What Ayurveda Says About Salt


Salt  Awareness Week  serves to highlight the importance of reducing the salt intake .On this occasion let’s have a look at what Ayurveda  describes  about  Salt.

 Salt or Lavana is an indispensable part of our life . From our body to food , salt is present everywhere . 

 salt awareness week

Etymology  : According to Shabd kalpadruma    –      nirukti of Lavana is                    “ Lunati iti Lavanam “ i.e having cchedana property .

Attributes and Actions of Salt : The salt is pachak ( digestive ) ,    kledaka               ( liquifacient ) , deepan ( stimulant ) , chyavana ( inductive of defluxion ) , cchedan ( depletive ) , bhedan ( disruptive ) , tikshna ( sharp ) , sara ( fluid ) , vikasi                   ( penetrative ) , produces avakaash                       ( deobstruent ) , vatanashak  ( curative of vata )

It alleviates stambha (stiffness) , vibandh (obstructions and accumulations) , is sarva rasa pratyaneek ( overpowers the rest of the tastes )  and increases lalasrava ( salivation ) . It liquifies Kapha and mucous secretions . It is srotoshodaka              ( clarifies the passage , softens all the tissues of the body ) , gives relish to food         ( ruchikar ) , and is used in food . It is neither very heavy ( guru ) , very unctuous ( snigdha ) nor hot ( ushna ) .

Complications of Excessive Use of Salt :

                          Ayurveda prohibits excessive use of salt .

         Salt though , possesses above said qualities , but its excessive use provokes pitta , increases blood , heat , thirst , causes fainting , dislodging of teeth , decreases fertility , impairs the function of sense organs , induces premature wrinkles , grey hair and baldness .

          It also causes blood  and skin disorders  , acidity , gout , alopecia etc .

How to know Salty taste : On keeping in mouth , it dissolves , induces moistness , deliquescence , softness  and mild burning sensation .

Types of Salt : There are mainly five types :

1)      Saindhava Lavana ( Rock Salt ) : It is considered best among all the salts 

2)      Samudra Lavana ( Common Salt )

3)      Bida Lavana ( a type of Black Salt )

4)      Sauvarchala Lavana ( Potassium nitrate )

5)      Romaka Lavana ( Earthern salt )

Sodium and Chloride are the major components of salt along with other minerals. They regulate the fluid balance of body , helps maintain acid base level , proper nerve conduction , muscular activity , blood pressure and movement of water between fluid compartments .

salt awareness week 1

Uses : It is used as an anointment , in oleation and sudation procedures , basti , shirovirechana , vamana , shastrakarma ( surgical procedures ) , abhyanga , utsadana ( unction ) , anjana (collyrium ) , varti ( suppository )  and food .

        Salt is an ingredient in many Ayurvedic medicines e.g  Arka lavana , Chitrakadi vati , Lavana taila , Agnitundi vati , Lavanabhaskar churna , Saindhavadi varti , Lavanadi anjana etc .

Though salt has many benefits but salt in moderation is key to health .

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