt is made up of these minerals. This means pink Himalayan salt is nutritionally similar to regular salt. So you likely aren't going to see any extra health perks by swapping them... but the color is nice!
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on December 23, 2018:
Erica, If you're using the Sole water, just add one teaspoon of it to a glass of water (at least 8 oz.) once a day. If you're using granulated Himalayan sea salt, just sprinkle a small pinch of it into your first glass of lemon water in the morning, again once a day.
Erica on December 23, 2018:
How much are you supposed to drink in a day?
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on November 08, 2018:
Edwin, You can honestly use whichever kind of water is convenient for you. I recommend using filtered water because contaminants have been removed. Tap water typically contains things like fluoride, chlorine, and even lead, pesticides, or pharmaceuticals. Filtered water would be from reverse osmosis at best and, to a lesser extent, water from a refrigerator with filter, for example. Spring water is also a good option. The lemon/Himalayan sea salt water combo is intended, in part, to be detoxifying. However, you'll still get the benefits of the sea salt in any water you use.
Edwin De Bock on November 08, 2018:
What do you mean exactly with filtered water? Is tapwater that went through a watersoftener ok ?
Thx in advance.
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on October 31, 2018:
You can store the water indefinitely because the salt preserves the mixture. It will not spoil. Using a glass lid is fine. It's just not advisable to use metal as the salt can cause metal to rust, and the metal can de-ionize the salt.
Julie Harris on October 31, 2018:
Hi, how long can you store the salt water brine once its made, ..also is a glass lid ok rather than plastic?
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on October 30, 2018:
Sarah, Yes you could use granulated HSS in the same way. It may just take more to reach saturation point. Alternatively, you can sprinkle granulated HSS into a glass of lemon water. Just a pinch. I’ve been enjoying this method each morning lately.
sarah on October 30, 2018:
Can I use granulated Himalayan salt rather than the chunks?
email@example.com on October 25, 2018:
I will try this
Dhanu on October 21, 2018:
I have some what problem of high bp. Not too much. Can I use lemon+kala namak warm water therapy with empty stomach
Yobe on April 24, 2018:
I am actually trying it right bout now will updates the results
Isabelle Reed on March 15, 2018:
Wonderful recipe! I have tried your recipe. It actually works for me . I got Himalayan salt from saltean for that recipe. It not only cure my skin-related problems, but also improve my sleeping quality. I have also considered your helpful tips for doing this whole process.
Kathleen mark on March 12, 2018:
Thanks for sharing this knowledgeable article with us. Though I have been using Himalayan salt in cooking but I didn't know about using it this way. I am definitely going to try this lemon and salt water. I have also purchased Himalayan sat lamp as well. You can visit the website of ittefaqco to know more about different types of Himalayan salt products.
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on January 25, 2018:
Peter, If one has a medical condition like kidney disease, it's important to be in conversation with your doctor regarding nutrition. Too much sodium is known to be detrimental in kidney disease, so considering overall dietary sodium intake is crucial. Perhaps this particular drink should not be consumed every day for someone with existing disease ... maybe once or twice a week, but it depends on how much salt is being consumed in food too. Drinking lemon water without the salt would be fine. I'm not able to dispense medical advice, so please ask your physician as well. Thank you!
Peter on January 25, 2018:
Is it ok to use if someone has kidney disease
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on September 18, 2017:
Lisa Marie Mason, Thank you for your comment! I hope the HSS water has been doing great things for you!
Delia on September 11, 2017:
Thank you for this amazing info!! I hear that instead drinking regular water we should drink water with Himalaya S, lemon an a little honey through the day as we need it
Lisa Marie Mason on July 02, 2017:
Hi Kim, I've been researching the health benefits of Himalayan salt and drinking it with water. The information you provided assisted me with my research and was easily understood. Thank you!!
Kim Maravich (author) from Pennsylvania on October 23, 2016:
Thanks for reading, MsDora!
Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on October 16, 2016:
Thanks for this really good information and instructions. Good to know.