Pink salt is everywhere. We see it in salt grinders, lamps, slabs designed for cooking meat, and there are even “salt rooms” at spas. But what is all the fuss over Himalayan salt, in particular, Himalayan salt lamps?
Many claims have been made that Himalayan salt lamps are a popular type of negative ion generator. These lamps are supposed to range from purifying the air, to preventing cancer. These salt lamps have claimed to boost blood flow, improve sleep, increase levels of serotonin in the brain, and calm allergy symptoms. They are also said to neutralize electromagnetic radiation from household electronics, and even prevent the buildup of static electricity. This chunk of salt heated up by a 15 watt light bulb seems to have some serious benefits, but is it too good to be true?
Himalayan salt lamps work by attracting water molecules from the air. Because salt is hygroscopic, the lamp can trap dirt, pollen and even smoke particles that are carried in water vapor. Once these contaminants have been locked in the salt, clean water is then released, creating that purifying effect on the air. The benefits of salt lamps also come from the lamp releasing negative ions. Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain, which results in increased alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.
Negative ions may also protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation from different particles that make you cough, sneeze, or have throat irritation.
However, salt lamps may not generate as many negative ions as you thought! They do generate a small amount, especially when used consistently over time. The best bet to get exposure to negative ions, is to spend time in nature, especially around water. The negative ions released from the salt lamp may neutralize the positive ions produced by computers, TVs, and microwaves.
Maybe salt lamps are not all they are cracked up to be, but there are still reasons to keep them in your home! Salt lamps make a great night-light and a low-light lamp. Cell phones, TVs, tablets, and computers emit a lot of blue light, which is connected with an out of sync circadian rhythm. The soft orange glow, similar to that of a campfire, makes it a great source of light for the evening without interrupting your sleep patterns! The colors of these lamps are beneficial for those with seasonal affective disorder. The warm hues help boost mood and energy levels, while creating a calming effect.