Saindhava Lavana Rock Salt Benefits, Ayurveda Usage, Side Effects

Saindhava lavana or rock salt is considered best among all salts. It is advised for daily use as per Ayurveda. Its qualities, usage and health benefits are quite different from regular salt. Let us find out.

It is also called Himalayan sea salt or Himalayan pink salt. One of the advantages of this salt is, it is derived from In-land. It is told that the in-land sea salts are the salts deposited from a previously existing ocean, many thousand / lakhs of years before. It is told that these types of in-land sea salts are far better than the regular sea salt derived from the oceans, which has more chances of mercury and other poison exposure.

Sanskrit synonyms

Saindhava, Sheetashiva (because it is coolant in nature), Sindhuja (because it is found in Sindh region of Punjab), Naadeya (because it is found in the banks of rivers), Manimantha

Rock salt

Is Rock Salt harmful to the body?
No. In fact, rock salt is hailed as a must have daily ingredients in our diet, by Ancient Ayurvedic Master – Charaka.

Vernacular names

English name – Himalayan salt, Himalayan rock salt, Himalayan pink salt, Halite 
Hindi name – Sendha namak, Sendha lon
Marathi name – Shende Lon
Gujarati name – Sindhalun
Bengali name – Saindhava Lavan
Tamil name – Intuppu
Kannada name – Saindhava Uppu, Saindhava Lavana

Introduction

It is available from mines of Punjab. It is of two varieties –
1. Shweta Saindhava – (white in colour)
2. Rakta Saindhava   –  (Red in colour)
Anyone of these can be regularly used in the name of Rock salt.

Chemical composition

Sodium chloride is the major ingredient making upto 98 %. It contains many useful minerals and elements. It also contains Iodine, Lithium, Magnesium, Phosphorus, Potassium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc, Strontium, etc.

Qualities , effect on Doshas

Taste– Salt, slightly sweet taste,
Potency-Cold
Qualities – Light, Unctuous,
Effect on Tridosha – We have learnt that salt taste usually increases Pitta, but Saindhava Lavana, being cold in potency helps to balance Pitta.
Because of its Salt taste, it balances Vata and
It helps to relieve chest congestion due to sputum accumulation, because it also relieves Kapha.
Hence it is one of the rare Ayurvedic substance that balances all the three Doshas.

Sanskrit verse

saindhava - Sendha namak

Rock salt uses

As per Charaka, it is one of those ingredients, that can be taken on a daily basis. (Pathya).  (Reference: Charaka Samhita Sutrasthana 5/12)
Rochana – improves taste
Dipana – improves digestion strength
Vrushya – acts as aphrodisiac
Chakshushya – good for eyes, helps to relieve infection
Avidahi – (unlike regular salts), Saindhava Lavana does not cause burning sensation.
Hrudya – good for heart
Hikkanashana – useful in hiccups

Use in respiratory disorders

Sendha namak – Use in respiratory disorders – Kapha vilayana, Kapha chedana – It helps to dissolve / disintegrate Kapha. This property is the reason, it is included in Lavana Bhaskar Churna – used in respiratory disorders (also in digestive disorders), because it helps to dissolve or disintegrate and expel sputum.

Use in joint disorders with stiffness

Use in joint disorders with stiffness For the same reason, it is used in many medicines that are used to relieve joint stiffness – such as Dhanwantaram Tailam, Brihat Saindhavadi Taila and Saptavinshati Guggulu.
Usually in cases of Rheumatoid arthritis, where there is stiffness of joints, Rock salt is used as an ingredient in oils for external application and tablets for oral intake.

Use for fomentation

How to use rock salt for fomentation –
This is useful in cases of joint disorders, or wherever Kapha is more, as in sinusitis.
In case of joint disorders with stiffness, apply the oil prescribed by your doctor, leave it on for 10 – 15 minutes. Then, take a cup of Sendha namak inside a cloth. Make it into pack. Heat it on a pan, check for heat tolerance on your skin. Once it is tolerable, gently apply this rock salt pack over the affected joint. You can reheat and re-apply on the joints. You can do this for 4 – 5 minutes.
Even while doing Nasya therapy, after doing massage with suitable oil (as advised by doctor), you can give hot fomentation with the same technique, before using Anu taila as nasal drops. It helps to liquefy sputum and to relieve sinusitis, migraine etc.

Use for enema

Use of rock salt in Basti –
Basti is a Panchakarma – enema procedure. While formulating the basti liquid, rock salt is added to prepare an emulsion. It helps to dissolve and expel Doshas from intestines.

Use in obesity

Use of Saindhava in obesity and high cholesterol – because it has the dissolving and disintegrating effect, it is widely used in anti-obesity products like Lavana taila and anti-cholesterol products.

Where to buy rock salt – Within India, it is available in any Ayurvedic medical shop across India. Outside India, it is available in Amazon website.

Use in gastritis, bloating

Use in gastritis and bloating – Rock salt is widely used as an ingredient in many stomach care products like Hingwastak Churna, because it improves digestion without causing stomach irritation, without worsening gastritis.
Vibandhaghna – relieves constipation, bloating.
Culinary uses: Rock salt is famously used in making many tasty dishes including Pani Puri, Masala Puri, Ice creams etc. Many households use rock salt as the main salt, in place of common salt.

Use in digestive disorders

It aids in digestion by stimulating digestive fire, balances natural production of HCl, and is prescribed for laxative and digestive disorders. It improves appetite, removes intestinal and abdominal gases, cramps, and soothes heartburn.

Side effects

Rock salt side effects – It is not indicated in people with high blood pressure, edema and water retention.
In very high doses, it may increase blood pressure.

Miscellaneous benefits

Miscellaneous benefits of Saindha namak: 

  • Rock salt is used as a home remedy for curing many disorders and ailments such as relief from rheumatic pain and herpes, inflammation and irritation from insect bites.
  • Consumption of rock salt along with lemon juice can help in eliminating stomach worms and controlling vomiting.
  • It is beneficial for people suffering from respiratory problems and sinusitis. Gargling with rock salt helps relieve throat pain, throat swelling, dry cough and tonsillitis. Rock salt is dissolved in water to prepare brine which is used in facial steams for patients suffering from asthma, bronchitis, rhinitis or other nose and ear discomforts.
  • Rock salt can be used as easy remedy for Halitosis- Bad breath, a teeth whitener or mouth freshener. Gargling with rock salt provides relief against sore throat. Its pungent smell suppresses the pungent odour of undigested food.
  • One of the most amazing benefits of rock salt is that it overcomes muscle cramps. Those experiencing muscle cramps can mix a spoon of rock salt in water and sip it to get relief within a few minutes.
  • By providing all the essential trace elements, it is a fast nervous stimulant, relaxes body and mind, it greatly improves the respiratory, circulatory and nervous systems to a significant extent like aspirin.
  • It helps in maintaining the flow of salivary and digestive juices. You can add a pinch of rock salt with few shredded mint leaves and coriander leaves to curd, lassi to make a refreshing beverage.
  • It strengthens the bones and connective tissue. It increases blood level due to its Iron content hence useful in anemia.

Use in newborn care

Care of the newborn: 
अथ खलु जात मात्रम् एव बालम् उल्वात् सैन्धव सर्पिषा मार्जयेत्।(वाग्भट)
Acharya Vagbhata tells ‘Immediately after the birth of the child, the Ulva (secretions or cheesy white coating enveloping the body and face of the new born child) over the body and face should be cleansed by wiping and rubbing it with the mixture of Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt) and Sarpi (ghee).

Inducing vomiting to get rid of phlegm from newborn’s oral cavity:
First of all a cotton swab should be smeared with ghee and placed over the crown of the head of the new born child. Later the child should be given emesis using the mixture of Saindhava Lavana (rock salt) and ghee. This emesis will bring out the deeply stuck phlegm from the throat and stomach. This will make the child breathe easily. Charaka Sharirasthana 7/43
Read related: Ayurvedic Care Of The Newborn Baby: Jatamatra Paricharya

Does rock salt contain iodine ? Can it be used daily in place of common salt ? If yes , what other sources can iodine be taken from to fill the deficiency caused as a result of rock salt ?
Rock salt contains Iodine. Hence no need of other Iodine sources.
Curd, Banana, milk, pineapple, Strawberry, cheese, potato, egg, fish, are other sources of Iodine.

Does rock salt cause grey hairs?
Ayurveda only says that excess use of salt makes the hairs grey. So, limited use of rock salt in daily diet does not cause grey hairs.

Use in Rasashastra

Saindha namak in Rasashashtra – metals and mineral processing for medicines:
Makshika Shodhana – In purification of pyrites, it is used. For this, 1/3rd of rock salt is mixed with pyrite and heated.

138 thoughts on “Saindhava Lavana Rock Salt Benefits, Ayurveda Usage, Side Effects”

  1. you dsy rock salt can be used every day but people having high bp should not have it. what salt can they have then?

    Reply
    • Hi, common salt / rock salt – both contain sodium chloride, which would increase BP. Hence both, or any other type of salts should be avoided or used in minimal quantity in case of high BP.

      Reply
    • Dear Anandi, Since it is told to be used regularly, you can replace your table salt with this salt.

      Reply
  2. what is the difference between rock salt and common salt? I think common salt(table salt) is the powder of rock salt. pl. clarify.

    Reply
    • Common salt is derived from ocean and is Sodium chloride, fortified with Iodine.
      Rock salt is available from Himalayan region. It contains 98 % Sodium chloride, but apart from it, it contains many minerals, which makes this very special.

      Reply
  3. Can this salt be used in regular cooking. Considering the wealth of minerals it contains, will it have beneficial effects for one’s health.

    Reply
  4. I have heard slightly a different / contradicting statement about Saindhava Lavanam. That is, it could be used as a substitute for common salt when a person is high BP patient. Hence in my opinion it must be containing less of Sodium(Na). Anyway I am not a doctor,but from an Ayurvedic Pandit’s family. Pl. clarify.

    Reply
    • sir, for a person with high BP, excess of Sodium chloride is not good and Saindhava lavana contains 98% of it. Hence, it is best to use it only in limited quantities in hypertensive patients.

      Reply
  5. This is a great article. I have been using only Himalayan salt for years. For those of you on the east coast of the USA, Whole Foods sells it too

    Reply
  6. Hi sir,
    What are the differences between black salt and rock salt?
    – Which one is preferable in daily cooking?
    – Which one is preferable in case of bloating and gas problems.
    – BTW, can we use black salt in place of table salt while we cook?

    It’s great information that could improve everybody’s lifestyle.

    Reply
    • Black salt is called Souvarchala Lavana.
      As mentioned in the article, rock salt is ideal for daily cooking. It is useful in bloating. You can use black salt in place of table salkt.

      Reply
  7. Great article!…is the crystal salt(called rock salt that are available in the general deptmental stores) the rock salt u have mentioned? or is that from ocean.
    Can one use himalayan salt during pregnancy?
    Thanks in advance.

    Reply
    • Hi, it is specifically called as Rock salt / Sendha namak or saindhava lavana. It can be used during pregnancy.

      Reply
  8. Apart from purity , why rock salt is to be preferred to common salt in case of BP or Diabetic patients? Is it that sodium content ( %) in Rock salt is less than common salt so that for achieving same salty taste , ( same quantity of both salts ) , bad effect of any salt is less in rock salt. Please explain , as this information helps many people who are advised to use less salt for cooking , keeping in view the bad effects of any salt say for BP , Diabetes etc. Thanks.

    Reply
    • Less sodium content is one reason. Another is, presence of other micro-nutrients and useful minerals. like Magnesium, Chromium, Manganese, Iron, Zinc etc.

      Reply
  9. What is the best alternative to control BP? I was told Saindra Lavana was very much helpful. But now I am in confusion.

    Reply
    • There are lot of good Ayurvedic medicines and treatments like Shirodhara, oil massage etc which help in effective BP control. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor in person.

      Reply
      • Hi Hebbar sir,

        Your answers are very good.

        Which salt (limited quantity only) is good for BP patients for daily cooking ?

        Is sayndava lavanam will have good iodine like sea salt for children memory growth ?

        Shell we use for sayndava lavanam for kids instead of sea iodine salt ?

        Reply
  10. Hi
    i am studying rock salt and using it daily. first of all it is natural and sea salt is processed and concentrated after evaporation of water . the difference is just like organic and non organic products . being natural it is easy to digest and assimilates faster in body than sea salt. does not need fortification with iodine too as being other minerals in it . it extracts less iodine while digestion. It is best in all kinds of kidney disorders . Infact all hypertention patients should switch on to rock salt however they should consume less quantity as recommended by all the doctors .
    dr. sunita

    Reply
  11. Hi Doctor, Highly informative article. One can use this article as a reference book. Thank you for sharing these vital in puts.

    Reply
  12. Is it good for my child daily using of sendha namak in physically &mentallyhe is of four years only pl. Reply me

    Reply
  13. Please clarify the differences between silajit, saindavalavanam, black salt, bhaskara lavanam, sea salt and any other salts used in Ayurveda

    Thank you
    Jvpathi

    Reply
  14. Very informative article….I have been using sendha namak regularly since more than a decade because of knowledge of its benefits & happy to get authorised reassurance from an ayurveda specialist….but I wonder whether with the changing ecology rock salt available in market is still pure & beneficial without adversa effects…what about fluoride content?….plz clarify….
    Dr Vijaylatha
    Ajmer

    Reply
  15. Hi, you would need good amounts of Iodine, hence, better to stick with table salt with iodine.

    Reply
  16. Dear Doctor,

    Thank you very much for highlighting the value of Himalayan Pink Salt. Biochemical and Biophysical aspects of this salt help to upgrade the health condition of the human beings. Thank you very much.

    C. Kalansooriya

    Reply
  17. Dear Sir,

    My Father is adviced to have Low Iodine diet for about 3 weeks. What do you recommend to use, normal salt or Himalayan white Salt. Please advice which salt contains more Iodine. ie., to avoid the same.

    Reply
    • I checked in many websites. Most of them say Pakistani namak is same as Saindhava Lavana (Sendha namak – rock salt)

      Reply
  18. Dear Dr Hebbar,

    Saindhava Namak (rock salt) is white in colour and is therefore different from Himalayan Pink Salt. I have both these varieties in my home. Himalayan Pink salt is different and it may have some other microminerals which give it Pink hue. Each salt has NaCl as main ingredient but give and take few microminerals, the colour changes. Himalayan Pink Salt is more crystalline in structure than Rock salt. In Delhi, when you ask for Saindhav Namak at any local grocery store, they hand you white salt often bound together in lumps. Both these salts have their origins in the western Punjab/western Himalaya salt mines now in Pakistan. In taste, I haven’t found much difference between Saindhav namak, Himalayan Pink Salt and Common salt. The difference in taste is a bit suble. The Kaala Namak (black salt) is definitely different from the Himalayan Pink salt although the colour of black salt is also light Pink. Black salt has distinct taste due to more sulphur content.

    Reply
  19. I have acid reflux problem for many years now. When acid reflux get severe, I get a yellow greenish bitter juice up my throat. I am assuming this is pitta dosha. Will replacing the common salt with sindhav salt help cure my problem?

    Reply
  20. Sir,
    What do you recommend for eczema patients. I read somewhere that on should apply or take bath with Epsom salt. Or Himalaya salt to cure.
    Please clarify.

    Thx

    Regards

    Purvi

    Reply
  21. I am using rock salt for over 3 months and found that the taste of food has increased and it feels good. I heard that it helps in curing thyroid problem tremendously. Which I followed from late Rajeev Dixit Ji.

    Reply
  22. Rock salt is generally called Saindha Namak, it is better in BP. I think Khada namak is different than rock salt.

    Reply
  23. Very informative Sanskrit shloka from ved increase credibility I am hypo thiroid patient and I found non refined salt if tongue tested in less quantity we get satisfied with so is it good if rock + non refined sea salt

    Reply
  24. Thanks Doctor Ji, Informative article.
    We all use table salt fortified with iodine viz. Tatasalt etc. As we know no salt is good for BP patients, but we still have it a little. So if you are using table salt, shift to Sendhav lavana as it does less harm than regular salt, plus it has added nutrients. If you have BP but are using salt, you can shift to Sendhav lavana. But dont think it as a tonic 😉

    Reply
  25. Thanks for the useful articles, Dr Hebbar .Does saindhava salt have iodine ? If not, which food can be eaten to overcome iodine deficiency as a result of switching to saindhava ? Person having hyperthyroid, can he switch to Saindhava namak ?

    Reply
    • Rock salt contains iodine <0.1 g/kg.
      Person with hyperthryoid or any person can switch to Saindhava Lavana. If they are not sure of iodine quantities, they can use both common salt and rock salt (one in the morning, the other at night).

      Reply
  26. Have high tsh levels, and suffer from migraine. in addition calcium absorption is low. which salt should i use daily and what quantities.
    Rgds
    Geetha

    Reply
  27. hello gud day ,i am a constipated i can make popo only one in a week, and i use to drink every morning 2tsp. in 3 glass of water. And im worry about the side effect.

    Reply
    • Saindhava salt is useful. But you may need medicines as well. Please consult an Ayurveda doctor directly.

      Reply
  28. I want to know whether we will use the rock salt daily for cooking like sambar, poriyal etc…..

    Reply
    • Hi, to prepare a colloid, which stays in the large intestine for longer period of time, for better absorption.

      Reply
  29. How does this differ compositionally from Kala Namak? Can Kala Namak be used in daily cooking like Saindhav Namak as substitute for common salt?

    Reply
  30. Rock salt contains Iodine. Hence no need of other Iodine sources. 
    Curd, Banana, milk, pineapple, Strawberry, cheese, potato, egg, fish, are other sources of Iodine. 

    Reply
    • It contains iodine in small quantities. Hence good to continue. If you have doubts, at least, in one meal per day, use iodized salt.

      Reply
    • No. It is not healthy. As per Ayurveda, the wholesome food should contain all six tastes. Salt is also one among them.

      Reply
  31. Sorry but himalayan pink salt is NOT a source of iodine. Btw artificially Iodized salt is very dangerous since it causes thyroid dysfunction. If you are wanting to boost iodine then eat natural sources found in milk, dairy etc. Please do not take synthetic forms since they were not designed for the body and are detrimental to health and wellbeing.

    Reply
  32. Sir, Sea salt contain around 40% sodium, sendha salt 98% so is sendha salt harmful in this regard?

    Reply
  33. Sir, can we use saindava lavana if having high BP? Will their be any harmful effects of using saindava lavana while having high BP?

    Reply
  34. Ayurveda says that lavana causes vitiation of rakta dhatu as causes premature aging on skin and grey hairs early? Rock Salt also? Can you eat it when you suffer from skin diseases?

    Reply
  35. ayurveda says that normal salt makre your hair turn gray, causes vitiation of blood tissue and premature aging of skin, worsens acne etc.
    Does rocksalt cause the same things?

    Reply
    • Ayurveda only says that excess use of salt makes the hairs grey. So, limited use of rock salt in daily diet does not cause grey hairs.

      Reply
  36. Dear Doctor, can sendha salt be used in regular daily usages and what can be the maximum quantity per day for a normal person

    Reply

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