Food Additives

Kala Namak (Black Salt) Benefits & Side Effects

Kala Namak (also known as Himalayan Black Salt or Indian Black Salt in English) is a type of Rock Salt, which is generally dark reddish black in color and has pungent smell and sulfurous odor. The powder of Kala Namak has pinkish gray or light purple color.

In ayurveda, Kala Namak has medicinal importance and it is an ingredient of some ayurvedic medicines. These ayurvedic remedies are usually beneficial for diseases of digestive system.

Other Names of Kala Namak

  • Kala Loon
  • Black salt
  • Himalayan Black Salt
  • Indian Black Salt
  • Namak Kala

Chemical Composition

Kala Namak (Black salt) mainly contains Sodium Chloride and traces of various minerals and chemical compounds such as Sodium sulfate (Na2SO4), magnesia (MgO), iron in form of ferrous sulfate (FeSO4), greigite (Fe3S4), ferric oxide, etc. Black salt contains 36.8% to 38.79% sodium content, which can vary according to different brands available in the market.

Common Salt vs. Black Salt

Table salt and black salt both contain Sodium Chloride. Here are some differences according to their composition.

ParticularsTable saltBlack Salt
Sodium38.7 to 39.1%36.8% to 38.79%
MagnesiumLess than 0.01%0.1%

Medicinal Properties

Kala Namak has following healing properties.

  1. Antacid
  2. Anti-flatulent
  3. Antioxidant
  4. Anthelmintic
  5. Adaptogenic
  6. Demulcent
  7. Carminative
  8. Digestive Stimulant
  9. Haematinic (increases hemoglobin levels)
  10. Hematogenic (helps in formation of red blood cells)
  11. Fat Burner

Therapeutic Indications

Kala Namak is beneficial in abdominal discomfort and other symptoms related to digestive system disorders.

  • Acidity
  • Abdominal pains or cramps
  • Intestinal Gas
  • Flatulence
  • Abdominal Distension
  • Bloating
  • Anemia
  • Obesity
  • Skin diseases

Benefits and Uses

Black salt is beneficial in diseases listed above in therapeutic indications. Herbalist, naturopaths and ayurvedic physicians generally recommend black salt in these diseases. Here we will discuss main uses and health benefits of Kala Namak.

Indigestion & Loss of Appetite

Kala Namak is digestive stimulant, which means it balances natural production of acids in the stomach and stimulates bile production in the liver. It helps digesting foods and increases appetite.

In ayurveda, it is used with TRIKATU (three pungent spices including black pepper, ginger and long pepper). People with acidity, heartburn or ulcer should avoid this mixture, but they can take Kala Namak alone.

Acidity & Heartburn

Kala Namak is also beneficial for acidity and heartburn. It reduces acid reflux and balances the acid production in the stomach.

It is best to use it with coriander seeds powder, cumin seed powder and fennel seeds powder in equal proportion for maximum benefits in acidity and heartburn.

Gas, Flatulence & Abdominal Distension

Black Salt reduces intestinal gas and flatulence due to its anti-flatulent characteristic. It also helps heaviness in the abdomen after meal.

If you have any of these problems, then you can use black salt with lemon water. Lemon water with black salt also helps improving digestion.


Black Salt contains small amounts of iron compounds, which are highly beneficial for iron deficiency anemia.

Caution & Side Effects

Black Salt or Kala Namak is LIKELY SAFE in dietary amounts. The dietary amount of black salt should not exceed from 6 grams (elemental sodium in it is around 2.3 grams) a day. Therapeutic amount of black salt is less than dietary amount and it is used along with others herbs and spices. These herbal mixtures usually contain around 250 mg to 500 mg black salt, which is also considerably safest dosage.

FAQs about Black Salt (Kala Namak)

Is black salt good for blood pressure?

Black salt (Kala Namak) also contains sodium chloride (NaCl). Sodium in black salt can vary from 36.8% to 38.79% according to different brands available in the market. It also contains a small amount of potassium, magnesium and other minerals for which it is considered best for heart patients, but the amount of these minerals is insignificant.

It will likely to affect your blood pressure similarly as common salt affects. Therefore, patients with high blood pressure (hypertension) should not eat it more than 3.75 grams (equivalent to around 1.5 grams elemental sodium) for precautionary purposes.

If you are healthy individual, then you can eat it up to 6 grams per day (equivalent to around 2.3 grams elemental sodium).

Is black salt healthier than table salt?

Table salt is a refined salt fortified with Iodine. However, black salt also contains Iodine, but the amount of iodine present in it is not sufficient. Therefore, if we consider iodine importance, then we can understand that table salt is better than black salt.

However, black salt contains trace minerals, which is also important for us. If we consider this point, then black salt is healthier than table salt.

For maximum benefits, you can use black salt mixing with table salt in your food. It will provide sufficient amount of iodine as well as trace minerals.

Black salt also possesses medicinal properties, so it helps in digestive ailment, indigestion, loss of appetite, flatulence, heartburn, gas and abdominal distension. If you use black salt in your diet, it also prevents these problems. According to these benefits, we can consider black salt is healthier than common or table salt.

In addition to these benefits of black salt, it also contains iron content, which aids in the production of hemoglobin. Therefore, it is also good for people suffering with anemia or other blood disorders.

Is black salt healthier than sea salt?

Black salt is healthier than sea salt. Sea salt contains harmful chemicals such as aluminum silicate and potassium iodate. These two chemicals have harmful effects on the health, so sea salt is banned in some countries. Black salt does not contain these chemicals, so black salt is better than sea salt.

How to use black salt in food

Take equal amounts of black salt and table salt. Mix them properly and use this mixture of salts in your food for maximum health benefits.

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  1. I have started black salt from last month after starting my digestive system works normal, but after 3 to 4 hours, I feel hungry. Before I was having acidity problem, but now I’ve no problem. I’m taking black salt in yoghurt as per test twice a day. I am writing for your suggestions please. Thanks

    1. Actually, black salt is also appetizer, so you feel appetite after a few hours of its use. There may also be possibility that you are eating less as compared to your needs. During this type of appetite, you should eat fruits, salad or uncooked vegetables without sprinkling salt.


  3. Excellent information on kala namak. Never came across with such information. Thanx Dr. Singh.

    1. Black salt will also likely to increase blood pressure similarly like common salt because it also contains insignificant less amount of elemental sodium than common salt. In addition, it also contains trace minerals for which it is considered healthy than common salt.

  4. Can I eat apples and other fruits using black salt? Is there any side effects or any benefits please make me known about it?

    1. Yes, black salt can be sprinkled on fruits. It helps to enhance digestibility.

      The negative point – it might increase your intake of sodium, so one should limit the use of salt in other foodstuff.

  5. You have given such useful information about Kala Namak. I’m using it now. But after few days of using kala Namak, when I want to stand up after a long sitting or sleeping session, I feel a lot of pain in my heels nerves as stretching the nerves. Please tell me if it is because of using Kala Namak. Thanks.

    1. It should not occur with Kala Namak. You should check stopping it for several days if symptoms persist or discontinue and also rule out other causes with your family physician.

  6. Will it be ok to drink glass of water added with pinch of black salt on an empty stomach in case of kidney stone disease?

  7. Black Salt helps in diseases like Gastritis, bloating, hair fall, and joint disorders. It is a good alternative to sea salt.

  8. I tasted salt kala namak a couple of times after some time (with vegetable foods) and every time at night I suffered from insomnia (I do not suffer from any pathology and not even insomnia), I wanted to know if possible, if the cause is an individual adverse reaction, thank you

    1. Black salt contain traces of minerals. Sodium content has no major difference. But low sodium consumption is also bad because it increases stress hormone and may lead to insomnia. You should check your total sodium intake on the days you experienced sleep troubles.

  9. I have taken black salt with Limca after 3-4 minutes I get start sweating and uneasiness why so immediately I drink normal water please suggest me.

  10. I was taking kala namak as first thing in morning with warm water, but within few days I have developed a pain in my stomach. After that I discontinue kala Namak. Please let me know if taking kala namak in morning is affecting my kidneys.

    1. Kala Namak is not likely to have any adverse effect on the kidney. However, it boosts digestive fire and increases the secretion of digestive juices, which may result in stomach pain in some people. So, you should not take it on the empty stomach. You should take it with food.

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