Black salt or ‘Kaala Namak’, as is known in Hindi, besides being a flavouring agent, offers numerous health benefits, thanks to its well documented medicinal properties. Black salt is an integral part of Ayurveda, Herbal medicine and other traditional healing therapies.
Black Salt, also known as ‘Kala namak’, in Hindi, is mined from the regions surrounding the Himalayas. It is a natural rock salt that is rich dark in color and when ground into a fine powder it takes a light pink tone. This salt has an earthy, twisted taste and pungent smell.
Black salt is rich with vitamins, minerals, potassium, iron, and other minerals. The chemical composition of black salt comprises sodium chloride, sodium sulfide, sodium bisulfate, hydrogen sulfide, sodium sulfate, iron sulfide, and sodium bisulfite. The salty taste of Kala namak is attributed to sodium chloride, while the dark color of Kala namak is attributed to iron sulfide. The savory taste and the eggy aroma is attributed to all of the sulfurous compounds present.
There are three different types of black salt namely, Black ritual salt or Witches salt, Black lava salt or Hawaiian black salt, and Himalayan black salt or Indian black salt.
The chief component of black salt is sodium chloride. It also contains several other minerals such as sodium, calcium, magnesium, potassium, silicon, iron, chlorine, lithium, sulphur, and strontium.
100 gm of black salt contains 37.8 gm of sodium, 60.3 gm of chloride, 87 mg of potassium, 450 mg of sulphur, and 43.1 mg of iron.
Potential Health Benefits of Black Salt…
1/6. Reduces depression
The ability of Kala namak in preserving the two hormones melatonin and serotonin helps in decreasing depression level.
2/6. Promotes sound sleep
Kala namak regulates melatonin level balance thus, promoting sound sleep. Melatonin imbalance leads to insomnia. Regular intake of Black salt reduces the chances of sleeplessness.
3/6. Reduces bloating and flatulence
1. The anti-flatulent and alkaline properties possessed by black salt help decrease the bloating and gas complaints.
2. The high levels of sodium chloride, iron, ferric oxide, manganese, and sulphate content of black salt aids in lowering the formation of gases thus, decreasing bloating and flatulence.
4/6. Promotes healthy hair
1. The essential minerals present in black salt helps in boosting natural hair growth by strengthening the weak hair and treating split ends.
2. Black salt also aids in reducing hair fall, decreasing dandruff, and promoting healthy and shiny hair.
5/6. Relieves muscle spasms and cramps
1. The potassium content of black salt helps relieve muscle spasms and cramps by relaxing them. Potassium is required by the muscles to function properly.
Potassium further aids the body absorb the vital minerals thus, making it beneficial in preventing cramps and painful muscle spasms.
6/6. Other possible health Benefits
Black salt produces numerous health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as controls cholesterol level, controls diabetes, treats acidity and acid refluxes, improves digestion, reduces water retention, regulates blood pressure, improves iron content and treats sinusitis.
Kaala Namak also helps decrease complications of diabetes, ease joint pains, strengthen bones, aid weight loss, effective for kidney patients, heal cracked heels, act as a cleanser, stimulate blood circulation, cure respiratory complaints, control cholesterol levels, prevent osteoporosis and function as a laxative.
Black Salt is an integral part of Ayurveda, Herbal medicine and other traditional healing therapies.
How to use Black Salt in Cooking?
Black Salt is generally used as a condiment and is utilised in many ways, some of them are as follows…
- In beverages
- In fried foods.
- Added to raita and chutney.
- In pickles, salads, fruit salads, and soups.
- In snacks such as fried peanuts or fried legumes.
- As a flavoring agent in several types of Indian meals.
- Used in an omelet, scrambled eggs, fried rice, tofu scramble, tortilla, frittata, or quiche.
How to prepare black salt infused Jal Jeera?
Take a fistful of fresh mint leaves and grind it into a paste.
Add 3 tsp of thick tamarind pulp into the mint paste.
Add ¼ tsp of jeera or cumin seeds, ½ tsp of fennel powder, ½ tsp of black pepper powder, and 1 tsp dry mango or amchur powder. Grind it into a smooth paste and the jal jeera mix is ready.
Take 1 tsp of jal jeera mix in a glass, stir in cold water
Add little black salt for taste. Serve cool, garnished with fresh mint leaves.