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Kala Namak (Black Salt), Rock Salt (Sendha Namak) and Table Salt - Medicinal and Other Uses

Rajan is a botany and chemistry major. He has worked as a poultry breeder for 23 years, breeding layer and broiler parents.

Salt

Salt And Its Importance

Salt is a mineral whose chemical formula is NaCl. Salt contains 40% sodium and 60% chloride on a weight basis.

Salt is imperative to live and is one of the basic elements of the human body. Existence of the human body is not possible without this element.

Salt is used to improve food flavour & preserve food. It regulates various functions of the body and is involved as a building block for various complex functions.

Salt is of many types. In Ayurveda, importance is given to consuming the right type of salt.

Varieties Of Salt

Salt is available in a variety of forms. Some of them are:

Table salt, sea salt, Celtic salt, pickling salt, seasoned salt, kosher salt, popcorn salt, pretzel salt, rock salt, black salt, etc.

For health purposes, Ayurveda uses 3 types of salts, viz:

Table Salt called Namak in Hindi

Rock Salt called Sendha Namak in Hindi

Black Salt called Kala Namak in Hindi

It is these 3 types of salts that I refer to in this article.

Black Salt Crystals

Black Salt

Black salt is also known as Kala Namak.

It is a dark purple-pink salt when in the solid form. When powdered fine to a pink to dark greyish pink with a typical flavour and aroma somewhat akin to eggs.

Black salt is more hygroscopic than common salt and tends to absorb moisture pretty fast. Store it away from moisture and keeping the cap of the bottle or jar tightly closed helps by maintaining it in a dry form longer.

Black salt is used in preparing Indian snacks, chaats, chutneys, raitas and is used as a flavouring for many fried snacks, by sprinkling it as a topping. It is sprinkled on fruits too.

Black salt has a lower sodium content than table salt and its use helps to lower blood pressure.


It also helps in reducing gas and heartburn, is used as a digestive aid and a laxative.

Kala Namak | Black Salt

Rock Salt

Rock Salt

Rock salt is also known as Sendha Namak.

Rock salt is obtained from the rocky salt mountains and from the vast beds of dried-up ancient lakes and seas. These beds may be hundreds of meters deep.

It is usually colourless to yellow in colour but may also be in various hues of blue and pink, depending on the minerals in it.

It is a much larger grained, coarse, unrefined salt which contains a number of minerals. It is mainly used in the preparation of Ayurvedic medicines, and also consumed during religious fasting as it is considered pure.

Rock salt is also used as a condiment and food preservative. It is less salty and has a lower sodium content than table salt and hence lowers blood pressure.

It is also used as a digestive aid and to relieve heartburn, a laxative and as a condiment besides being used by roadside vendors of ice cream who sprinkle it over ice to freeze homemade ice cream.

Ayurveda considers rock salt as the best form of salt for the human body.

Sendha Namak (Rock Salt) & Its Health Benefits [In Hindi With English Subtitles]

Reduce Salt Intake

Excessive intake of salt:

Makes the urine & perspiration smell strong.

Leads to excessive thirst.

Raises blood pressure.

And more...

Some Ayurvedic Uses Of Salt

In Constipation

Take black salt, carom seeds, small Harad (Chebulic myrobalan dried fruit) and dry ginger in equal quantities. Grind all together. Take 1 tsp of this mix an hour after dinner for relief.

In Sciatica

Take 15 gms Bhang(a preparation of the leaves and flower buds of the Hemp plant-cannabis indica) and 1 tsp salt. Boil this in 1 litre of water. When suitably cool dip a cloth in this water, wring the cloth to remove excess water and foment on the area of pain. Do this twice a day. Relieves in 2 to 3 weeks.

In Indigestion

If digestion is weak, there is alternating constipation with loose motions and pain, take 5 gms black salt in hot water for relief.

In Shaky Teeth

Take a little black salt and some sesame oil. Massage the gums and teeth with this mixture.

For Tired & Painful Feet

Add salt in hot water and dip the legs up to the knees in the water. Massage the calves with this hot water too.

In Gout

Put 4 tsp salt in a litre of hot water. Give fomentation with a cloth dipped in this.

In Insect Bites

Put salt in water and rub on the bite. It relieves burning, pain and swelling.

In Headaches

  • Keep a pinch of salt on the tongue and 10 minutes later drink a glass of cold water.
  • Put 3 gms salt in 1/4th cup water. Sniffing this water also relieves headaches.

In Pyorrhoea

Strain ground rock salt in a muslin cloth. Mix 1 part of this salt with 4 parts mustard oil. Brush and massage teeth and gums with this daily for relief. This also relieves tooth pain and sensitiveness of the teeth.

In Migraine

Put 1/2 tsp in 1/2 tsp honey and lick.

In Malaria

  • Roast salt on a pan till it turns brown. Dose for children 1/2 tsp and for adults 1 tsp mixed well in a glass of hot water taken before the time the fever strikes. Take on an empty stomach. It prevents the fever from coming on and even if it comes it is a low-level fever.
    Take for 2 to 3 days.
  • Take 1 part rock salt and 4 parts brown sugar. Grind both fine. take 1/2 tsp of this 3 times daily for 2 to 3 days on empty stomach, before the time fever normally strikes.

In stomachache

Add a pinch of salt to hot water and drink.

In Ringworm

Take 6 gms each of rock salt, black pepper and turmeric. Grind and add a glass of water to this and boil this till 1/2 glass of water remains. Drink hot for relief.

In Typhoid

Mix 1 tsp salt in 1 glass of water (for adults). Drink once a day for 3 days. In case there is excessive thirst do not drink further. Drink water in sips to keep the tongue wet & moist but do not drink more water. It brings down the fever to normal sooner.

For Winter Skin Affections

Bathe with hot water to which salt has been added.

In Stomachache

Add 1/2 tsp salt to a glass of water and drink for relief

In Mumps

Add salt to hot water and gargle with this. Also, give hot water (add salt to this water) fomentation.

In Rheumatic Fever

Tie some salt in a cloth. Warm this salt and foment the swollen area.

In Poisoning & Intoxication

Add 60 gms salt in water and give to drink. It ensures vomiting out of the poison or intoxicating substance.

For Relieving Rough Skin

Wash with hot water to which salt has been added. Also, use this water for hot fomentation.

In Sprains & Bruises

Roast salt in a pan. Put in a thick cloth and tie this. Foment the affected area.

In Dehydration

Add a pinch of salt and glucose to water and drink.

In Whitlow

When pain is constant put the thumb or a finger dipped in salt water for relief.

In Dyspepsia

  • Take dry ginger powder and powdered rock salt in equal measure. Mix well. Take 1 tsp of this with hot water.
  • Mix 1 part rock salt and 4 parts ground Ajwain (Carom Seeds). Take 1/2 tsp of this twice a day, once in the morning & then in the evening.
  • Take and grind equal quantities of rock salt, big cardamon, dry mint, ajwain and black pepper. Take 1 tsp of this with water daily.

For Liver Pain

To 1/2 tsp rock salt and 4 tsp mustard seeds add water and grind to a paste. Apply on the liver area. After 5 minutes wash it off and apply ghee. It relieves pain.

In Hiccough

  • Grind & mix equal quantities of rock salt, black salt and table salt. Take 1/2 tsp of this with hot water to stop hiccups
    .
    CAUTION
    If you are on a no-salt diet due to medical reasons do not do this.

  • Take 1/2 tsp black salt, juice of 1/2 a lemon, 1 tsp honey. Mix all and consume. It soon stops hiccups. One can take this every 20 minutes till hiccups stop.
  • Boil 60 gms ground mustard seeds in 1 litre of water. Simmer till 250 ml water remains. Add rock salt to taste and drink.

For Cough & Phlegm

Suck some rock salt for relief.

In Toothache And Pain In Gums

Massage with rock salt.

In Tonsils, Throat Pain, Toothache & Swelling

Gargle with water to which salt has been added.

In Scorpion Bite

  • Put 4 drops of saturated salt solution in the ear opposite to the side one is bitten. This relieves pain faster.
  • Mix 1 part salt with 5 parts water. Apply this water in the eye as one would apply Kaajal. It promptly removes the effect of the bite.

    Saturated salt solution can also be applied on insect bites for faster relief.

CAUTION:
Those suffering from hysteria, epileptic fits, high blood pressure, swellings, kidney diseases, ringworm, itching, gout should not eat salt.

Table Salt

Table Salt

Table Salt is also called Namak.

Table salt is a refined form of rock salt along with some additives, like calcium silicate, to keep it free-flowing.

It is produced from rock salt or sea salt. Iodised table salt contains potassium iodide and dextrose (a stabilizer for the iodide)to prevent goitre and mental retardation.

Plain table salt is free from potassium iodide and dextrose.

Other Uses Of Salt

About 18% of the world's salt production is food grade, used for human consumption.

The major part of the production is used industrially to produce pulp, paper, in the textile industry as a fixing agent for dyes and in the manufacture of soaps and detergents.

Salt is also used in the rubber, glass, pharmaceutical, cosmetics leather, Pvc pipe manufacturing industries. It is also used for preservation of foods especially meats.

Commercial feeds for livestock, poultry and pets use salt as one of its ingredients.

Europe, United States and the snow belt regions worldwide use salt for winter road safety to remove snow and ice bonded to the road surface and as a strategy to prevent or delay snow and ice bonding to the roads.

Some Facts Relating to Salt Consumption

  • All things that are consumed have good as well as bad effects. Whenever and wherever natural foods are suggested to relieve any health condition, it must be understood that their usage has to be in limited to a small quantity, and that too, only when necessary. Avoid its use if conditions aggravate.
  • Use of salt in conditions like itching, boils, high blood pressure, swellings, is harmful. Hence, such people must avoid salt.
  • It must be remembered that fruits and vegetables contain salt in the form of sodium naturally. This salt is enough to meet the body's need and requirement. There is no need to add extra salt. But we have been so conditioned and our bodies so attuned to extra addition of salt that we tend to sprinkle salt on food thinking the extra salt will make it tastier.
  • Ayurvedic texts of Charak and Sushrit Shastras have expounded on the ill effects of high salt consumption, among them being, increased thirst, weakening of the sinews, hair loss & premature greying of hair, and even becoming unconscious.
  • Hence, salt consumption should be as little as possible. People who stop salt totally find that they can enjoy the real taste of food albeit after remaining off salt for some time.
  • We must, therefore, not think of salt as a necessary component of food but use it more as medicine and, that too, in as little a quantity as possible.

Quiz

For each question, choose the best answer for you.

  1. Did you know salt has health uses?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Somewhat
  2. Did you know there are so many varieties of salt available?
    • Yes
    • No
    • Somewhat

Scoring

Use the scoring guide below to add up your total points based on your answers.

  1. Did you know salt has health uses?
    • Yes: +5 points
    • No: +0 points
    • Somewhat: +3 points
  2. Did you know there are so many varieties of salt available?
    • Yes: +5 points
    • No: +0 points
    • Somewhat: +2 points

Interpreting Your Score

A score between 0 and 3 means: ?

A score between 4 and 6 means: ?

A score between 7 and 8 means: ?

A score of 9 means: ?

A score of 10 means: ?

Disclaimer

The information provided in this hub is not a substitute for professional medical advice. Please consult your physician, or health care provider before taking any home remedies or supplements.

Some of my other hubs on healthy foods

  • Himalayan Crystal Salt Lamps And Their Health Benefits
    Himalayan crystal salt lamps are made from the salt blocks mined from the ancient dried up lakes at the himalayan foothills. They exhibit numerous health giving properties. To know how you can benefit from their use, read on...
  • Health Benefits Of Himalayan Salt And Benefits Of Sole
    Salt is as essential a component of the human body as water. It is needed for various functions in the body. Himalayan salt is the only salt that provides all the essential minerals that the body needs. find out the health benefits of Himalayan salt
  • Benefits Of Collard Greens
    Collard greens are the leaves of various cultivars of Brassica oleracea. Collard greens stand head over heels above other cruciferous vegetables in preventing a wide variety of cancers. To know the various health benefits of collard greens, read on..
  • Honey & Health - Manuka Honey
    Honey is a natural food made by the honey bees. Of all the honeys available, manuka honey stands out as the one most beneficial to health. To find out whick manuka honey is the best and why, read on...
  • Health Benefits Of Wheat grass And Wheatgrass Juice
    Wheat Grass therapy was pioneered by Dr. Ann Wigmore and is said to be a revolutionary therapy in many deadly diseases, like cancer, heart diseases, diabetes, leprosy etc. To know more about this therapy, read on....

Benefits Of Salt

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Rajan Singh Jolly

Comments

jayashree on January 19, 2017:

Are the kala namak and senda namak available in purified form? If not , how to remove the impurities?

anil on October 15, 2015:

good ..

kalyan on September 20, 2015:

Can a person who is suffering from epilepsy eat rock salt . kalyan_Kumar_2005@yahoo.com

sonali on March 28, 2015:

Please let me know what is sea salt. Is it kala namak, sendha namak or tata namak ?

Pallavi Jaju.Mumbai. on January 13, 2015:

Can we use rock salt completely for kids? Is it having Iodine? And for thyroid patients?

r.kala on September 23, 2014:

I read the article on sendha and black salt. since I am also undergoing haemodialysis, please advice me in this regard.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 01, 2014:

Debabratta you can replace table salt with sendha namak in everyday cooking.

Debabratta on June 28, 2014:

Hello rajan jolly, I want to know can we consume sendha namak regularly? thanks

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on September 08, 2013:

Rock salt is low in both sodium and potassium while table salt is high in sodium. To increase intake of potassium eat fruits and vegetables as most of these are rich in potassium.

shruti on September 08, 2013:

Nice info.

Cud u plz tel dat do rock salt also contain potassium in it n how much?

susan on May 27, 2013:

Hi, Rajan

Thank you soooo very much on the uses of rock salt, I have tried the black salt for consipation and it did help, I will try it for he gum too.

susan

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on April 21, 2013:

Thanks, S.Mohan.

S.Mohan on April 21, 2013:

Thanks for very useful information.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 26, 2013:

Thanks for your input and visit, Valerie.

Valerie Tapia from Nashua, NH on January 23, 2013:

Very useful information! Seasalt combined with warm water as a laxative too. For Cold sores/Canker Sores you can also garggle with warm salt water :)

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 14, 2013:

SaltUser, in fact rock salt is unrefined and has innumerable trace elements including iodine which are missing in table salt due to the refining process it is subjected to.

Also, iodine is available in yogurt, milk and eggs which are very good sources of iodine while strawberries and cheese are also good sources of iodine.

Eating sensibly, including intake of less table salt, will not lead to iodine deficiency.

SaltUser on January 14, 2013:

Rajan , but rock salt is poor in iodine so if table salt is replaced by rock salt , won't it lead to iodine deficiency?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on December 06, 2012:

Honey, rock salt is definitely healthier than common salt so it could replace it. Thanks for reading.

Honey singh on December 06, 2012:

Very information piece Ranjan. So would it be recommended for people on diet to consume sendha namak instead of table talk

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 04, 2012:

Thanks for your input and visit, Amit.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on October 04, 2012:

Thanks for your input and visit, amit.

Amit Nanda on September 11, 2012:

Hi Rajan,

This is a very informative article. Thanks. Lot of useful tips shared by you. Your articles are really good.

Rock Salt also helps in reducing High BP and removing muscle cramps too.

http://www.slideshare.net/amitnanda/wonders-of-roc...

Thanks,

Amit

DMVmimay on August 30, 2012:

informative lens.. this hub produced supplementary thoughts :) thanks for sharing.

thumbappoo from Kerala, India on August 12, 2012:

Great Mr. Rajan! A very informative hub.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 27, 2012:

Prashant it is a tradition to use sendha namak during fasts.

prashant on July 27, 2012:

why sendha salt is used in fast?

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 14, 2012:

Poonam, I meant the Hindi name.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 14, 2012:

Poonam, sorry to get back so late. I just wrote a hub on the health benefits of Himalayan crystal salt. You can read it if you go to my profile and hubs. It will give you the entire information. Though I don't know its English name it could be sendha namak.

If you have any questions let me know.

Thanks for reading. I appreciate it very much.

Poonam on July 04, 2012:

Thanks for the information... But what is it called in hindi (Himalayan crystal Rock Salt).

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on July 01, 2012:

Poonam, Himalayan crystal salt is the purest form of salt containing 84 of the 92 minerals that are in the human body and at the same concentrations. So it is the best and healthiest variety of salt much better than rock salt.

Thanks for reading. I hope it clears your doubts.

Poonam on July 01, 2012:

Is Rock Salt & Himalayan crystal Rock Salt the same? I brought Sendha Namak in crystal n powder form which is Pink in colour. Also, wanted to know abt the Nutritional value of the same.. Thanks.....

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on May 19, 2012:

Thanks for reading Sanngita.

sanngita on May 19, 2012:

i did not know that there were so many variety of salts.I only came to know now recently when i wanted to make kulfy and the process to keep it freezed.

sunny on March 31, 2012:

How is black salt otained?

What are constitutional differences among all three salts?

Can you pl do search and let us know?

Nice information.

thanks for posting.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 11, 2012:

Hi Melovy,nice to see you here. Yes salt is a very vital ingredient to health but it must be used very judiciously. Unfortunately, processed foods that we have to consume perforce due to various constraints,have become a source of our illhealth because of the huge amounts of salt in them.

With appropriate salt use we can get back our health.

Thanks for stopping by,your comments are very welcome and I really appreciate your inputs.

Yvonne Spence from UK on January 11, 2012:

Very interesting hub. I read a book a while ago entitled ‘Water and Salt, your healers from within,” so I knew salt had had a bit of a ‘bad press’ lately, and that we do in fact need it, but there’s a lot here I didn’t know about. I’ve never heard of black salt.

One of my kids has had asthma and we were advised that lack of salt can be a contributory factor in that, and to use unrefined sea salt as it has so many minerals in it. As you say, it’s important not to overdo it.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 10, 2012:

Lady_E, thanks for being here and leaving your presence. Though salt is cheap and readily available, we have to make sure we use it judiciously.

Elena from London, UK on January 10, 2012:

It was interesting to read about the varieties of salt. I'm glad salt is not expensive because it has so many important uses.

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 09, 2012:

jenubouka, thanks for being here and leaving your appreciation. I truly value your input.

jenubouka on January 09, 2012:

Incredible amount of information Rajan! Such a vital piece in our daily lives and I particularly enjoyed the Hindu reference! Well Done!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 08, 2012:

@ arfamahmood - Thanks for the read and the appreciative comments.

@ alexa001 - thanks for stopping by. I appreciate that salt is necessary but only in very minute amounts as the health implications due to excess sodium intake by way of consuming processed food far outweigh the benefits of the salt per se.

I see from your profile that you write on health related and I would love to read your hubs too.

Thanks again for being here and for your input.

alexa001 from HOLTSVILLE NY on January 08, 2012:

Hello friends,

Salt is a most common and essential ingredient that is used in almost all foods. 70% of taste depends on salt quantity in food.

arfamahmood from Pakistan on January 08, 2012:

Very informative hub. Loved it!!!

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 07, 2012:

@ J.S.Matthew. Yes salt has become such an integral part of our diet that we know very little of its various benefits and uses.

Thanks for stopping by and appreciating.

@radhikasree. Thanks for the read and appreciation. Salt is a multi use remedy if we use it as one. Unfortunately we consume too much of it and end up with ill heath.

@ytsenoh. Thank you for being here. Salt has so many benefits but the irony is we have not really exploited its full potential. If only we consume salt in a much lesser amount many diseases will reduce on its own.

Thanks for appreciating and visiting.

@thejeffriestube. Nice to have a new reader here. Thanks for reading and good to know the hub offered you useful information. Thanks for reading.

Dave from United States on January 07, 2012:

Wow, just good ole interesting and useful info. Thanks for the read!

Cathy from Louisiana, Idaho, Kauai, Nebraska, South Dakota, Missouri on January 07, 2012:

Wow, this hub is full of information. I was only familiar with table salt and have eliminated added salt for the past 20 plus years, although I occasionally like sea salt drizzled on frosting for a sweet/sour effect. So many of our processed food products contact a high amount of salt, products which I avoid. If you read labels, it's amazing the amount of salt content there is to enhance food flavorings. Thumbs up on your hub. Very interesting.

Radhika Sreekanth from Mumbai,India on January 07, 2012:

I didn't know that salt has these many therapeutic qualities. I normally use it for throat pains and cleansing mouth. This hub reveals its more powerful healing properties for scorpion and insect bites. Great hub! Voted up as useful!

JS Matthew from Massachusetts, USA on January 07, 2012:

Wow Rajan, this is very interesting! I had no idea that there were so many varieties and uses for salt. I guess it is one of those things I take for granted! I know that hundreds or thousands of years ago salt was used as money in some regions of the world because it was rare in certain areas. When I get a canker sore in my mouth I rinse with salt and warm water to dry it out. Very interesting and voted up as such!

JSMatthew~

Rajan Singh Jolly (author) from From Mumbai, presently in Jalandhar, INDIA. on January 07, 2012:

Hi Sunshine, Nice to see you here. Agreed, salt hasn't got its due as far as the health applications go. I'm glad you use it for some.

Thanks for all the appreciation and thanks for stopping by.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on January 07, 2012:

Hi Rajan, Salt is an awesome substance! I use it for throat pain, mouth or gum sores, in a neti-pot to cleanse the sinuses. It also helps melt snow and ice. Plus many more uses! Voted UP, Awesome and Useful!

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