Sendha Namak: Salt, also known as “Namak” in Hindi, “Mithum” in Gujarati, and “Uppu” in all South Indian languages, is a staple ingredient that adds flavour to a variety of Indian dishes, including dals, soups, and sambar. Simply put, salt is essential to Indian cuisine and something we can’t imagine eating or living without.
Although finely powdered table salt is widely used in everyday cooking, a more pure, crystalline form exists as well – “Sendha Namak” or rock salt, which is vastly underappreciated but provides numerous health benefits.
These off-white to pinkish hardened pebbles, which are naturally rich in minerals such as calcium, zinc, iron, copper, and potassium, have laxative properties to aid digestion as well as decongestive properties to relieve cough, cold, and respiratory problems.
How Is Sendha Namak Produced? And how did it come to be?
Sendha namak, also known as rock salt, is found in abundance in the Himalayan foothills, particularly in the Salt Range mountains of the Indo-Gangetic plains. This is located in the Sindh region of Punjab, a state in Northern India.
It is also known as Himalayan salt, halite, Himalayan rock salt, polyhalite, and Himalayan crystal salt in English. This popular seasoning, which primarily contains sodium chloride, is known as “Sendha Namak” in Hindi, “Saindhava Lavana” in Sanskrit and Telugu, “Shende Lon” in Marathi, and “Indhu Uppu” in Tamil.
In the semi-arid valley areas of the Himalayas, vast reserves of raw rock salt deposits have been discovered in water bodies such as inland seas, enclosed bays, and branching estuaries. They are obtained through evaporation processes and can be clear, transparent, pale white, or light pink in colour depending on the mineral impurities present.
Sendha namak is without a doubt the purest form of rock salt in India. It is not chemically processed like table salt, does not contain iodine, and is thus sold commercially in small quantities at a high price. Furthermore, table salt is crushed to a fine powder, whereas sendha namak has a granular texture in the form of huge, rough crystals with a less saline flavour.
Sendha namak is a blessing for wellbeing, with an impressive nutrition profile and fantastic benefits for both physical and mental health. Continue reading to learn more.
Sendha Namak Nutritional Information:
Sendha namak is a highly nutrient-dense ingredient that contains a plethora of beneficial components, including 84 of the 92 naturally occurring minerals.
It is primarily composed of sodium chloride, but it also contains a variety of essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, potassium, iron, zinc, manganese, copper, sulphur, hydrogen, oxygen, and cobalt.
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These key constituents help the body perform a variety of functions such as improving metabolism, maintaining electrolyte balance, ensuring normal blood circulation, strengthening bones and muscles, and facilitating smooth nerve signalling between organs and tissues. This ensures good health and protects against a variety of common illnesses and deficiency diseases.
Although sendha namak is primarily used in curing meats and preserving ice creams, it also has fantastic benefits when consumed internally with food and applied externally to skin and hair. Rock salt also has naturally cooling, calming, and cleansing properties, which help to promote deep sleep, improve brain function, improve complexion, and provide long, silky tresses.
Sendha namak, unlike synthetically manufactured iodised table salt, does not cause puffiness when consumed in small amounts, making it a healthy substitute in cooking as well.
Sendha Namak’s Wellness Benefits:
Sendha namak is prized for its laxative properties, which aid in regular bowel movements following heavy meals, oily, and sugary foods. It promotes particle and nutrient assimilation from ingested food and effectively flushes out wastes and unwanted remnants from the stomach and intestines for optimal gut health.
Sore Throat Treatment
Gargling with a solution of warm water and rock salt is a tried-and-true home remedy for relieving a sore throat quickly. Sendha namak, known for its decongestant properties, treats common colds, coughs, and clears blockages in the sinus, nasal, and throat passages. It also treats tonsillitis, fever, and respiratory illnesses such as asthma and bronchitis, resolving breathing problems and improving lung power.
Incorporating moderate amounts of rock salt into the diet improves water and mineral absorption within the body. This ensures that the body receives adequate amounts of essential nutrients, increasing energy supply for all vital activities and, as a result, maintaining a healthy body weight, better fat breakdown mechanisms, and improved metabolism.
Clear Skin Supplies
Simply adding a pinch of rock salt to your body soaps and face washes aids in the removal of dirt, grime, and impurities from the pores on your skin. This, in turn, prevents oiliness, reduces acne breakouts, refreshes the face, rejuvenates and enriches the deeper layers of skin, revealing a radiant, flawless complexion.
Consuming a pinch of rock salt in soups or salads, or taking a bath in warm water infused with the crystals, instantly enhances nervous system functions, activates the brain, and relaxes the mind. This aids in stress reduction, lowering the risk of chronic diseases such as diabetes, heart disease, and cancer, and ensuring deep, uninterrupted sleep at night.
Sendha namak is a nourishing flavouring agent that can be used in cooking as well as a natural skin and hair care ingredient for topical application. It is an all-purpose remedy for a variety of ailments because it is high in minerals and has a cooling effect on the body.
Consult a doctor or a nutritionist before completely replacing iodized table salt in your diet with sendha namak or rock salt, as the latter does not contain iodine and is thus not recommended for those who are deficient in iodine. Ideally, combining table salt and sendha namak works as a natural remedy for minor health issues, as well as providing numerous benefits for physical fitness and mental wellness.
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