You may have heard of South Korea’s famous bamboo salt, but do you know about bamboo salt toothpaste?
Bamboo salt toothpaste has become ever more popular as an alternative to big brand toothpastes and as an all-natural way to clean your teeth. The toothpaste is made by incorporating bamboo salt (also known as Jookyeom in South Korea) into its product and is favored among South Koreans for its natural composition.
However, over the years, it has gained popularity among Americans for its purported health benefits including teeth whitening, prevention of cavities, and fighting bad breath. In particular, it is said to be highly effective in deterring periodontal diseases such as gingivitis and periodontitis. A 2012 laboratory study on the effects of bamboo salt on enamel remineralization also showed that the salt significantly increased the hardness of the enamel while reducing mineral loss due to acid.
At present, the best-selling bamboo salt toothpaste in the market is LG Bamboo Salt Toothpaste. The company produces its own bamboo salt by harvesting bamboos from Jirisan and bay salt from the West Coast before roasting it via the traditional methods. LG also produces toothbrush with bristles containing bamboo salt extract.
Another notable toothpaste is Insan Bamboo Salt Toothpaste. Insan is currently the largest producer of bamboo salt, having sold over $24 million worth of it in 2017 alone. Over the years, Insan developed a lineup of bamboo salt toothpaste including its original Bamboo Salt Toothpaste, Dental Bamboo Salt (powder), and Triple Dental+ Bamboo Salt Nautral Toothpaste. All of its toothpaste products are parabens-free, triclosan-free, and flouride-free.
How Is Bamboo Salt Produced
Bamboo salt is made by filling up the bamboos with sea salt before roasting it in temperatures upwards of 1,600 degree Fahrenheit (900 degree Celsius). This laborious process is repeated 9 times over the next 30 days, producing a premium salt known as nine-times-roasted bamboo salt. The end product is a high quality salt that is removed of any impurities and filled with minerals from the bamboo. The salt is also known as “purple salt” due to the presence of sulfur which gives the salt a dark, purple appearance.
Due to the lengthy production and amount and labor involved, each kilogram of bamboo salt can fetch a price of up to US$250.
Many believe that the high mineral content of bamboo salt helps with everything from oral health and skin care to the organs and the immune system. The rich antioxidants present in it is also said to aid the fighting free radicals in the body, hence offering anti-cancer benefits. That said, scientific research on the health benefits of bamboo salt has been little so far.
Side Effects of Bamboo Salt
Due to its purported health benefits, some may consume bamboo salt as a supplement by mixing it with water. On the contrary, this may lead to an elevation in the blood pressure. In 2013, a study highlighted the case of a 20-year-old woman who consumed excessive bamboo salt to aid digestion and weight loss. After several episodes of vomiting and diarrhoea, she was admitted to the hospital where was later diagnosed with hypernatremia, a condition where the sodium concentration in a person’s blood is excessively high. Fortunately, she recovered within a week with no permanent damage to her organ.s