Rock salt is another name for Halite or sodium chloride (NaCl). In India, it is usually found in the Himalayan region where it is known as the Himalayan crystal salt or Himalayan salt. It is also known as Sendha Namak in Hindi and Saindhava Lavana in Sanskrit. Rock salt is usually obtained from salt mines by the process of dry or solution mining. Pure rock salt is usually colourless or white although its colours may vary from light blue, dark blue, purple to pink, orange, red, yellow or grey depending on the type and amount of impurities present it. The upside of Himalayan salt is that It occurs naturally and therefore is chemical free unlike the other table and common salts. In fact,  according to Ayurveda, rock salt is the best among all the salts available to us.

  1. Rock salt vs common salt
  2. Rock salt composition
  3. Rock salt health benefits
  4. Rock salt use
  5. Rock salt side effects
  6. Takeaway

Rock salt and the common table has some notable differences between them. 

  • Sendha Namak is the purest form of rock salt there is. Hence, it is more expensive than the commercial salt. 
  • The commercial salt is iodized and finely grained whereas the rock salt is more granular with large crystals.
  • Rock salt has a less salty taste and it is not chemically processed.
  • Rock salt is a healthy alternative for common salt as it consists of minerals and does not pose health issues such as high blood pressure and puffiness in the eyes and body.
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Sendha Namak is a form of mineral and is made up of isometric crystals of sodium chloride

Sendha Namak is considerably low in iodine but it may consist of other elements such as magnesium, potassium, manganese, iron, zinc and such.

It is suggested to mix iodized salt in the Sendha Namak before consumption to attain maximum health benefits. Both Sendha Namak and the iodized salt can be mixed in equal proportions and can be used in the preparation of food.

As per the USDA Nutrient Database, 100 grams of Himalayan Pink Salt (Sendha Namak) contains the following values:

Minerals Value per 100 gram
Calcium 1333 mg
Sodium 38000 mg

Being a rich source of minerals and nutrients, rock salt is an excellent alternative for table salt. But that is not all that this condiment provides for your health. Let us discuss some evidence based health benefits of rock salt.

  • Relieves digestive problems: Rock salt is an excellent remedy for stomach pain. The minerals present in this salt help in providing relief from various gastrointestinal conditions like gas, bloating and heartburn.
  • Promotes weight loss: It has been scientifically proven that sendha namak helps reduce sugar craving and promote fat metabolism in body, which is helpful in reducing weight and preventing obesity.
  • Promotes skin health: Sendha namak has several benefits for your skin. Not only does it exfoliates and cleanses your skin but also it aids in reducing common skin problems like acne and rashes, providing you with a rejuvenated and refreshed skin.
  • Natural remedy for nail fungus: Research studies suggest that rock salt is effective in suppressing the growth of toenail fungus and provides a healthy glow to your nails.
  • Prevents respiratory infections: Rock salt used in the form of salt lamps, helps soak in excess moisture, dust and pollutants from air, which is helpful in preventing common respiratory infections.
  • Relieves sore throat: Saltwater gargles are one of the oldest and time tested remedies for sore throat. It reduces inflammation and suppresses microbial growth thus providing relief from this distressing condition.

Rock salt for digestion

Sendha Namak is advantageous to the digestive system and it is a natural way to relieve stomach pain. Addition of a few extra crystals of rock salt and fresh mint leaves to a glass of buttermilk can help you reap even more benefits from this salt. Rock salt helps in maintaining the flow of salivary and digestive juices thus helping in the easier digestion of food. Furthermore, it is known to reduce the levels of acidity in the body.

Sendha Namak plays the role of a medicament in digestion and is usually prescribed for relieving digestive disorders. It is considered as a natural substitute for laxatives. It is also used to increase appetite and reduce gas and bloating and soothes heartburn. Sendha Namak is also known to cure stomach infections and aids in removing stomach worms.

It has been suggested that the many digestive benefits of sendha namak can be attributed to the minerals present in it.

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Rock salts benefits for skin

Sendha Namak is proved to have numerous skin benefits. It helps detox and cleanses the skin in a very thorough manner without stripping it off its natural oils. Formation and buildup of dead skin cells cause the skin to look tedious and rough. Sendha Namak exfoliates these skin cells thus giving a glowing and vibrant look to your skin. The various minerals present in sendha namak are very beneficial in avoiding common skin problems like acne, rashes, and eczema. Hence, it makes the tissues of the skin stronger and helps rejuvenate the skin, giving it a firm and younger look. Sendha namak does not have a drying effect on the skin and therefore, can be used as a foot soak, scrub or a hand scrub.

Rock salt benefits for hair

It may seem unlikely but Sendha Namak is beneficial to your hair in many ways. It has cleansing and exfoliating properties which are very important for the hair health. In fact, sendha namak is used as an exfoliating element in various shampoos and hair care treatments.

Sendha Namak helps remove dead skin and impurities from the hair and scalp. It also shields the hair and reduces the loss of natural oils from hair. Mixing Sendha Namak in shampoos will condition your hair and make it strong and immune to breakage. Sendha Namak also helps in adding volume to the hair. Washing your hair with this mixture and rinsing it with cold water will help remove the dirt from the scalp and nourish it.

Sendha namak for nail fungus

Fungal infections in the nails are generally characterised by yellowing and disfiguring of nails. It is not only a nuisance but could affect all of your nails if not treated on time. Sendha Namak can efficiently kill nail fungus thus giving respite against this noxious condition and giving a healthy looking glow to the nails.

Rock salt for weight loss

Obesity is one of the most common problems faced by the world today. Consumption of Sendha Namak can help reduce the body weight by lowering fat content in the body. Furthermore, minerals present in Sendha Namak reduce the craving for sugar. Less sugar caving ultimately leads to less intake of food.

So, regular consumption of Sendha Namak can thus help withstand weight gain and obesity.

(Read more: Diet chart for weight loss)

Rock salt for relieving stress

Stress is a natural reaction of the body against the presence of various stimuli like a danger or a threat. Although it is essential for the normal body functioning, an excess of stress is not only troublesome but also debilitating in certain conditions. For people prone to stress, it can be easily triggered by the smallest of reasons and it can lead to serious problems like anxiety, depression, loss of appetite and such. Research states that Sendha Namak can help relax the mind and body. If it is consumed on a daily basis, it can control anxiety and stress.

Sendha Namak can either be taken by mixing it with any beverage or even plain water or in the form of a bath salt. Bathing in a hot tub filled with Sendha Namak is proved to relieve stress and gives a feeling of freshness. Additionally, it combats water retention, soothes sore muscles, regulates sleep and detoxifies the body. It even lowers blood pressure. 

The most amazing benefits of Sendha Namak is that it helps overcome muscle cramps. Individuals experiencing muscle cramps can mix a spoon of the rock salt in water and sip it to get instant relief.

Rock salt lamps can release a special aroma which helps with the stress and relaxes the mind and body.

Rock salt for purifies air

With the rise of technology and industrialisation, pollution has become a very apparent problem in the world. The dangerous toxins released from the vehicles alone can lead to the air being extremely polluted. Sendha Namak has attributes which can pull the toxic elements out of the environment and help neutralize them. Also, it tends to reduce the allergens, pathogens and airborne irritants by absorbing the water vapour from the air.

Burning a Himalayan salt lamp in the room is an excellent way to purify your surroundings.

Rock salt for respiratory problems

Sendha Namak is very useful for people who are suffering from sinus, sore throat and other respiratory issues. Practising gargling with Sendha Namak can help with relieving painful tonsils, dry cough, swollen throat, and throat pain.

(Read more: Tonsilitis treatment)

Sendha Namak, when dissolved in water and used as a facial steam, can do immense wonders for people going through ear or nose discomforts, asthma, bronchitis. It clears the nasal sinuses helping you breathe with ease.

Providing all the essentials, it greatly plays a role in improving the immune system thus helping fight against common respiratory infections.

Rock salt improves metabolism

It is believed that cell functioning and communication is only a possibility when the salt levels in the blood are balanced. Sendha Namak as a natural salt is thus used to stimulate and trigger the metabolism within the body. And an enhanced metabolism is generally associated with a healthier body. Sendha namak can also increase the absorption of water in the body which is essential for the proper functioning of all the vital organs of the body. Furthermore, sendha namak has some valuable minerals and nutrients are very beneficial for various body functions. 

Nevertheless, it is important to remember that Sendha Namak should be consumed in moderate proportions to prevent any adverse reactions.

Being a natural preservative, sendha namak is widely used is seasoning and preserving foods. Sendha Namak is also used in making ice-cream as it helps lower the freezing point when packed with ice. This makes the ice-cream colder. 

Himalayan salt is especially used in making salt lamps which are believed to help in purifying air and balancing the chi (energy) of the surrounding area.

With the rise in awareness, there has been a gradual increase in the demand of Himalayan salt. It is quickly becoming the salt of choice for health-conscious people all over the world.

In fact, it is being speculated that rock salt may completely replace the table salt in our day to day use. 

1. Excess consumption of any type of salts is detrimental to the health. In most common cases it can lead to problems like dehydration, muscle cramps, and electrolyte imbalance. But, it can also lead to some serious health conditions including high blood pressure, osteoarthritis, gastric ulcers, and some heart and kidney problems.

2. Chemically, salt is called sodium chloride. So, consuming too much salt also means consuming too much chloride (chlorine). Excess of chlorides in the body is known as hyperchloremia. The main risk associated with hyperchloremia is high body acidity as well as dehydration and impaired kidney functions. If our bodies are too acidic, the immune functions and other cellular processes do not operate effectively. Additionally, it can lead to insulin resistance and an increased risk of diabetes.

3. Iodine deficiency is a common problem for those who switch to non-iodized salt or those who do not consume enough dietary iodine. Since iodine is very important for thyroid function, a deficiency of iodine may lead to problems like hypo or hyperthyroidism, and goiter.

Himalayan Pink Salt has iodine content of fewer than 100 micrograms per a gram of salt. This makes it an unreliable source of iodine.

4. If you are on any kind of medication, it is best to talk to your doctor before adding rock salt to your diet.

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Sendha Namak is used as a natural medicament and a home remedy for many disorders and ailments. However, it should always be consumed in the right proportions to avoid any kind of adverse side effects. If the precautions are taken, anyone can enjoy the many benefits Sendha Namak has to offer.

Medicines / Products that contain Sendha Namak


  1. United States Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service. Full Report (All Nutrients): 45186601, HIMALAYAN PINK ROCK SALT. National Nutrient Database for Standard Reference Legacy Release [Internet]
  2. Dhrubo et al. HALITE; THE ROCK SALT: ENORMOUS HEALTH BENEFITS. World Journal of Pharmaceutical Research
  3. Kalra S, Kalra B, Sawhney K. Usage of non-iodized salt in North West India. Thyroid Res Pract [serial online] 2013 [cited 2019 Jun 1];10:12-4.
  4. Office of Disease Prevention and Health Promotion. Table of Contents. [Internet]
  5. Angela M. Leung, Lewis E. Braverman, Elizabeth N. Pearce. History of U.S. Iodine Fortification and Supplementation. Nutrients. 2012 Nov; 4(11): 1740–1746. PMID: 23201844
  6. Center for Disease Control and Prevention [internet], Atlanta (GA): US Department of Health and Human Services; New Research: Excess Sodium Intake Remains Common in the United States
  7. Ma Y, He FJ, MacGregor GA. High salt intake: independent risk factor for obesity? Hypertension. 2015 Oct;66(4):843-9. PMID: 26238447
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