Did you know Pink Himalayan Salt (PHS) has for centuries been consumed not just by humans but also by animals?
Pink Himalayan salt is a pink-colored salt extracted from the Khewra Salt Mine, which is located near the Himalayas in Pakistan. The Khewra Salt Mine is one of the oldest and largest salt mines in the world. The Pink Himalayan salt harvested from this mine is believed to have been formed millions of years ago from the evaporation of ancient bodies of water. In India it is also known as Sendha Namak, for it gets its name from the Sindh province which was a part of Pre-Independent India.
The benefits of PHS is well publicised off late. Some people estimate it may contain up to 84 different minerals and trace elements. In fact, it's these very minerals, especially iron, that give it its characteristic pink color.
Sendha namak has been an integral part of Indian Culinary heritage for eons. Today, the world has popularised it with the name Pink Himalayan salt. The fact however remains that it’s the salt our ancestors used to eat. The food Industry shifted the food trends to Table salt by highlighting and marketing the Iodine content and the free-flowing aspect. Actually, it is high in sodium, chemicals and its processed to make it lump-free, devoid of the minerals, no wonder its so much cheaper than Sendha Namak. However, the natural harvesting process allows pink Himalayan salt to possess many other minerals and trace elements that are not found in regular table salt.
The salt reserves at Khewra were discovered when Alexander the Great crossed the Jhelum and Mianwali region during his Indian campaign. The mine was discovered, however, not by Alexander, nor by his allies, but by his army's horses, when they were found licking the stones.(reference from wikipedia) Ailing horses of his army also recovered after licking the rock salt stones.
Salt lick has been a norm in animal husbandry. Just like the horses even cows lick salt, to meet their natural salt requirement. We have discovered that many salt wholesalers sell Sendha namak to Gau-Shalas (Cow sheds) across India for the Cows. Salt licking is good for their health and keeps flies at bay. One of them told us at OFG that Cows will not lick normal commercial salt only Sendha namak.
Animals listen to nature and let nature guide and heal them. This is a testament of purity of nature’s bounty. This was a revelation to us. If the animals have a discerning palate then we must too.
Let’s embrace our rich food heritage once again.