Sauvarchala Lavana: Kala Namak (Black Salt) Benefits, Remedies

Sauvarchala lavana is a type of salt, used in Ayurvedic treatment. It is known as sochal salt. it is constituted mainly with Sodium chloride with Iron and sulphides. 

Sanskrit Synonyms: Souvarchala, Roochaka, Akshapaka, Dhaumat, Manyapak.
Hindi name: Kala Namak, Sochal Lavan, Saunchar namak, Chauhar Koda, Chauhar Koranon, Choharkada, Chohar kala
Kannada name – Kari Uppu
Gujarati name – Sanchal

Categorization –
Dvi Lavana, Tri Lavana, Chaturlavana, Pancha Lavana – combination of 2,3,4 and five salts.

Introduction:
न काल लवणे गन्ध: सौवर्चल गुणाश्च ते ।
na kāla lavaṇe gandha: sauvarcala guṇāśca te |

Sochal salt is black in colour. It is available in two forms –
1. Natural form – Does not have a smell. (according to Charaka)
2. Artificial form – Has a typical smell.

Natural form is available in Kangra district.
Artifical Black salt is produced by mixing equal quantities of Sarjika Kshara and Saindhava Lavana. The water is dried to obtain Sochal salt.
Kala Namak

Identity:
It is largely composed of Sodium Chloride, with some amount of sulphur. 
Some consider it as Potassium nitrate. But Potassium nitrate is white in colour and this is black in colour.
As per an article publish in International Journal of Research in Ayurveda and Pharmacy, Suvarchal lavan is described as Potassium nitrate at one place and Unaqua Sodium Chloride at other. It is explained as dark coloured salt, made by dissolving common salt in a solution of crude soda and evaporating it.

Suvarchal Lavan is black salt as per – Rasamritam, by Dr Damodar Joshi, Ayurvediya Rasashastra by Dr Mishra and as per Bioactive Food as Dietary Interventions for Diabetes.
So, it is beyond doubt established that Sauvarchana lavana, Sochal salt, black salt and Kala Namak are one and the same.
It is composed of big sized black-brown particles. It dissolves in water and yields Hydrogen Sulphide.

Chemical composition:
Sodium Chloride – 97.8 % w/w
Sodium Sulphide – 0.918 %
Iron – 0.030 % w/w
Insoluble matter – 0.07 % w/w (reference

Collection:
It is collected from Halite ore, from the mines India, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Pakistan.
The salt is subjected to fire in a furnace for 24 hours while sealed in a ceramic jar with charcoal along with Triphala and bark of Babul. The fired salt is then cooled, and collected.

Artificial preparation method – As explained in Rasa Tarangini,
Shuddha Swarjika Kshara – 4 Pala – 192 grams
Water – 8 Pala – 384 ml
Sandhava Lavana – quantity sufficient.
Sarji Kshara is mixed with water. Saindhava Lavana (Rock salt) is added and the contents are mixed till it melts. It is heated in intense fire till the water content evaporates and the Kala Namak crystals solidifies.

Medicinal qualities of Kala Namak:
Kala Namak - Black Salt
Laghu – light to digest.
Sookshma – minute,
Ushna Veerha – Hot potency
Vishada – brings about clarity to channels.
Gulma – useful in abdominal tumors, bloating.
Shula – useful in abdominal colic
Vibandha – relieves constipation.
Hrudya – good for heart.
Udgara shodhi – clears throat and belching.

Ayurvedic medicines with Kala Namak ingredient:
Chandraprabha Vati –
Used in treating asthma, eczema, liver and spleen disorders, urinary disorders etc 
Chitrakadi Vati – used in treating Ama – a product of impaired digestion and metabolism.
Agnitundi Vati – used in treating fever and indigestion.
Pradarantak Lauh – used in treating menorrhagia, leucorrhoea, etc.

Vacha, along with other herbs such as Chitraka, Danti, Dravanti, Asa foetida, Coral, Bida salt and Sochal salt are used in preparing Madhyama – Teekshna Kshara.

Cumin powder along with Kala namak (Sochal salt) is used as a remedy to counter side effects of excess intake of sour mango. (Bhava Prakasha). Read more about sour mango benefits


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