Bamboo sea salt or Jugyeom is a type of sea salt that is roasted nine times. There are claims that it is healthier than the sea salt and has additional trace elements that are good for the human body. What are its benefits and uses? How is it prepared?
Bamboo sea salt
Bamboo salt is a special type of sea salt. In this, the sea salt is packed into the hollow of the stem of a thick bamboo tree. Then this is baked nine times at a very high temperature in a kiln with the help of pine firewood. Yellow clay is used to seal the ends of the bamboo stem or bamboo canisters. This is said to remove or neutralize its impurities and increase the content of its inorganic elements such as calcium, zinc, copper, iron, and potassium.
When it is roasted the first time, the salt lumps harden. This is removed, crushed, repacked and rebaked. People believe that during the baking process, the bamboo constituents are absorbed into the salt and impart it a sweet flavor. The baking at 1000 degrees celsius darkens the salt and it acquires colors such as black, white, red, blue and yellow. And when the salt is baked at 1500 degrees celsius it gets a purple color and is supposed to be of the best quality. Besides the color, hardness and crystal structure also determines the richness in quality of the salt.
Uses of this salt
The Korean people use this salt to treat certain diseases such as indigestion, infections, bleeding disorders, and also for oral health. It was part of the Korean folk medicine. The healers of those times and country believed that the yellow clay and bamboo have certain beneficial elements. These leach into the salt during the baking process and make it more healthy.
There is also a belief that when this salt is put in a soup, it causes a silver spoon placed in it to turn black. The kings of olden days used to use this to know whether anyone is trying to poison them. It is added to toothpastes and toothpowders to treat and prevent oral infections and dental cavities. This salt is also the basis of taste in foods such as soups, broths, stews, and steaks.
This salt baked nine times is assumed to be more healthier than the normal sea salt. It is because the impurities are eliminated. Also, trace elements and vital minerals, vitamins, amino acids, and antioxidants increase after the baking.
When used in toothpastes or on the teeth, it can prevent dental caries, reduce chances of gingivitis and plaques, fight bad breath, give relief to sensitive teeth, increase strength of tooth enamel and prevent recession of the gum line. This Korean salt also can boost immunity and help in the various metabolic processes of the body. There are also claims of anti-cancer and anti-inflammatory properties of this salt.
Considering the claimed health benefits and labor intensive preparation method, this salt is extremely costly.