Known by various local names in India – “Namak” in Hindi, “Mithum” in Gujarati, “Uppu” in all South Indian languages, salt is that essential ingredient that gives flavor to numerous Indian dishes be it dals, soups or sambar. Quite simply, salt is an integral part of desi cuisine and something we cannot imagine food or life without.
Although the finely powdered table salt is widely used in everyday cooking, there is also a more pure, crystalline form – “Sendha Namak” or rock salt, which is vastly underrated but offers countless benefits for overall health.
Naturally rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, copper and potassium, these off-white to pink hardened pebbles have laxative properties to aid digestion, in addition to decongestant properties to relieve coughs, colds and respiratory problems. Also read: Zinc: Functions, Food Sources, Deficiency and Toxicity
How is Sendha Namak made? And where is it formed?
Sendha namak, commonly referred to as rock salt, is mined in the Himalayan foothills and found in abundant concentrations, particularly in the Salt Range mountains of the Indo-Gangetic plains. This is located in the Sindh region of the North Indian state of Punjab.
It is labeled with several other names in English – Himalayan salt, halite, Himalayan rock salt, polyhalite and Himalayan crystal salt. The local names of this popular seasoning, which mainly contains sodium chloride, include ‘Sendha Namak’ in Hindi, ‘Saindhava Lavana’ in Sanskrit and Telugu, ‘Shende Lon’ in Marathi and ‘Indhu Uppu’ in Tamil.
In India, huge deposits of crude rock salt deposits are being excavated in the waters such as inland seas, enclosed bays and branching estuaries, in the semi-arid valley regions of the Himalayas. They are obtained by evaporation processes and show a clear transparent, pale white or pale pink color depending on the mineral impurities present in them.
Sendha namak is undoubtedly the purest type of rock salt in India. It is not chemically processed like table salt, does not contain iodine and is therefore sold commercially in small quantities as it is quite expensive. In addition, table salt is ground into a fine powder, while sendha namak has a grainy texture, like huge, rough crystals, with a less salty taste.
With an impressive nutritional profile, with fantastic benefits for both physical and mental health, sendha namak is indeed a boon for well-being. Read on to find out more.
Nutrition Facts Of Sendha Namak:
Loaded with a multitude of beneficial components, such as 84 of the 92 naturally occurring minerals, sendha namak is a highly nutritious ingredient.
In addition to being mainly composed of sodium chloride, it is also home to an abundance of vital minerals, such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, sulfur, hydrogen, oxygen, and cobalt.
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These main components perform a range of bodily functions such as improving metabolism, maintaining electrolyte balance, ensuring normal blood circulation, strengthening bones, muscles, in addition to smooth nerve signaling between organs and tissues. This guarantees good health and prevents many common diseases and deficiency diseases.
Although sendha namak is largely used in meat preparation and ice cream storage, it offers fantastic benefits when consumed internally with food, as well as when applied topically to skin and hair. Rock salt also has intrinsic cooling, calming and cleansing properties, which greatly promote deep sleep, improve brain function, enrich the complexion and provide long, silky-soft locks. Also Read: 7 Incredible Hair Growth Tips For Healthy, Long & Shiny Locks
When consumed in small amounts, sendha namak does not result in puffiness, unlike synthetically manufactured iodized table salt, which also makes it a healthy substitute in cooking.
Sendha Namak Wellness Stimulants:
Sendha namak is valued for its high laxative properties, which aid in regular bowel movements after consuming heavy meals, oily and sugary foods. It stimulates the assimilation of particles, nutrients from ingested food and effectively removes waste products and unwanted remains from the stomach, intestines, for optimal intestinal health.
Treats sore throat
Gargling with a mixture of warm water and rock salt is a tried and tested home remedy for instantly curing a sore throat. Known for its decongestant properties, Sendha namak corrects colds, coughs and clears blockages in the sinuses, nose and throat passages. It also cures cases of tonsils, fever and respiratory diseases such as asthma, bronchitis, to solve breathing difficulties and increase lung strength.
Including moderate amounts of rock salt in the diet greatly improves the absorption of water and minerals into the system. This ensures a high absorption of essential nutrients by the body, to increase the energy supply for all vital activities and thereby maintain a healthy body weight, better fat breakdown mechanisms and an improved metabolism.
Delivers clear skin
Simply adding a pinch of rock salt to your body soaps and facial cleansers helps to remove dirt, grime and impurities present in the pores of the skin. This in turn prevents oiliness, reduces acne breakouts, refreshes the face, rejuvenates and enriches the deeper layers of the skin, to reveal a vibrant, flawless complexion.
Consuming a little rock salt in soups or salads, or even taking a bath in warm water infused with the crystals, immediately improves the functions of the nervous system, activates the brain and relaxes the mind. This helps lower stress levels, reduces the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease and cancer, and also ensures deep, undisturbed sleep at night.
Frequently Asked Questions
Does Sendha Namak control blood pressure?
Senda Namak has the potential to pacify Tridosha. Thus, it is beneficial in regulating high blood pressure and other diseases. In addition, it is also essential to follow a healthy diet and exercise regularly to optimize your overall health.
Is rock salt a good source of iodine?
Rock salt is remarkably low in iodine, so it may not be an alternative to iodized salt if you have an iodine deficiency. However, because of its incredible health benefits, you can mix an equal amount of rock salt with iodized salt in meals if you have an iodine deficiency. For people who do not have an iodine deficiency, you can get sendha namak.
Can I use Sendha Namak for my skin?
Rock salt works well for cleansing the skin and unclogging pores. Take rock salt and mix with yogurt, spread over facial skin and rinse well to get natural glow and radiance.
Is Sendha Namak Good For Weight Loss?
taking sendha namak can help to reduce body fat and help a person shed excess pounds. The presence of minerals in rock salt reactivates insulin by reducing sugar cravings, which reduces sugar intake. Drink a glass of lemon water with sendha namak daily on an empty stomach to fight obesity.
Sendha namak is a truly nourishing flavouring, for use in cooking, in addition to a natural skin and hair care ingredient for topical application. Loaded with crucial minerals and body cooling properties, it is an all-rounder to remedy numerous ailments.
Consult a doctor, nutritionist before completely replacing iodized table salt with sendha namak or rock salt in the diet, as the latter does not contain iodine and is therefore not recommended for people with an iodine deficiency. Ideally, using a combination of both table salt and sendha namak acts as a natural remedy for minor health problems, in addition to tremendous benefits for physical fitness and mental well-being.