Salt is a soul ingredient of various dishes that infuses a specific flavor to food. In a simple language, salt is an essential part of cooking, we can’t even imagine a dish without it. Though finely powdered salt (table salt) is widely being used as a coarse but the pure form of salt exists named as “rock salt” also known as “Sendha Namak”.
Rock salt is also known by its various local names such as Sendha Namak or Kala Namak in Hindi, Shende lon in Marathi, Sindhalun in Gujarati, and so on. It is crystalline and mostly in white color though the color may vary from light blue, purple, red, orange, or gray. Almost 84 essential elements are traced out of 92, which are required for body growth such as sodium, potassium, iron, calcium, zinc, etc.
Rock salt is highly valued in the Ayurveda system of medicine as it offers numerous health benefits right from healthy skin and hair to weight loss. It is known to be very effective when you replace your daily salt with this purest form of salt.
What is rock salt? And how is it prepared?
Rock salt is a pure form of salt that is generally found in the Himalayan region in higher concentration. Like common salt, it is not refined and present in its pure crystalline form. During the refining process of salt, many harmful chemicals are added to it to prevent salt from getting soggy. Rock salt is free from such chemicals therefore it can be consumed without having a side effect.
Rock salt formed when seawater or lake water evaporates and leave behind pale, transparent crystals of sodium chloride.
Health Benefits of Rock Salt
Rock salt is loaded with sodium chloride and other different micronutrients such as calcium, magnesium, iron, sulfur, zinc, oxygen, hydrogen, and cobalt. These essentials perform various body functions and keep you healthy and strong. Here are we enlisted various rock salt benefits –
Rock salt is an excellent home remedy for digestive problems such as constipation, heartburn, bloating, stomach pain, etc. Rock salt is full of minerals and vitamins, which improves digestion, promotes bowel movements, and helps to clean toxic products from the intestine. It also helps to improve the loss of appetite. The study result suggests that rock salt can stimulate insulin in the body that prevents sugar cravings. Rock Salt can also be of help in losing weight.
2: Boosts metabolism
Rock salt stimulates your body’s metabolism to improve body function. Rock salt facilitates mineral and water absorption. It also helps to maintain an electrolyte balance without fluctuating the blood pressure. Rock salt also provides a cooling effect on your internal body organs.
Rock salt is rich in vitamin K, which helps to strengthen your bones and also boost your immunity. It also enhances the body’s bone metabolism, which prevents several diseases and illnesses.
4: Relief from muscle cramps
Rock salt contains a pure form of sodium chloride and forms of nutrients such as potassium. Electrolyte potassium and salt imbalance can be a risk factor for muscle cramps. So, rock salt can balance the potassium deficiency and prevent muscle cramps.
5: Treat sore throat
Saltwater gargling is a common home remedy for sore throat. Rock salt has decongestant properties that help to relieve your blocked nose, cough, and clears the nasal and throat cavity. It is also a well-known remedy for tonsillitis asthma, and it helps to boost your lung capacity.
6: Stabilize blood pressure
Rock salt is high in potassium that helps to control blood pressure. Research suggests that rock salt maintain a balance of blood pressure.
7: Relief from stress
Consuming a small amount of rock salt in soup or taking a bath with rock salt in warm water can relieve your stress and activates your brain. It gives you a calm effect and relaxes your body and mind.
8: Promotes healthy skin
Ayurveda medicine literature suggests that rock salt cleanse, strengthen, and rejuvenate your skin. Rock salt prevents oiliness, reduces acne, remove clogged dirt, and gives radiant skin. It also reduces the symptoms of eczema and dermatitis and makes your skin soft and smooth.
Rock salt helps to get rid of all dirt from hair and also prevents dandruff and hair falls.
Side effects of rock salt
Though rock salt has numerous benefits, it also has some potential side effects. Using rock salt totally may lead to iodine deficiency syndrome. Also, excessive consumption of this salt may lead to high blood pressure, fatigue, and muscle weakness.
ROCK SALT vs SEA SALT
Rock salt and sea salt make seem fairly similar in some ways, but the process in which both of them are harvested is different and does make certain marked differences.
- Sea salt has a briny texture as it contains minerals from the sea. Sea salt is what we get when the ocean or seawater is left in the sun to evaporate. The water evaporates and the minerals are left behind in the solid salt. This is why sea salt is often lauded as a healthy salt.
- Sea salt is much finer and more versatile than rock salt.
- Sea salt can be used for kitchen techniques, but using it in a large amount may make the dish cost-prohibitive. However, in smaller amounts, sea salt can be used to enhance the taste of a dish. The minerals present add depth in flavour and elevates the dish.
- Sea salt crystals are larger than table salt that often adds a nice crunch to almost any dish.
- Taking a sea salt bath improves skin health and helps with inflammation. It also helps in digestion, keeping blood pressure in check and helps in maintaining adequate hydration.
- On the other hand, rock salt is found in its solid-state and is simply mined. This type of salt is known as halite.
- Rock salt has a much coarser texture as compared to sea salt.
- Rock salt is often used in various kitchen techniques as well, like creating a crust on a dish or in small amounts for making ice cream.
- Rock salt is much more affordable and easily-accessible. It is the purest form of salt, unprocessed and raw, devoid of pollutants and chemical compounds.
Some of rock salt benefits include promoting digestion, boosts metabolism, stabilizes blood pressure and boosts immunity.