Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt

Below is a spectral analysis of a typical Himalayan pink salt. Different parts of the deposit will differ slightly in their composition. Himalayan salt is a rock salt popular among health food advocates who seek it for the nutritional value of its fairly abundant trace minerals.  Foodies (and the rest of us who just like to explore ways to make food taste better and more fun to create) also love Himalayan salt in its more massive, brick and plate form as Himalayan salt blocks.

Element Symbol Analysis Type
Hydrogen H 0.30 g/kg
Lithium Li 0.40 g/kg
Beryllium Be <0.01 ppm
Boron B <0.001 ppm
Carbon C <0.001 ppm
Nitrogen N 0.024 ppm
Oxygen O 1.20 g/kg
Flouride F- <0.1 g/kg
Sodium Na+ 382.61 g/kg
Magnesium Mg 0.16 g/kg
Aluminum Al 0.661 ppm
Silicon Si <0.1 g/kg
Phosphorus P <0.10 ppm
Sulfur S 12.4 g/kg
Chloride Cl- 590.93 g/kg
Potassium K+ 3.5 g/kg
Calcium Ca 4.05 g/kg
Scandium Sc <0.0001 ppm
Titanium Ti <0.001 ppm
Vanadium V 0.06 ppm
Chromium Cr 0.05 ppm
Manganese Mn 0.27 ppm
Iron Fe 38.9 ppm
Cobalt Co 0.60 ppm
Nickel Ni 0.13 ppm
Copper Cu 0.56 ppm
Zinc Zn 2.38 ppm
Gallium Ga <0.001 ppm
Germanium Ge <0.001 ppm
Arsenic As <0.01 ppm
Selenium Se 0.05 ppm
Bromine Br 2.1 ppm
Rubidium Rb <0.04 ppm
Strontium Sr <0.014 g/kg
Ytterbium Y <0.001 ppm
Zirconium Zr <0.001 ppm
Niobium Nb <0.001 ppm
Molybdenum Mo <0.01 ppm
Technetium Tc N/A unstable isotope
Ruthenium Ru <0.001 ppm
Rhodium Rh <0.001 ppm
Palladium Pd <0.001 ppm
Silver Ag 0.031 ppm
Cadmium Cd <0.01 ppm
Indium In <0.001 ppm
Tin Sn <0.01 ppm
Antimony Sb <0.01 ppm
Tellurium Te <0.001 ppm
Iodine I <0.1 g/kg
Cesium Cs <0.001 ppm
Barium Ba 1.96 ppm
Lanthanum La <0.001 ppm
Cerium Ce <0.001 ppm
Praseodymium Pr <0.001 ppm
Neodymium Nd <0.001 ppm
Promethium Pm N/A unstable isotope
Samarium Sm <0.001 ppm
Europium Eu <3.0 ppm
Gadolinium Gd <0.001 ppm
Terbium Tb <0.001 ppm
Dysprosium Dy <4.0 ppm
Holmium Ho <0.001 ppm
Erbium Er <0.001 ppm
Thulium Tm <0.001 ppm
Ytterbium Yb <0.001 ppm
Lutetium Lu <0.001 ppm
Hafnium Hf <0.001 ppm
Tantalum Ta 1.1 ppm
Wolfram W <0.001 ppm
Rhenium Re <2.5 ppm
Osmium Os <0.001 ppm
Iridium Ir <2.0 ppm
Platinum Pt <0.47 ppm
Gold Au <1.0 ppm
Mercury Hg <0.03 ppm
Thallium Ti <0.06 ppm
Lead Pb <0.10 ppm
Bismuth Bi <0.10 ppm
Polonium Po <0.001 ppm
Astatine At <0.001 ppm
Francium Fr <1.0 ppm
Radium Ra <0.001 ppm
Actinium Ac <0.001 ppm
Thorium Th <0.001 ppm
Protactinium Pa <0.001 ppm
Uranium U <0.001 ppm
Neptunium Np <0.001 ppm
Plutonium Pu <0.001 ppm
Element Symbol # Analysis Type
Hydrogen H 1 0.30 g/kg
Lithium Li 3 0.40 g/kg
Beryllium Be 4 <0.01 ppm
Boron B 5 <0.001 ppm
Carbon C 6 <0.001 ppm
Nitrogen N 7 0.024 ppm
Oxygen O 8 1.20 g/kg
Flouride F- 9 <0.1 g/kg
Sodium Na+ 11 382.61 g/kg
Magnesium Mg 12 0.16 g/kg
Aluminum Al 13 0.661 ppm
Silicon Si 14 <0.1 g/kg
Phosphorus P 15 <0.10 ppm
Sulfur S 16 12.4 g/kg
Chloride Cl- 17 590.93 g/kg
Potassium K+ 19 3.5 g/kg
Calcium Ca 20 4.05 g/kg
Scandium Sc 21 <0.0001 ppm
Titanium Ti 22 <0.001 ppm
Vanadium V 23 0.06 ppm
Chromium Cr 24 0.05 ppm
Manganese Mn 25 0.27 ppm
Iron Fe 26 38.9 ppm
Cobalt Co 27 0.60 ppm
Nickel Ni 28 0.13 ppm
Copper Cu 29 0.56 ppm
Zinc Zn 30 2.38 ppm
Gallium Ga 31 <0.001 ppm
Germanium Ge 32 <0.001 ppm
Arsenic As 33 <0.01 ppm
Selenium Se 34 0.05 ppm
Bromine Br 35 2.1 ppm
Rubidium Rb 37 0.04 ppm
Strontium Sr 38 0.014 g/kg
Ytterbium Y 39 <0.001 ppm
Zirconium Zr 40 <0.001 ppm
Niobium Nb 41 <0.001 ppm
Molybdenum Mo 42 0.01 ppm
Technetium Tc 43 unstable artificial isotope – not included
Ruthenium Ru 44 <0.001 ppm
Rhodium Rh 45 <0.001 ppm
Palladium Pd 46 <0.001 ppm
Silver Ag 47 0.031 ppm
Cadmium Cd 48 <0.01 ppm
Indium In 49 <0.001 ppm
Tin Sn 50 <0.01 ppm
Antimony Sb 51 <0.01 ppm
Tellurium Te 52 <0.001 ppm
Iodine I 53 <0.1 g/kg
Cesium Cs 55 <0.001 ppm
Barium Ba 56 1.96 ppm
Lanthan La 57 <0.001 ppm
Cerium Ce 58 <0.001 ppm
Praseodynium Pr 59 <0.001 ppm
Neodymium Nd 60 <0.001 ppm
Promethium Pm 61 unstable artificial isotope – not included
Samarium Sm 62 <0.001 ppm
Europium Eu 63 <3.0 ppm
Gadolinium Gd 64 <0.001 ppm
Terbium Tb 65 <0.001 ppm
Dysprosium Dy 66 <4.0 ppm
Holmium Ho 67 <0.001 ppm
Erbium Er 68 <0.001 ppm
Thulium Tm 69 <0.001 ppm
Ytterbium Yb 70 <0.001 ppm
Lutetium Lu 71 <0.001 ppm
Hafnium Hf 72 <0.001 ppm
Tantalum Ta 73 1.1 ppm
Wolfram W 74 <0.001 ppm
Rhenium Re 75 <2.5 ppm
Osmium Os 76 <0.001 ppm
Iridium Ir 77 <2.0 ppm
Platinum Pt 78 0.47 ppm
Gold Au 79 <1.0 ppm
Mercury Hg 80 <0.03 ppm
Thallium Ti 81 0.06 ppm
Lead Pb 82 0.10 ppm
Bismuth Bi 83 <0.10 ppm
Polonium Po 84 <0.001 ppm
Astat At 85 <0.001 ppm
Francium Fr 87 <1.0 ppm
Radium Ra 88 <0.001 ppm
Actinium Ac 89 <0.001 ppm
Thorium Th 90 <0.001 ppm
Protactinium Pa 91 <0.001 ppm
Uranium U 92 <0.001 ppm
Neptunium Np 93 <0.001 ppm
Plutonium Pu 94 <0.001 ppm
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46 Responses to “Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt”

  1. on 15 Sep 2010 at 4:19 pmMeg

    Is there a comparable analysis of Redman Rock salt from Utah?

  2. on 17 Dec 2011 at 7:53 amT.S. Post

    What was the source of the sample used in the analysis and who performed the chemical analysis?

  3. on 17 Jan 2012 at 5:06 pmMark Bitterman

    The analysis you see here is from a work entitled Water & Salt: The Essence of Life, by Peter Ferreira and Dr. Barbara Hendel, M.D. It’s consistent with our own analysis as well.

  4. on 23 Jan 2012 at 12:25 amDAVID MEDLYN


    I note that the analysis in Salt News is taken from Peter Ferreira’s and Dr Barbara Hendel’s book from 2002 and I am wondering if you can direct me to a more current analysis of Himalayan rock salt.



  5. on 23 Jan 2012 at 7:11 amKathryn Summers

    I’ve seen several other chemical analysis of HPS, and in each one, the iron content (which, I suppose gives HPS its color) is very high. In this case:

    Iron Fe 38.9 ppm

    I’m trying to find any information about HPS iron content. It’s the only salt we use, for a number of reasons. Celtic is too moldy, even when baked. Redmond is too salty, leaving sand and grit behind. But I’m worried about the iron content. And someone else I talked to is concerned that the type of iron in HPS is unhealthy – that the pink color indicates the iron has oxidized.

    I picked up a copy of your book, but I didn’t see this discussed. Thanks for any insight you might have!

  6. on 23 Jan 2012 at 7:12 amKathryn Summers

    P.S. Tried to subscribe to the RSS Feed, but received an error.

  7. on 05 Mar 2012 at 10:20 pmRich

    All salt is harmful in high quantities. Iron supplemented into any males diet is bad. Iron oxide isn’t good for anyone. So are a plethora of any other elements and compounds found in any salt. When using salt use it all sparingly…yes each natural salt has different pluses and minuses and flavour. The thing is don’t over use it and do your research…. and never trust the word of a site that sells the product. Always look for 3rd party research. What good is the research if the person has a vested interest in it’s sale?

  8. on 13 Mar 2012 at 3:14 pmMark Bitterman

    @Rich – We’ve written a new post to answer your question about iron in salt –

  9. on 04 Apr 2012 at 7:08 amJackC

    With all respect, the publication of an authoritative chemical analysis of this nature should include the fullest possible citation of its provenance, including the laboratory that performed it, the date of the analysis, the material source documentation to the mining area, the field sampling procedure, the chain of title to the sample provided and the laboratory sampling and testing procedures.

  10. on 05 Apr 2012 at 3:48 pmMark Bitterman

    @JackC – I really appreciate the points you bring up. This analysis was posted as a courtesy and a resource for those with a passing curiosity about salt, not as a claim about any particular scientific or nutritional fact. What you say would be true if we were intending for this to be THE authoritative analysis. I have updated the post in hopes of clarifying this. Hopefully it’s helpful to you in that regard.

  11. on 18 May 2012 at 10:03 pmDavis

    Well, here’s a weird question. My son got a rock salt, well, rock as a gift. When he found out it was a salt it started licking it. He still has the rock and every once in a while will get it and lick it. I wondered if it could get moldy or if doing htis coudl make him sick. Gross, I know, but he is the only one licking it!

  12. on 23 May 2012 at 12:01 pmMark Bitterman

    @Davis – Salt is a natural anti-microbial substance. Very, very few bacteria can grow on it due to salt’s ability to suck moister from anything touching it. We are not medical professionals, and cannot tell you whether or not this will make your son sick. I will say, however, that we had an employee a few years back who would sometimes suck on Jolly Rancher sized chunks of salt, and she seemed fine.

  13. on 20 Sep 2012 at 9:58 ammirza m ishaq khan

    presentation has been very informative, easy and a good knowledge

  14. on 13 Nov 2012 at 3:21 pmMichael Keever

    1 ppm = 1mg/kg there is 1,000,000 mg in a kg. Another way to look at this is there is 1000 mg in a gram. There is 38.9 ppm or .0389 grams/kg(a very small number) found in the chemical analysis of Himalayan rock salt or halite which is the actual minerals name with the base chemical formula of NaCl. Any other elements added to this would be considered impurities. Based off the chemical composition above .0389 grams being such a small amount of Fe per gram of halite it can not be responsible for the oxidation of the halite. Often in other minerals such as corundum a naturally white very hard mineral Al2O3. If an impurity is added in the process as it cools such as Cr(also in a very small amount listed above) it adds a color to it hence the gem stone ruby is just a piece of corundum with a Cr impurity making it pinkish/purple/red. Li has also been known to add color to minerals such as the lithium ore Spodumene as well as many others. One more possibility I would like to add to this is that the mineral quartz SiO2 can often be found stained red. This happens though not from the mineral itself oxidizing, but from other Iron bearing minerals found in the rock or around the rock weathering away and staining the quartz itself. Thought a current geology student could quickly shed some light on this very interesting mineral and just how little Fe it contains.

  15. on 18 Nov 2012 at 8:44 amRosa Dias

    i’m amazed…always thought himalaya had, at least 10% of different minerals. I’m a hand harvested sea salt producer in Algarve (Portugal) and my salt has better analysis than these here. I have 92% of NaCl wich 5,5% are moisture and the rest are minerals: 3,2g/kg of K ; 4,3g/kg of Mg ; 1,2g/kg of Ca, no heavy metals…increadible what marketing does…

  16. on 25 Nov 2012 at 10:44 amDave Arter

    To get an idea of the relative levels of heavy metals one would be exposed to by dissolving a teaspoon of Himalayan pink salt (about 5 g) in a liter of water, I used your figures to calculate the concentration (ppm) of each heavy metal ion that would result and compared these to the EPA’s drinking water standards. The highest levels were 7.5% of the Maximum Contaminant Level for mercury, 5% for thorium and 3% for lead. Most were in the range .5 to 1%. The highest absolute concentrations of metal I calculated were about .2 ppm for iron, .01 ppm for barium .003 ppm for copper, .0005 ppm for lead, and .00025 ppm for mercury. As for iron, the entire liter of salted water would about provide about .2 mg, an insignificant amount. I seriously doubt that these concentrations of minerals would change the taste of the salt. I also noticed that the salt is not iodized, so users would have to get that essential mineral from other sources.

  17. on 12 Dec 2012 at 7:27 amTonia

    Hi, I am specifically looking for a salt low in iodine because I believe that may be a trigger for my acne. (I have also heard that Bromides can do the same.)

    I know Himalayan Pink Rock salt fits this, however while conducting my research I have come across claims that there is a ‘scam’ going on, whereby, salt from pakistan is being sold as ‘Himalayan Pink Salt’ or similar. This non-authentic salt apparently has really high concentrations of iodine, bromine and flouride.

    So my question is, if I buy ‘pink salt of the Himalayas’ in a supermarket in Italy, how can I be sure it’s the real deal? Or is there really no way to be sure?

  18. on 13 Dec 2012 at 4:50 pmLinda

    Why does Himalayan salt taste so much saltier than other salts. 1T of himalayan salt in 1 quart of water makes the water (used for fermentation of vegetables) unbearably salty, whereas 1 T of Mortons OR of sea salt does not.
    I am using the salt to ferment the vegetables via lacto-fermentation. I need to cut down on the amount of Himalayan salt because the saltiness is unbearable. However, the salt is used to prevent the growth of harmful organisms. How can I use enough salt to prevent such growth yet not so much that it is too salty?

  19. on 14 Dec 2012 at 3:44 pmMark Bitterman

    @Linda – The answer to this question is to always use these salts by weight for canning, fermentation, etc. Himalayan has less sodium chloride per ounce than Morton’s or sea salt, but it is typically denser. So 1T of Himalayan salt has more grams of salt than Morton’s or sea salt. Ounce for ounce, Himalayan Pink has more flavor and should not have more saltiness.

    SALTED has a recipe using sel gris, which has way less NaCl per ounce than Himalayan Pink. It works perfectly because the level of trace minerals does not negatively affect the biological process of fermentation (it may actually help it).

  20. […] Himalayan salt does have some (lots of) minerals, but they’re pretty much only present in trace amounts. About 98-99% of the minerals will be […]

  21. on 01 Mar 2013 at 2:32 amr.v.mirji.

    what is the differance between rocksalt & saindhava lavana

  22. […] hell of a lot of salt! Sodium Versus Salt – Difference Between Salt and Sodium in Sodium Chloride Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt | Salt News Reply With […]

  23. on 06 Mar 2013 at 5:23 pmMark Bitterman

    Saindhava Lavana is another name for Himalayan Pink salt, a rock salt. We did a blog post to answer this question:

  24. on 10 Mar 2013 at 10:29 pmDarcy

    I’ve been using this Himalayan Pink Salt for a month now, probably using more than I should and find I can’t taste much anymore… spicy sausage, garlic bread… zero flavor for me now… I’m ready to toss the salt out!

  25. […] use unrefined salts, such as sea salt (equivalent in sodium to table salt,  but less processed), Himalayan salt (which contains over 80 minerals and elements), rock salts (some versions are iodized),  since […]

  26. on 17 Mar 2013 at 7:39 amweightinkg

    Thanks for finally writing about > Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt | Salt News < Liked it!

  27. on 14 Jun 2013 at 2:15 pmRachael

    Wondering which salt is the most pure? I tested my salt which is supposed be organic and it’s from Western Australia in some lake and it came up that its got mercury in it.

  28. […] Himalayan Salt: […]

  29. on 20 Jul 2013 at 7:18 pmagadir

    what is the differance between rocksalt & sea Salt ??

  30. on 22 Jul 2013 at 1:28 pmMark Bitterman

    A rock salt is a salt mined from the earth. They’re usually formed when an ancient ocean dries up and is buried for millions of years. Himalayan Rock salt, for example, is hundreds of millions of years old. Sea salt is evaporated from the modern ocean. So in a sense, they’re both ‘sea salt’, but their properties and taste are much different.

  31. on 18 Aug 2013 at 10:10 amfaith overton

    I would like to know the acceptable level of naturally present arsenic in rock salt. Is it expected to be higher in earth salts?

  32. on 24 Aug 2013 at 6:43 amalexandra

    Hi! Does anyone know if the bromine content in Himalayan Pink Salt can be bad for me? I use it sparingly in cooking sometimes and I Have made a Sole that i mix wit water and drink every morning. I also take baths with Himalayan Pink Salt or Dead sea salt at least once a week. I recently got diagnosed with hypothyroidism and just read this article:

    It mention the health risks of bromide and thyroid decease. I am worried that using the pink salt would effect me but I am sceptical that it would as the content of bromine seems very small. Does anyone know more about this?

  33. on 15 Sep 2013 at 4:42 pmD Baker

    Did the authors of the study indicate why they don’t specify an absolute amount for most of the elements? Instead, they indicate a quantity that the actual amount is less than (<). My first interpretation was that this is simply the entire list of elements that the analytical technique is capable of detecting. Thus, when the detectable limit of the technique is not exceeded, the detection limit is specified preceded by <, rather than drop the element from the list.

    After further inspection, however, I see that Fluoride is specified as < 0.1 g/kg, which doesn't seem low enough to be a detection limit. So, my first impression may not be correct.

    Can you clarify?

  34. on 10 Oct 2013 at 5:11 amGabriela Kappler


    I’m a Brasilian student and I’m developing a research about reduction of sodium. I saw in your website the Himalayan Salt and there are informations about the composition of it. I’d like to know where did you take this informations from, if it’s a book or an article… Because it’s difficult to find a complete article like your websibe has. Can you help me, please?
    Thanks for attention!


    Gabriela Kappler

  35. on 23 Oct 2013 at 12:16 amCarmello

    Isnt the bromine toxic??and dont we want that out of our body??

  36. on 28 Oct 2013 at 12:18 pmSAJ

    What is a better choice for salt: Sea salt or Himalayan?
    I’ve been purchasing sea salt from natures cargo for some time, but heard there might be mold issues with sea salt, although natures cargo sea salt is dry and not wet, but that could be due to baking of the salt after mining. Can you please shed some light on this? Thanks

  37. on 31 Oct 2013 at 11:22 amMark Bitterman

    As mentioned in a previous comment, the analysis you see here is from a work entitled Water & Salt: The Essence of Life, by Peter Ferreira and Dr. Barbara Hendel, M.D. It’s consistent with our own analysis as well.

  38. on 13 Feb 2014 at 3:46 pmEuhill

    Is there a comparison of Himalayan Pink Salt, Dead Sea Salt, and The Great Salt Lake Salt?

  39. on 15 Feb 2014 at 12:39 pmToniko

    I am very new to salts. Reading about magnesium deficiencies (as well as other minerals) I am looking into them and stumbled upon this page. Up until now I avoided salt like the plague because of all of the negative media on it. What salt is the best for getting more minerals into my own and my young kids’ diets? I have heard about using Celtic sea salt, Himalayan seat salt (pink), and Epsom salt baths. Are any of these considered more or less recommended? Would you recommend something different altogether? Thank You!

  40. on 24 Feb 2014 at 7:37 amJohn

    The analysis lists ytterbium twice but has no entry for yttrium. Typo?

  41. on 10 Mar 2014 at 8:37 ammadelyn

    Is there a difference in the quality of grain size of Himalayan Pink Salt? Would it make a difference if purchasing extra fine grain sized versus courser rock sized for grinding? Would size make a difference in long term storage? Just wondering…..

  42. […] are over 80 minerals available in himalayan salt including: magnesium, potassium, calcium, manganese, iron, copper and […]

  43. […] Sea Salt, Dark Chocolate, Himalayan Salt Blocks, Cocktail Bitters, and Finishing Salt | The Meadow Chemical Analysis of Natural Himalayan Pink Rock Salt | Salt News Most salts contain only "sodium and chloride." Granted, while you're not about to to go […]

  44. on 02 May 2014 at 10:45 pmmariam

    I am researching about color rock saltsand I want to know what the main chemical substance in color rock salt (exept NA, CL) is. What is in pink rock salt?yellowrock salt?blue rock salt ? white rock salt and ……

  45. on 07 May 2014 at 3:09 pmDawn

    Potassium, Iron content follow up. I used the nutrition data for 100g Pink Salt provided here:

    and entered it into Cron-O-Meter nutrition data tracking system, which automatically allows viewing of what those numbers mean per teaspoon. This is what resulted:

    1 teaspoon Himalayan Pink Salt-
    11.6 mg Calcium (1% of my daily goal)
    6 mg Iron (75% of my daily goal)
    35 mg Potassium (RDA = 4700mg)
    1019.9 mg Sodium (54% of my daily goal which I’ve set lower than the RDA = 2300mg)

    If anyone has reason to think that the data on that site is incorrect or I’ve made any mistakes converting the amounts to teaspoons, please let me know.

  46. on 25 May 2014 at 6:51 amJon Tattersall

    Several elements are given concentrations of less than .001 ppm . Would another way of expressing this be ” below the threshold of the instrument “.I was very surprised to see artefacts of nuclear bomb testing mentioned.Is it a question of pressing a button on a mass spectrometer and printing the readout?

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