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Natural Awakenings San Diego

Sulfur: A Modern Deficiency, a Simple Solution

Sep 30, 2013 10:15AM ● By Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren

Of the six main building blocks that power life on this planet—carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, oxygen, phosphorus and sulfur—sulfur has up until recently taken the back seat in most of our minds. This often ignored element is a deserving recipient of increased attention, however, as it ceaselessly acts as humanity's go-to element for antioxidant behavior, detoxification, youthful appearance and bodily locomotion.

Occupying two grams per kilogram of body weight, sulfur is present within every human cell and any reduction in its activity or availability can be critical. Necessary in the processes of cellular repair and regeneration, sulfur enhances the health of all tissues and organs, and strengthens the structure of skin, hair, nails, joints and gums. Additionally, sulfur plays a crucial role in the activities of proteins (e.g. metallothionein) and enzymes that contain sulfur-bearing amino acids, which bind heavy metals for safe removal from the body. 

Although there are several other amino acids which host sulfur within their latices, it is cysteine which is necessary for the manufacturing of the mighty glutathione molecule. Sulfur-containing glutathione is one of the most important antioxidants and detoxifying agents within human cells and its activities are necessary for optimal health. Sulfur is also essential within what may be the most important of all detoxification pathways—the liver's sulfation pathway.

Living within a highly polluted world where nearly every facet of one's life is increasingly contaminated with heavy metals and other toxic chemicals, activating the mechanisms for eliminating these toxins from the body by employing the use of sulfur becomes direly important. Yet the stress and pollutants modern humans endure cause a functional deficiency of this vital element. With this awareness, the desire naturally arises to incorporate more of this element into our bodies and lives. But how?

Through the deliciously simple act of eating.

Though comparatively abundant in cruciferous vegetables and allium plants, the domestication and hybridization of these flora, as well as the prevalence of petroleum-based agricultural methods that disrupt the natural cycling of sulfur throughout the ecosystem have all created a situation where these foods alone can no longer supply humans with adequate sulfur supplies. Although foods like eggs, meat and other animal products are relatively high in sulfur, their high level of methionine appears to shorten lifespan in animal studies and increase homocysteine levels—resulting in damaged blood vessels, increased risk of stroke and heart attacks, depression and dementia.

What is needed is a source of sulfur that is eaten regularly and frequently and contains a whole array of trace elements, without providing calories and without also delivering large amounts of methionine, allergenic proteins or heavy metals. Wholesome Himalayan black salt fulfills these requirements beautifully.

The highly-prized Himalayan black salt—harvested from pristine layers 300 million-years old—is a delectable salt rich in both sulfur and a large variety of trace elements. Ayurvedic medicine attributes numerous healing properties to this popular black salt, which cause it to be found in most homes in Nepal, Pakistan and Northern India, where it is used as medicine for many ailments and symptoms.

While some may hear the word “salt” and revert to the opinion that salt is an unhealthy food, one should look to nature instead. In Nature one finds mammals traveling great distances and exerting much effort to find and extract salt from the Earth. Humans have resided for eons near seashores abundant in salt-laden sea algae that were once a staple in the human diet. This intimate association with wholesome natural salt is demonstrated by the body's ability to regulate salt levels through adrenal and renal functions, and through sweat and tears. Salt in its wholesome state is instrumental to maintaining fluid balance between the internal and external environments of our cells. Cell membranes utilize sodium, chloride and other trace elements in the process of communication, regulation, neurological transmission of impulses, and muscular contraction. Additionally, human bodies possess specific mechanisms to keep electrolytes within a narrow range by utilizing specific adrenal hormones. These hormones instruct the kidneys to either spare the sodium or excrete it into the urine. In fact, people who drink too much water or avoid salt tend to create imbalance in this regulatory hormonal system and often suffer from electrolyte deficiency in the blood, as well as symptoms of adrenal fatigue, such as dizziness, inability to handle stress, intense fatigue, headaches, fluid retention and sleep disturbance. 

Because of its high level of sulfur, this black crystal salt has a distinctive egg flavor, which can be very useful in the preparation of plant-based dishes. For anyone recoiling at the thought of an egg-like taste, that flavor can be eliminated with ease by simply cooking it with your meal. Utilizing either approach, just apply as you would any other salt and enjoy knowing that what has enhanced the flavor of your dish has also enhanced your wellness, vitality and beauty, as well the lives and futures of thousands of Nepali children.


Dr. Adiel Tel-Oren is a huge advocate of Himalayan Sulfur-Rich Black Salt, which is made by a Kathmandu factory owned by a humanitarian network of schools, orphanages and community centers dedicated to preventing child trafficking while providing quality education and strengthening the local communities sustainably. This factory uniquely abides by all the manufacturing principles as required for a clean, unpolluted, unadulterated, truly-natural product. For more information, visit Nepali-Children.org or contact Caroline Andrews, Ecopolitan area coordinator to purchase at 760-487-8482.

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