What Is Black Salt Good For? 6 Potential Health Benefits

Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
What Is Black Salt Good For
Learn about the potential health benefits of black salt and whether it is healthier than regular salt

Black salt is a type of rock salt that comes from the Himalayas. Despite its name, black salt is pinkish-brown to deep purple in color. It has a distinct aroma and taste due to its rich sulfur content. 

In addition to being used in Asian cuisines, black salt is also used in Ayurvedic medicine due to its purported therapeutic properties.

Proponents of black salt claim that it has health benefits that range from treating digestive problems to promoting heart health. However, many of these claims lack scientific research.

Learn about the potential health benefits of black salt and whether it is healthier than regular salt.

6 potential health benefits of black salt

1. Rich in minerals

Black salt is rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, and calcium. These minerals, also called macroelements, play various important roles in the body such as heart and muscle function, blood health, and fluid balance in the body. They contribute to the antioxidant properties of black salt.

2. May improve digestion

Black salt has been used in Ayurvedic medicine for the treatment of digestive issues such as heartburn, bloating, poor appetite, and constipation. It may help improve digestion through various mechanisms, particularly by stimulating the liver to produce more bile. It also reduces stomach acid secretion, which can contribute to heartburn or acid reflux.

3. May help with diabetes

Studies have suggested that black salt is good for people with diabetes because it helps regulate blood pressure and sugar levels, thereby minimizing the risk of diabetes complications. This may be attributed to its rich antioxidant and mineral profile.

4. Promotes heart health

According to some studies, black salt may help regulate blood cholesterol levels. Since it is relatively low in sodium and rich in potassium, black salt may also help regulate blood pressure regulation. Nonetheless, excessive consumption of black salt can raise blood pressure, so people with hypertension should consume it with caution.

5. Relieves muscle pain

Magnesium and calcium in black salt may help improve muscle activity and provide relief from muscle spasms. Some people use black salt in warm baths to ease sore muscles.

6. May improve skin and hair

Some studies have suggested that antioxidants and minerals in black salt may improve skin and hair health. However, this claim is not supported by sufficient research.

What are the different types of black salt?

There are three main types of black salt:

  • Himalayan black salt: Also called Indian black salt, Himalayan black salt is pinkish-brown and has a strong, pungent flavor. It is used to make various savory dishes.
  • Black lava salt: Also called Hawaiian black salt, this salt is black and has a smoky flavor due to its charcoal content. It is often used as a finishing salt for savory dishes.
  • Black ritual salt: Although referred to as salt, this salt is not meant for consumption. Also called witches’ salt, this salt is a mixture of ash, charcoal, and dyed sea salt. It is meant for certain rituals.

Is black salt healthier than regular salt?

Black salt is considered better than regular or table salt due to its relatively low sodium content. 

Black salt is also rich in minerals such as magnesium, iron, and copper. The high mineral content of black salt, however, may not be that relevant, since these minerals are not well absorbed by the body. Nonetheless, due to the manufacturing process, black salt may have fewer additives than table salt.

Unlike table salt, however, black salt is not iodized. Thus, you cannot completely replace table salt with black salt in everyday cooking. 

Furthermore, although somewhat lower in sodium than regular salt, black salt does contain some sodium, and excess sodium consumption can be harmful. 

The American Heart Association recommends no more than 2,300 mg of sodium a day and an ideal limit of no more than 1,500 mg per day for most adults. Thus, you must not consume more than 5-6 grams or a teaspoon of salt (black or regular) per day. The recommended amount may be even lower for people with high blood pressure or heart disease.


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Medically Reviewed on 8/11/2022
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