Rock Salt (also called Sendha Namak in Hindi and Saindhava Lavana in Sanskrit) is naturally occurring mineral form and isometric crystals of Sodium Chloride. Its color can vary according to a variety of impurities present in it.
Ayurveda recommends the regular use of Sendha Namak in your foods. You should not use other types of salts in your cooking.
Best forms of Sendha Namak
The best form of Sendha Namak used according to ayurveda is white or colorless. However, red pinkish rock salt is also used, which is also called Himalayan Pink Salt. White and Pink varieties are best for regular use in cooking.
Ayurveda divides Sendha Namak into two main varieties including White Sendha Namak and Pink or Red Sendha Namak.
- White Sendha Namak (also called White Rock Salt).
- Pink or Red Sendha Namak (also called Himalayan Pink Salt).
Both are good for health and used in ayurvedic medicine. You can use these varieties. Sometimes, we doubt the white variety of rock salt, which might be adulterated with sea salt. So, we always prefer Himalayan Pink Salt.
All other forms of rock salt including dark or light blue, purple, gray, dark black, orange and yellow are not considered the best form of Sendha Namak.
Black salt or Kala Namak is also a type of rock salt, which contains sulfur content in addition to sodium chloride. According to ayurveda, it is second best salt for using in food after white Sendha Namak and pink Sendha Namak.
Chemical Composition of Sendha Namak
Sendha Namak (Rock salt) is a mineral form and is isometric crystals of Sodium Chloride. It may also contain other elements like magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc, etc. Mined rock salt is suitable for human consumption.
However, it is significantly low in iodine, but it contains a fair amount of trace minerals, which makes it perfect for eating in a regular diet.
|Minerals||Percentage in Sendha Namak|
Sendha Namak contains around 84 different minerals and trace elements.
सैन्धवं लवणं स्वादु दीपनं पाचनं लघु।। स्निग्धं रुच्यं हिमं वृष्यं सूक्ष्मं नेत्र्यं त्रिदोषहत्।। (Bhavprakash Nighantu)
According to Bhavprakash Nighantu, Sendha Namak has the following properties.
|लघु||Light to digest|
|स्निग्धं||Oily and Emollient (softening or soothing effect)|
|रुच्यं||Increases interest in food.|
|हिमं||Cooling in nature|
|वृष्यं||Aphrodisiac (beneficial for males)|
|नेत्र्यं||Beneficial for eyes|
|त्रिदोषहत्||Balances three doshas (Tridosha)|
Sendha Namak (Rock salt) has the following healing properties.
- Digestive Stimulant.
- Antioxidant (due to trace minerals).
- Anti-inflammatory (mild action).
Therapeutic Indications of Sendha Namak
Sendha Namak is used in preparing various ayurvedic medicines used for following diseases.
- Abdominal cramps.
- Abdominal Distension.
- Fat Burner.
Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) Benefits & Uses
Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) is used as a supportive ingredient in ayurvedic medicines, which are mainly beneficial in digestive ailments. Here are some main beneficial effects.
Best Salt for Daily Use
According to Ayurveda, Sendha Namak is the best salt that you can use in daily cooking. It balances three doshas (Tridosha). It is best for overall digestion and metabolism. It improves appetite. It is the only salt that has cooling effects. It is beneficial for eyes and overall health.
Also Read: Which Salt is Best according to Ayurveda?
Loss of appetite
Rock Salt has digestive stimulant properties, which might be due to its trace minerals. It promotes digestion and improves appetite.
In ayurveda, Sendha Namak is used with black pepper, ginger, long pepper and cinnamon for improving appetite.
Acidity, Heartburn & Ulcers
Rock Salt is antacid, so it decreases acid production in the stomach. It also prevents acid reflux, which may result in heartburn.
In ayurveda, Sendha Namak is used with Saunf (fennel seeds), coriander powder and cumin seeds for reducing acidity in the stomach and improving digestion.
Gas, Flatulence & Abdominal Distension
Rock Salt has anti-flatulent property, which helps to reduce intestinal gas, flatulence, and abdominal distension.
For this purpose, using rock salt with garlic paste is best. You can also eat a slice of ginger sprinkled with rock salt for reducing abdominal distension.
According to ayurveda, rock salt is a fat burner. It improves metabolism in the body inhibits cravings for foods. The fat burner effect of rock salt is due to trace minerals present in it. However, its effect on eliminating fat is not significant, but you can use it as supportive therapy in weight loss. It also helps to remove dead fat cells.
Supportive therapy in inflammatory diseases
However, rock salt may not have significant anti-inflammatory effects, but it can boost other anti-inflammatory herbs action in the body. Therefore, you can use it as supportive therapy in rheumatic arthritis and inflammatory skin diseases.
Rock salt assists other anthelmintic medicines to eliminate worms from the intestines. In ayurveda, Vaividang is commonly used along with rock salt for this purpose.
Rock Salt Water Gargling
Gargling with rock salt water helps to relieve sore throat, soothing the throat in dry cough, reducing phlegm in productive cough, reducing inflammation and swelling of the throat.
As supportive therapy, it can also be good for patients with asthma, bronchitis and frequent upper respiratory tract infections.
FAQs about Sendha Namak (Rock Salt)
Is rock salt potassium sulfate?
Rock salt is Sodium Chloride. It contains about 98% of Sodium Chloride and about 2% other trace minerals. Therefore, it is not potassium sulfate (K2SO4). Rock salt contains small amounts of potassium, magnesium, zinc, iron and other minerals.
Does rock salt contain iodine?
Rock salt is significantly low in iodine, so it may not replace your iodized salt if you have an iodine deficiency. Due to abundant of health benefits that rock salt has, you can use it mixing with iodized salt in equal proportion in your food if you are suffering from Iodine deficiency. If you don’t suffer from iodine deficiency, you might not need iodized salt. And you can freely use Sendha Namak.
Can Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) help to control high blood pressure?
According to ayurveda, Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) balances Tridosha. So, it should help in every disease including high blood pressure. However, it may not affect blood pressure significantly if you don’t correct your diet. If you follow the ayurvedic diet plan, then you might get rid of high blood pressure naturally.
Rock Salt also contains trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and other minerals. However, the amount of these minerals is insignificant to control blood pressure. Still, it is better than all other salts due to its micronutrients.
It is considered better than other salts for hypertensive patients when taken in moderation (less than 3.5 grams per day) due to the complexity of salt and its minerals.
Can we completely shift to rock salt or black salt instead of table salt?
Ayurveda recommends using Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) in daily cooking. So, you can completely shift to rock salt and stop using table salt.
Rock salt also contains a minute amount of iodine. If you don’t have iodine deficiency, you can completely shift to rock salt without any problem.
However, if you are clinically diagnosed for iodine deficiency, you should use salt fortified with iodine. In such a case, completely shifting to rock salt is not advisable because it contains lesser amount of Iodine as compared to salt fortified with iodine. The most advisable way is mixing rock salt and table salt in equal quantity and using the mixture instead in such cases.
- Ashtang Sangrah, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 18, प्रायो लघणं पित्तलसचक्षुष्यमन्यत्र सैन्धवात्।
- Charaka Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 27, धनं दीपनं वृष्यं चक्षुष्यमविदाहि छ। त्रिदोषघ्नं सुमधुरं सैन्धवं लवणोत्तमम् ॥
- Sushruta Samhita, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 46, चक्षुष्यं सैन्धवं हृद्यं रुष्यं लघ्वग्निदीपनम्। स्निग्धं समधुरं वृष्यं शीत दोषघ्नमुत्तमम् ॥
- Bhavprakash Nighantu, सैन्धवं लवणं स्वादु दीपनं पाचनं लघु। स्निग्धं सख्यं हिमं वृष्यं सूचनं नेऽयं त्रिदोषहृत् ॥
- Ashtanga Hridaya, Sutra Sthana, Chapter 8, घृत दिव्योदक क्षीर क्षौद्र दाडिम सैन्धवम् ।।४३॥