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  • Ayurvedic Perspective on Salt

    January 06, 2020 2 min read

    Ayurvedic Perspective on Salt
    Do you like it salty?

    Lavana rasa or the salty taste is made from the water and fire elements.

    Lavana rasa is balancing for Vata dosha but aggravating for Pitta and Kapha.
    Salt is renowned for stimulating the digestion. If it is used wisely it is a medicine but when taken in excess it becomes a poison.

    The Ayurvedic properties are:
    Rasa (taste): salty
    Virya (potency): heating apart from saindhava which is cooling
    Vipaka (post digestive effect): sweet
    Guna (qualities): heavy and wet
    Dosha: increases Pitta and Kapha, Balancing for Vata

    (The Ayurvedic properties vary according to the different type of salt)

    Salt aids digestion, increasing the absorption of nutrients from our food. The taste works directly on the taste receptors and clarifies the sense of taste.
    Higher dose can work as a laxative or emetic.

    In the yogic practice of sankharpraksalana utilises the osmotic properties of salt to clear toxins out of the mucous membrane prior to purgation (Swami Satyananda).

    Different types of salt

    Table salt
    the kind that is often used for commercial cooking, is highly processed using various chemicals and is the least nutritious form of salt. It also contains a very high sodium concentration, which contributes to high blood pressure, kidney disease, oedema, inflammation, amongst other things. For these reasons, it is not recommended to consume table salt.

    Sea salt
    is processed by evaporation or desalination. Evaporation is a natural process whereby water is simply evaporated from sea water to leave the salt. Sea salt is higher in minerals than table salt. For this reason it is considered to be healthier for us. Always choose a sea salt that is naturally harvested.

    Rock salt
    such as pink Himalayan rock salt, is mined from rocks. Pink Himalayan rock salt is even higher in minerals, which is what gives it it’s pretty pink colouring.
    Rock salt is called saindhava lavana and this is considered the best among all salts.

    Saindhava is of two varieties
    1. Shweta saindhava - white in colour
    2. Rakta saindhava - red in colour

    Indian black salt (or kala namak, or Himalayan black salt)
    It is used in India, Pakistan and other Asian countries. Black salt starts out in the mountains of Pakistan, it is considered a volcanic salt. It is high in trace minerals, especially iron and magnesium. In Ayurveda it is used to treat flatulence. It can also be used as a mild laxative and digestive aid. Be aware of the sulphur smell

    Ayurvedic Actions of salt:

    Deepana: appetite stimulant
    Amapachana: digests toxins
    Bhedaniya: purgative
    Slesmala: increases kapha and mucous
    Anulomana: causes Vata to move downwards.

    A good quality salt is so important in our diet, unfortunately the overconsumption of cheap chemicaly processed salts is contributing to many lifestyle diseases.

    5 Tips:
    1. Choose a good quality rock salt
    2. Limit intake of table salt and processed food
    3. Avoid excess salt
    4. Add salt to your foot bath
    5. Add salt to karpooradi thailam (camphor oil) and apply on chest - acts as a bronchodilator

    With love from Lakshmi Ayurveda
    ph: 0406810547