Saindhava Lavana – Rock Salt Benefits, Ayurveda Usage, Side Effects

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

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 saltVernacular names:
English name – Himalayan salt, Himalayan rock salt, Himalayan pink salt
Hindi name – Sendha namak, Sendha lon
Marathi name – Shende Lon
Gujarati name – Sindhalun
Bangali name – Saindhava Lavan
Tamil name – Intuppu

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. Read more.

Qualities of Saindhava lavana:
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.

Rock salt uses -
saindhava  - Sendha namak
As per Charaka, it is one of those ingredients, that can be taken on 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
Aviidahi – (unlike regular salts), Saindhava Lavana does not cause burning sensation.
Hrudya – good for heart
Hikkanashana – useful in hiccups

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 of 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.

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 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 liquify sputum and to relieve sinusitis, migraine etc.

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 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, like the one below in USA (Affiliate)

Use in gastritis and bloating – Rock salt is widely used as 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 yummy dishes including Pani Puri, Masala Puri, Ice creams etc. Many households use rock salt as the main salt, in place of common salt.
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.

Dr JV Hebbar is an Ayurveda Doctor, Assistant Professor, From Mangalore, India. Click here to consult Dr Hebbar
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Comments

  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?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

  2. You say Saindahva lavana is not recommended for HBP persons; is plain sea salt better than this for those people?

  3. Dear doc,
    How do we incorporate it in our daily diet ?

  4. Sunny Harjani says:

    Great Info, Doctor
    Sunny- Kathmandu
    29.9.2013

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

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

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

  7. Ramakrishna Sharma says:

    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.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

  8. 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

  9. neha devlekar says:

    Does rock salt contain iodine??Is it useful in case of hypothyroidism??

  10. 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.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

  11. chandrasekhar says:

    Very usefull information for all &heigh BP persons

  12. Sunil Phani Manne says:

    Good information! Thank you very much!

  13. 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.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

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

  14. Kindly explain how to use it when our throat is bad or we are suffering from sinus. Also which oil you were talking about in your article.

  15. Lots of information in short and clear article
    Thanks

  16. Satyanarayana K says:

    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.

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

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

  17. What is difference between rock salt & epsom salt?

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, and rock salt is made of sodium chloride plus a combination of minerals.
      Epsom salt looks like rock salt, but Epsom is usually prescribed as a remedy for constipation.It is also used as bath salts.

  18. very useful information.thank u very much sir.

  19. Sushil K Sharma says:

    very useful information. Pride of India.

  20. Informative, thank you!

  21. Prakash H N says:

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

    • Dr J V Hebbar MD(Ayu) says:

      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.

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