Rock Salt (Sendha Namak or Halite) Benefits & Uses
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.
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 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 Red Sendha Namak. Both are good for health and used in ayurvedic medicine.
All other forms of rock salt including dark or light blue, pink, purple or red, gray, black, orange and yellow are not considered best form of Sendha Namak. Black salt or KALA NAMAK is also a type of rock salt, which it contains sulfur content in addition to sodium chloride. According to ayurveda, it is second best salt for using in food after white Sendha Namak.
What is Rock Salt and chemical composition of it?
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 significant low in iodine, but it contains a fair amount of trace minerals, which makes it perfect for eating in regular diet.
Because it is low in iodine, so we suggest our patients eating Sendha Namak mixing with Iodized salt for maximum health benefits. You can mix both salts in equal proportion and use it in preparing food.
Rock salt (Sendha Namak) has following healing properties.
- Digestive Stimulant
- Antioxidant (due to trace minerals)
- Anti-inflammatory (mild action)
Sendha Namak is used in preparing various ayurvedic medicines used for following diseases.
- Abdominal cramps
- Abdominal Distension
- Fat burner
Rock Salt Health Benefits
Rock Salt is used as supportive ingredient in ayurvedic medicines, which are mainly beneficial in digestive ailments. Here are some main beneficial effects.
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 the 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 reducing 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.
Low blood pressure
Everybody knows salt helps in raising blood pressure. You can also use rock salt for this purpose. In low blood pressure, you can take a half teaspoon of rock salt in a glass of water. You may require taking this remedy twice a day.
According to ayurveda, rock salt is 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 removing 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, Vidang is commonly used along with rock salt for this purpose.
Rock salt water gargling
Gargling with rock salt water helps relieving sore throat, soothing the throat in dry cough, reducing phlegm in productive cough, reducing inflammation and swelling of the throat.
As a supportive therapy, it can also be good for patients with asthma, bronchitis and frequent upper respiratory tract infections.
FAQs about Rock Salt or Sendha Namak
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. Due to abundant of health benefits that rock salt has, you can use it mixing with iodized salt in equal proportion in your food.
Can Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) help to control high blood pressure?
Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) also contains about 98% Sodium Chloride, so it may not help controlling high blood pressure. It may have similar effects on blood pressure as common salt has.
However, Rock Salt also contains trace minerals like magnesium, potassium, zinc, iron and other minerals, but the amount of these minerals is insignificant to control blood pressure. However, it is considered better for hypertensive patients when taken less than 3.5 grams per day due to complexity of salt and its minerals.