PORTLAND - Can breathing air super charged with raw salt clear congestion? Clients of Portland’s Salt Grotto claim it can.
“The first time I came I was starting to get a cold and then it never took hold. I thought there must be something here,” said Carmen Farmer, a regular visitor.
In the West Coast’s only salt cave the floor is covered with thousands of pounds of salt from the Dead Sea. On the walls the salt is from Poland and Pakistan.
“The panels on the walls are being heated by lights. That activates the salt and it releases negative ions which kill the bacteria and purify the air,” explained Yana Adam who manages the Salt Grotto.
The website claims a 45 minute visit to the cave is equal to 3 days at the beach and that the air is ten times more pure that what we breathe daily. “Salt by itself can thin mucous,” said Providence Naturopathic Physician Dr. Ken Weizer. Weizer says there is limited research on the effectiveness of salt caves from Europe and Israel.
“It seems to help with bronchitis, maybe allergies. It might relax the airways and break up congestion, “ he added.
Repeated visits are recommended by the staff at the Salt Grotto with many clients seeing substantial improvement after seven visits.
“They don’t have to take their antihistamines as often,” said Adam. But with each visit costing $25 to $30, Dr Weizer wonders if other options might have the same effect.
“You can duplicate what’s happening with warm salt water going through your nose or you can go to the ocean and breathe the beautiful salt air,” he recommended.