Located 40 kilometers north of Cuzco in Peru, in the Sacred Valley of the Incas, lies the town of Maras, well known for its nearby salt evaporation ponds, that’s been in use since Inca times. Thousands of uneven square-shaped ponds dot the slopes of the hillside less than a kilometer west of the town.
These pre-Inca salt pools were constructed during the Chanapata culture between AD 200 and AD 900. Highly salty water emerging from the Qoripujio spring, close to the head of the valley, is directed into an intricate network of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto the several hundred ancient terraced ponds.
Almost all the ponds are less than four meters square in area, and none exceeds thirty centimeters in depth. The flow of water is carefully controlled and monitored by the workers. The altitude of the ponds slowly decreases, so that the water may flow through the myriad branches of the water-supply channels and be introduced slowly through a notch in one sidewall of each pond.
Perched high above the Sacred Valley of the Incas, the salt mined from the ponds of Maras have been highly sought for their healing attributes, rated in the top 10 finest therapeutic salts in the world by Town and Country Magazine. Due to economics, the local population prefer to quarry the salt solely for consumption, thus removing the healing mineral content. It is still quite possible to obtain unprocessed, raw, mineral salt directly from the salt pans. We often visit the site in order to purchase a bag of mineral salts (pink or beige in color), for use in salt baths. The salts provide wonderful remedy for aching sore muscles after a long trek.
Since pre-Inca times, this salt has been obtained by evaporating salty water from a local subterranean stream. The highly salty water emerges at a spring, a natural outlet of the underground stream. The flow is directed into an intricate system of tiny channels constructed so that the water runs gradually down onto the several hundred ancient terraced ponds.
The Inca salt 100% natural provides not only sodium chloride like the normal salt, but it contains various minerals in greater quantities which are important for the body, and are present in their natural constitution as are magnesium, iron , zinc and copper.
The main benefit of the Inca salt is the composition of its rich minerals. Water and other mineral substances are contained in foods; but when the proportions is insufficient them it is better to take it apart to reinforce them, as we know how important it is to our body and the complications that would have cause due to its deficit if we do not manage it necessary in our diets.
Inca salt provides not only sodium chloride like the normal salt, but also various other minerals, many of which are more important for the body and these are present in its natural constitution, making much richer than others salts.
Composition and Importance of minerals in the Inca Maras Salt
Minerals in higher percentage than other types of salts:
– Calcium (457.89 / 100mg) regulates the heartbeat and it is involved in the transmission of nerve impulses. Involved in muscle contraction. It maintains healthy bones and teeth. Allows proper blood clotting. It is essential for cell function. It promotes the functioning of the immune system. It is essential for the proper functioning of the respiratory system.
– Iron (3.98 / 100mg) it is essential for transporting oxygen through the blood towards the tissues. It is, together with chrome, transporter protein element. It is part of the structure of an enzyme, catalase, which protects us against free radicals.
– Magnesium (. 11.5 / 100 mg) important catalyst for many intracellular enzymatic reactions, particularly those related to carbohydrate metabolism.
– Zinc (. 0.28 / 100 mg) it is involved in protein synthesis and collagen. It helps heal wounds. Strengthens the body’s defences. It is a powerful antioxidant. Proper growth and development during pregnancy, childhood and adolescence depend on their presence. It keeps the senses of taste and smell. Protects the eyes.
– Copper (. 0.13 / 100 mg) Indispensable for the formation of the amino acid tyrosine haemoglobin. Allow to be used as a factor of pigmentation for hair and skin. Cooper helps also with the good conditions of the bones. Prevents excessive blood clotting. Assists in the proper functioning of the thyroid gland and it helps to maintain optimal cholesterol levels.
Minerals in lower percentage than other types of salt:
– Sodium (12.49 / 100 mg.)
Health Benefits of this Mineral Powerhouse:
* It helps stabilize and regulate heartbeats, thanks to its magnesium and sodiumcontent.
* Its sodium is essential for proper muscular function.
* Good quality salt helps minimize the effects of stress by maintaining proper melatonin, serotonin, and tryptamine levels in the brain.
* It helps remove cellular acidity, especially in the brain and kidneys.
* It helps prevent osteoporosis.
* It provides a buffer for blood sugar levels to help prevent diabetes or to help those who are diabetic use less insulin.
* It provides iodine in a natural setting, making it easier for your thyroid to absorb it and to regulate the endocrine system.