Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits 101 | Myths, Unproven Claims, Benefits, and Real User Experience

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If you are into natural healing technics or are aware of the methods, then you must be familiar with something called ‘Himalayan Salt Lamp.’ These crystal lamps, which are carved from the Pink Himalayan Salt, are widely used for decorative purposes, as well as a growing belief among the people about its numerous healing benefits, supposedly Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp Benefits are insanely popular online but are these real ? 

The most popular claim about the Himalayan Salt Lamp is that of its emission of negative ions. There have also been people asserting that the lamp has many healing and other natural properties, ranging from the purification of air, to even preventing cancer.

With the recent increase in trend of ionizing devices, owing to the so-called claims of boosting people health, through the release of particles that are negatively charged into the atmosphere (air stems to be precise) from the far-eastern part of the world.

That’s probably why they say; you can get anything with an inbuilt negative ion generating device – be it a toothbrush or an air conditioning system.

When you take a look at it, the subtle hues of orange and pink emitting out from the salt lamp entices you. But the question is? Does it have the healing properties everyone keeps talking about? Does it make your health any better? Let’s find out!

Source Unknown, Image Discovered via Pinterest

Healing Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamp – Truth or a Hyped Up Hoax?

When one hears about the devices generating negative ions, it very much sounds like the mumbo-jumbo from a sophisticated Sci-Fi film or a book. And sometimes, they just know that a lot of this jargon is just naively optimistic.

So, it is better to look through all the studies and research done by the scientist to see whether this rock lamp is worth paying the price for, or if it is merely another decorative device you can keep at home.

And hey, in addition to all of it, you might get to know about the credibility about all those articles you are bombarded with those alluring titles – ‘Come, fine out why you need to get a Himalayan Salt Lamp for your home Today.’ So, what do you think?

Health Benefits Attributed to the Himalayan Salt Lamp

The proponents of natural lifestyle and the admirers of the Himalayan Pink Salt lamps, or HPS lamps as they fondly call, keep advocating that the lamp has a myriad of healing powers. These include things like the improvement of the sleep patterns, bettering the blood circulation in the body, increasing the brain’s serotonin levels and help cut down on the symptoms of asthmas and allergies. Now that’s a handful of benefits, I must say, which can be done through the emission of negative ions from a lamp made out of a rock.

They say that these negative ions would be responsible for neutralizing the electromagnetic radiation of the daily household contraptions, and also keeps the static electricity away from building up.

What I find most amazing is that all this can be done by a simple lamp made out of the rocks from a mountain range – it’s like one of the magical things created by nature in one of those superhero films. And I am curious to figure out if it really is!

What is the Working Mechanism of Himalayan Salt Lamps?

Salts are said to be hygroscopic elements. That means they can absorb moisture from the air in the atmosphere. Since these lamps are nothing but salt, they take in the water present in the air, resulting in the trapping of the pollen, particles of smoke, and all other kinds of dirt within the lamp, along with the moisture, which is all carried through the water vapor.

So, theoretically speaking, once this filth traveled through the air is trapped within the lamp, it can do nothing but release the clean water into the air once again, which is said to be an effect that helps in the purification of the air.

Scientists are well aware of the fact that the salts taking in the water in the atmosphere is a fact, but since it’s saturated, there’s no way the salt could absorb more water (state of equilibrium, you all). If you correctly remember, this is also the case with silica packets you find in bags and containers. These both can be rejuvenated back to their original state by drying, which you can achieve through warming and burning in the salt lamps. Based on these facts, you can say that there’s some scientific merit to this specific claim.

Furthermore, when the bulb inside the lamp heats up, negative ions are released, in addition to the natural health benefits of salt.

Health Benefits of Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, According to the Opinions of Experts and Scientists

  1. Neutralization of Electromagnetic Radiation

One can’t deny the fact that they are surrounded by the Electromagnetic (EM) Emissions from a pool of electrical devices like laptops, phones, refrigerator, air conditioning system and so on.

Lately, a theory has been doing rounds around the world, which the electronic contraptions’ emission of positively charged ions is causing various diseases. And no one knows the depth of the claim as they haven’t really found out the long-term impact of exposure to these radiations.

What’s fairly known to the world as of now is that the exposure to EM radiation results in a few ailments like the increased levels of stress, a decrease in the immune response of the body and chronic fatigue.

Now, as per science, you can totally negate the positively charged ions with the negative ones, but will a simple lamp’s ion release be enough to fight the radiation from a large TV? Think about it? You would probably be needing a big lead bed sheet to save yourself from the radiation monster.

Even if you want to circumstantiate the claim, the amount of negative ions released by the salt lamp isn’t clear yet. So you cannot know for sure if you can completely negate the ions. ‘Helping in the reduction’ would be a much better term to use.

  1. Air Purification

Both preachers and followers of a healthy nature-inspired living boast the amazing power of salt lamps in removing contaminants like smoke, dust, pollen and other pollutants in the air.

And when you even try and get into an argument with these aficionados, they sure agree with the fact that it’s merely a bulb surrounded by a huge block of colored salt, only before attacking you with the hygroscopic nature of the salts and all the water molecule absorption theories.

I’m no one to go against that because it’s utterly true that the hygroscopic nature is evident in the salt lamps and they sure do trap all the impurities along with the water molecules they suck in. We have always known that the moisture in the air filled with water vapor from the sea had a better chance at clearing the airways.

It is said that the salt miners from Poland, who worked at the mines, which are now a zone for the production for the Himalayan salt, had fewer respiratory problems when compared to those of normal population.

Breathing in the air filled with salt is proven to have a lot of health benefits, but there is no ample evidence to show that rock salt does the same amount of salt particle spreading.

Europe is said to have salt spas where people often go to treat their pulmonary ailments. These spas have rooms with mosaic-like flooring, only with salt blocks for tiles. When you look at the amount of salt used in these spas, it comes as no surprise when one questions the impact of a small lamp in comparison.

  1. Improve the Quality of Breathing

As per some studies, there is an increase in the cilial, microscopic hair that lines the windpipe, activity in the presence of negative ions, and vice versa in case of positively charged ones.

To put it across in another way, your lungs are better and much cleaner if exposed to the negative ions and the HPS lamps’ functionality of cleaning the air might help you with that.

  1. Reducing the symptoms of Asthma and Allergy

This is one fact which is established in favor of these exotic rocks of salt, all thanks to the exclusive inhalers made with the Himalayan Pink Salt. These special inhalers have proven to be of great relief to those who suffer from bronchitis, asthma, and other ailments affecting the respiratory system.

Like I mentioned above, HPS lamps filter the dust, microscopic mildew, pollen and other dust particles from the air. So, a lot of people suffering from allergies happened to keep a lamp or two in their houses and had asserted that doing so helped them a lot. Same was the case for the asthma patients too.

On the other hand, there are people who prefer nasal sprays with saline to these rocks and lamps for a better and a likely immediate effect.

  1. Increasing the Levels of the Energy

This claim is sidelined as a bold one by many, while some call it absurd. Since positive ions are said to drain you of your energy, it is said that the negative ions released by the HPL lamps could help you replenish it. The fact that a lot of people attribute negative ions to nature, this claim had no problems in seeing the light of its day.

A question. Do you think that the number of negative ions released is enough, or that the fantastic feeling of having of being energized while in the cradle of nature has everything to do with these ions, and nothing with the beautiful landscapes and the lush green scenery?

  1. Aids in Sleeping Better

Another claim that has been doing rounds is that the positive ions lead to the lowering of blood and oxygen supply levels to the brain, thus hampering the sleep patterns. And this can be taken care of by the Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps.

However, this claim has been rebuked by the meta-studies.

No consistent influence of positive or negative air ionization on anxiety, mood, relaxation, sleep, and personal comfort measures was observed. Negative air ionization was associated with lower depression scores particularly at the highest exposure level. Future research is needed to evaluate the biological plausibility of this association. 

Source:  Air ions and mood outcomes: a review and meta-analysis.

  1. Improving the Mood

This is one thing that is on the pro-side of the HPS Lamps. Studies showed that the negative ions have the capability of helping people who have the Seasonal Depression (SAD) or for that matter, many other kinds of depression.

In one of the experiments, people who were exposed to the negative ions in high density had specific benefits. And interestingly, the subjects who were exposed to the low density also showed a shocking 17% improvement in the moods.

The claims which were made about HPS Lamps increasing Serotonin level production have not been proven, however, remained plausible. And the only way to know is a method that’s highly dangerous and painful to the subjects.

  1. Reducing the Stress and Increasing the Performance

According to a study where people were asked to complete a task on the computer for forty minutes, it is demonstrated that the negative air ion exposure showed a lower level of stress and anxiety in the subjects, thus considerably increasing the performance.

Task performance was slightly but significantly improved by the presence of negative air ions. These results suggest that negative air ions are effective for the reduction of and the prompt recovery from stress caused by computer operation. Source: Effect of negative air ions on computer operation.

 The Issue with Proving Himalayan Salt Lamps’ Health Benefits

The one problem that arises with the HPS lamps is the exact amount of negative ions emitted by them. One cannot know the precise figure unless the lamps are tested in the laboratory.

These lamps have many different variables – right from the wall thickness, trace elements present in the salts, the variation in the heat source such as a candle or a bulb, etc.

When compared to the devices that specifically emit negative ions, these lamps have much lesser potential, without any doubt. But one thing I cannot deny is how amazing they look like a piece of your home décor.

Also, there are so many benefits the Himalayan Salt Lamps are said to have, in addition to the negative ion release.

What is the Story/Truth Behind the Origins of Himalayan Pink Rock Salt?

As opposed to what the name popularly suggests, the Himalayas aren’t where these pink rocks are available. What might come as a surprise to you is that these salts are actually mined in Poland and Pakistan? The moniker Himalayan is nothing but a mere identifier, to make it sound interesting. Also, who would find the term ‘Punjabi Rock Salt Lamps, mined from the Foothills of Pakistan’ exotic and whimsical?

However, this is not something you must watch out for a while trying to get your hands on a lamp. There are many fake vendors who you might come across, trying to sell you something by quoting a higher price and reasoning with you by boasting the better quality of the salt. But remember one thing – it’s all just the same.

Now, let’s move on to the negative ions.

Negative Ions

What are negative ions, exactly?

You must be reading me ranting and going on and on about something called ‘negative ions.’ And you must be wondering what they are.

Well, they began gaining more and more importance ever since the Himalayan Pink Salt trend where many devotees of the natural lifestyle highly speak of the negative ion discharge and its unending benefits to the body and humankind. But what does the science have to say about this?

  1. It is a known fact that molecules form the matter. Now each of these molecules is powered by two different things: A nucleus with a positive charge and an electron, which is negative. Now, the latter goes around the former, like how our moon circles the earth.
  2. If the electrons in the molecule happen to have the perfect amount of negative electrons so that they could balance it out with the positive ones, the molecule is said to be stable.
  3. While the positive ions bond to fill in the extra gap, the electrons lose the spare ones.
  4. Positive ions are often attributed to as the free radicals. They happen to be clear and document the links between health problems and free radicals.
  5. So, there’s a theory widely doing the rounds, which states that the negative ions tend to bond with the positive ions so that the energies could be negated, even before anything gets into our bodies.

As per one of the demonstrations, negative ions have inhibited the growth of bacteria and decreased the growth time of cancer cells. This, however, was confined only to a test tube study.

  1. Naturally, photosynthesis and moving water are said to be two things that produce negative ions.
  2. On the other hand, specific weather conditions and the household electronics have specific positive ions, which might explain sudden crackling when you touch a TV or a contraption connected to electricity, or just the whole lot of energy before a thunder hits.

Usually, there is about 2000-40000 neg ions per cubic centimeter when it comes to the air in the countryside, with a lot less positive ions. The situation is reversed drastically when it comes to the cities and sub-urban areas.

Negative Ions and Their Mind Boggling Effects

The relation between bad health and the changes in the ionization of atmosphere has been documented well over the years. The seasonal winds around the world which are dry and hot are said to be full of positive ions. The examples for this could be Fohen in Central Europe, Santa Ana in California and Sirocco in Italy.

  1. A few studies conducted in the 1950s and 1960s confirmed the link between these hot winds and the increasing morbidity.
  2. In a few Swiss Cantons, Fohen’s unsettling impact was taken in by the court as the diminishing scenarios of a crime.
  3. About 1/3rd of the population is said to be affected by the depletion of the negative ions in the atmosphere.
  4. As per WebMD’s website, we are protected from the air-born germs due to the negative ions. This helps in decreasing the chances of us getting affected by the airborne diseases of any kind – be it a cough, cold or a sore throat.
  5. Another study by the University of Columbia proved that the exposure to the negative ion helps in improving the mood and has frequently shown to better the cases of depression.
  6. More studies indicated that the negative ion exposure could cut down the risk of lung diseases and improve the circulation of blood in the body.
  7. Even the NASA makes use of negative ion generators so that their astronauts can get better after the whole stint in the space.

These examples show us that negative ions indeed play a positive part in maintaining better health.

Four Other Reasons to Get That Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, Irrespective of the Benefits, Claims and Scientific Proofs.

Modern Science might not always have the back of the claims about the benefits of the HPS lamps, and there are a few ways how these lamps can be of help.

The vigorous study about the benefits, and plausible claims of it being a purifier and being linked to improving the moods – there might not be enough information to prove them all in an exact scientific manner. But a lot of people have sworn that started feeling way better after getting one of these HPS lamps.

More Reasons to Buy that HPS Lamp that Always Fascinated You

  1. The Benefit of the Doubt

Since there have been thousands of devotees who vouch for the miraculous advantages of the Himalayan Pink Salt lamps, why not get one and see for yourself? Though they aren’t scientifically proven, you don’t have anything to lose, as it is not that big of an investment. Also, who wouldn’t want that coffee table to look much more aesthetically pleasing?

As for your results, you might not feel anything, or maybe you might. And then there’s also the placebo effect you could have. But it is good sometimes, isn’t it?

Plus, paving the way for a $20 natural lamp, as opposed to all those electronic gadgets might do good to the nature. And doing something on your part towards saving the nature could never go wrong.

  1. The Amazing Look

Well, I have spoken of this before. When all else fails, look at those pink and orange hues that light up your living room, the bedside table or the coffee table. Doesn’t it look great?

Plus, they work with almost every kind of décor, given their remarkable look. So, you’ve got yourself a chic lamp even if you are not into all that negative ions thing.

  1. They Light Up Your Evenings Like Something Divine, and They Are Ideal

Blue fluorescents and LED exposure during the evenings might affect the quality of your sleep. While the lamps which are amber in color, and stimulate the effect of sunset (like the HPS Lamps) could give you a better sleep.

So, just say goodbye to all those neon lights and switch to a mild and subtle hue that gives you a soothing sleep.

  1. Don’t We All Admire a Beauty?

Admit it, we all love to look at pretty things. Science also backed the statement that the things that are pleasing to the eye tend to trigger that part of cerebellum motor which in turn stimulates the movement. So, it is in our nature to look out for the things that are attractive.

So, even if you don’t care about the health benefits, you can probably just get the lamp for the way it looks. (If there are any extra benefits, that’s an added advantage, of course).

My Experiences with the Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp  | A Review

So, hold on! I have never been the one to experience things and energies in the nature. I might sometimes feel something strange, but I would never attribute it to ions and charges. So, a lamp giving me a straight-to-body positive vibe is next to impossible.

However, for someone like me who has depressive episodes, I must say that the lamp did work. This didn’t happen overnight, and I had to make sure that I had to use it regularly.

And now to my favorite part more than anything – the look. It just feels like there’s my very own mini fireplace by my bedside and looking at those subtle hues made me feel much better. Plus, the way it lit up not just the darkness but also the aesthetics of my room? Inexplicable!

So I think I am going to keep it on for a while, after all!

What do you think?

If you have come so far you surely must have an opinion about this odd lamp and its “Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp Benefits”, do you see it as a straight up hoax or an interesting natural lamp what simply shines pretty?

References 

  • The New England Journal of Medicine, nejm.org.
  • Science and Education Publishing, There’s Something in the Air: Empirical Evidence for the Effects of Negative Air Ions (NAI) on Psychophysiological State and Performance, pubs.sciepub.com
  • Thayer, R.E. (1989). Biopsychology of Mood and Arousal. New York: Oxford University Press
  • Indoor air quality, EPA.
  • Diamond, M. (1988) Enriching Heredity: The Impact of the Environment on the Anatomy of the Brain. New York: Free Press.
  • Yepsen, R.B., Jr. (1987) How to Boost Your Brain Power: Achieving Peak Intelligence, Memory and Creativity. Emmaus, Pa.: Rodale.
  • Negative ions create positive vibes, WebMD.

Photo Courtesy to Pinterest and Urban Outfitters

 

 

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