7 Things to Know About Salt Cave

Has your favourite fitness club just opened a salt cave? Or perhaps a nearby SPA centre has started advertising such a service? Not surprisingly, since the use of such places is becoming increasingly popular. Is it worth following the trend?

Huge amounts of salt that do not harm and even help? Yes, this is definitely possible. Of course, it’s not about overusing NaCl in the diet. The same ingredient that, when added in excess to dishes, will harm our bodies (causing, among other things, high blood pressure, heart diseases or kidney problems), in another form proves to be an ideal companion for healthy habits.

Health resort patients have known for years the beneficial effects of salt through inhalations or salt baths. However, another form of using NaCl – salt caves – is also popular. What is worth knowing about them before using them?

  1. What does a salt cave look like?

Simply put, a salt cave is a room whose walls are lined with blocks of salt. Sometimes salt in loose form is also used. It is crucial to maintain adequate temperature, humidity and ventilation so that the salt constantly evaporates. In this way, special microclimate is created, comparable to that in seaside resorts, only even more intense – a 45-minute session in a salt cave is equivalent to several days spent by the seaside! [1]

The design of the salt cave itself can vary, although it most often refers to nature and caves. You can usually expect dim lighting, sometimes accompanied by relaxing music. And while it doesn’t affect our health, it does affect our well-being. So if you have a choice, it is worth opting for a cave that suits you best. 

  1. How do salt cave sessions work?

The air in the salt cave is highly ionized and rich in trace elements and microelements. The exact chemical composition of the air in a given cave depends on where the salt is sourced from. A very popular raw material is salt from the Black Sea and the Dead Sea, but native salt – not only from the Baltic Sea, but also from Polish mines – works just as well.

Most often in the inhalation “bouquet” you will find iodine (responsible, among others, for the proper functioning of the thyroid gland, but which also has antibacterial effects), calcium (which strengthens immunity and soothes irritation) and magnesium (with calming effects and positive impact on the cardiovascular system). During a salt cave session, you also inhale potassium, sodium and iron, which are good for the blood, copper and selenium, which are beneficial for the skin, and bromine, which has a calming effect on the nervous system [1].

Increasingly, it is also possible to find salt caves equipped with a lighting system for colour therapy, which further increases the well-being of visitors. Salt lamps with warm tones will have an energising effect, while those with cold colours will have a calming one.

  1. What does staying in a salt cave help with?

Strictly scientific data, unfortunately, is quite limited. However, it shows that salt cave stays have a positive effect on people struggling with chronic upper and lower respiratory diseases [2].  People with asthma can expect quick relief, because the specific microclimate of the cave causes bronchial muscles to relax [3].

The use of salt caves is also recommended for people who want to improve their overall immunity. Other indications include allergies, hypertension, hypothyroidism, problems with the digestive system (e.g. ulcer disease, gastritis, colitis), the circulatory system or the skin (e.g. acne, psoriasis, eczema). Salt cave sessions will also be suitable for overworked and stressed people [4]. You can also use the salt cave if you are concerned about weight loss and fighting cellulite [3].

See also: “Sauna – If You Train, You Won’t Regret It!”.

  1. Who is the salt cave for?

To start with, the good news is that there are no age restrictions. The salt cave can be used by young children, even infants, as well as seniors. Therefore, a family visit to such a place is definitely an option. As for pregnant women, such sessions are sometimes even recommended, but the decision should be made after a consultation with a doctor [3,4].

Stays in salt caves are especially recommended for people suffering from respiratory ailments and those whose lungs are vulnerable due to smog and polluted air [4]. So it’s worth considering salt cave sessions especially in winter, when air quality is at its worst and the need to support immunity is greatest.

Unfortunately, although generally healthy and relaxing, the salt cave is not for everyone. People with hyperthyroidism, cancer, iodine allergy or diagnosed with tuberculosis should refrain from the sessions. Staying in a salt cave is also not recommended for people in the midst of a viral or bacterial respiratory infection, especially if accompanied by a fever. Contraindications also include coronary artery disease, kidney and urinary tract diseases and frostbite [4].

  1. How to dress for the salt cave?

Blankets usually await users of the salt cave. However, this does not mean that it is cold inside, as the temperature is around 23-24 degrees Celsius. Rather, it’s about the fact that the session involves staying still for a long time, so a blanket can be a valuable comfort aid.

When it comes to clothing, two rules apply – comfort and body exposure. The former is important because a stay in the cave is supposed to be a form of relaxation. Exposure, on the other hand, is advisable due to the beneficial effects of salt on the skin. So you can wear shorts and a short-sleeved shirt. It is also advisable to leave socks on – like the blanket, they will prevent the unpleasant feeling of cold after lying or sitting in one position for a long time [3].

  1. What does a salt cave session look like?

The session lasts from 45 to 60 minutes. In the cave, there are loungers or other specially prepared seats. Simply lie down on them (it is worth using your own towel) and relax. You don’t need to do special breathing exercises simple exposure to the special microclimate of the cave is enough.

  1. Is there an alternative?

Keep in mind, however, that a one-time stay will not bring the desired results. Sessions need to be repeated regularly. But what if you can’t make it to the salt cave in a given week? Home inhalation may be an alternative. It will not provide all the benefits of the cave, but it can help the respiratory system. Just pour warm water into a bowl and add a generous amount of salt. Then lean over the steam and cover your head with a towel [5].

Salt can be a viable ally for health-conscious people. However, it is worth remembering that such sessions should complement the treatment of a particular condition and support a healthy lifestyle, not be the only activity. Regularity of sessions is also important. Nevertheless, it is worth a try, because the results can be extremely beneficial, while the effort on your part is basically minimal.



[1] https://uroda.abczdrowie.pl/grota-solna-dla-dzieci

[2] https://www.mp.pl/pytania/pediatria/chapter/B25.QA.4.8.6.

[3] https://www.doz.pl/czytelnia/a16479-Grota_solna__wskazania_przeciwwskazania_dzialanie

[4] https://www.medonet.pl/zdrowie,grota-solna---dzialanie--prozdrowotne-wlasciwosci--wskazania--przeciwwskazania,artykul,1729487.html

[5] https://www.medme.pl/artykuly/czym-jest-haloterapia-jakie-schorzenia-leczy,71999.html