Hawaiian salt benefits and side effects


Hawaiian salt is an unrefined, full-flavored sea salt obtained by the evaporation of seawater of Hawaii when heated by the sun. It has irregular in shape slightly earthy smell and available as a fine & coarse crystal of 2-3 mm size. Hawaiian salt benefits are rich in minerals and low in sodium. Real Hawaiian salt is expensive and originally native to Hawaii. Hawaiian sea salt is available in two varieties: Red and Black

1. Red Hawaiian salt

Alaea salt is the sea salt mixed with Hawaiian volcanic red clay. It gives the salt terracotta or brick red in color. This salt is rich in minerals, iron oxide slightly earthy clay smell and has a ten years shelf life. The Hawaiian island of Kauai is the main region for this salt and the most preferred natural salts in the world.

2. Black Hawaiian salt

Hawaiian Black Salt is also known as black lava salt, black salt or black sea salt made after heating with activated charcoal to give it a silky smooth texture, slightly sulfuric aroma, and earthy flavor.

In this article, we discuss the brief information of Red Hawaiian salt.


Traditionally red Hawaiian salt was used to cleanse, purify, bless tools, canoes, homes, temples and healing rituals for medicinal purposes like treatment for broken bones, bug bites, burns, and various other ailments. Although after the 19th century, red Hawaiian salt produces in a large amount for export in American Northwest.

Composition of Hawaiian salt

Let’s take a closer look at red Hawaiian salt composition (1).

Compound Amount
Moisture content (%) 0.91
Sodium chloride(%) 84
Calcium (μg/g) <0.008
Magnesium (μg/g) 1.20
Phosphorous (μg/g) <0.6
Potassium (μg/g) <0.95
Sodium (μg/g) 400
Sulfur (μg/g) 1.00

Hawaiian salt benefits

1. Presence of naturally occurring minerals and electrolytes

Hawaiian red salt contains more than 80 healthy minerals, mainly consist of sodium and chlorine as well as sufficient amounts of iron (digestible) and low level of calcium, potassium, magnesium, phosphorus, sulfur, and other minerals as impurities. These nutrients help to regulate organ function and maintain electrolyte levels within the body (2).

2. Longer salt taste intensity

Hawaiian red salt dissolves slowly but salt taste lasting for just over one minute (66.3 s) as compared to Kosher salt which may be helpful to reduce food intake in obese persons (1, 3).

3. Keep skin healthy

Hawaiian red salt contains clay and hence it can be used as a face scrub or facial mask in combination with oil like coconut or olive which helps to attract and removes dirt and impurities trapped under the skin as well as smoothes and brightens the skin.

4. Lower or equal sodium content

Hawaiian red salt contains a lower or equal amount of sodium (84 % sodium chloride) as table salt which helps to maintain sodium-potassium balance ratios thus protect from various diseases.

Use as a detoxifying agent- half teaspoon Hawaiian salt in 1 glass of water to purify the body.

Side effect of Hawaiian red salt

1. Presence of toxic compounds

As we know that Hawaiian red salt contains rich amount of mineral but it also contains some toxic compound such as chromium thus precaution should be needed before consumption.

Hawaiian salt vs. Sea salt

Natural sea salt is also a less processed salt but it does not contain clay and charcoal. The color of the salt is white however Hawaiian salt is present in red and black in color however both contain trace minerals but give slightly different flavors.


1. What so special about Hawaiian salt?

Hawaiian salt (Red and Black) contain smoke earthy flavor with its mineral content which exhibits various health benefits. Red Hawaiian salt contains a rich amount of iron oxide which has digestible dietary properties and black Hawaiian salt claim to detoxify the body however due to the lack of research or scientific evidence not sure about the treatment of any condition.

2. Is Hawaiian salt and sea salt are the same?

A research study suggested that the darker color of salt showed a higher concentration of impurities and trace minerals that further affect the taste and nutritional value of the salt. The red and black color of Hawaiian salt represents a rich source of minerals than white one (normal sea salt) Although both the salt is obtained from the sea and affected by ocean pollution which led to the addition of trace amounts of heavy metals and microplastics but more research is needed to confirm this.

3. What is Hawaiian salt used for?

Native Hawaiian dishes use Hawaiian salts like in Kalua Pig, Hawaiian Jerky (pipikaula) and Poke. This salt is often used as a finishing salt for everything from stews to desserts like eggs, salads, or desserts and use as a food preservative for fish, beef, and pork because of its mellow and almost sweet taste. It is also commonly used in bath and beauty products (4).


  1. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0963996911006363
  2. https://www.researchgate.net/publication/303673727_Compositional_and_morphological_evaluation_of_edible_salts_Preliminary_results
  3. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/22049294-both-longer-oral-sensory-exposure-to-and-higher-intensity-of-saltiness-decrease-ad-libitum-food-intake-in-healthy-normal-weight-men/
  4. http://www.microscopy-uk.org.uk/mag/artnov14macro/Macias_AnOverviewOfSalt.pdf


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