Himalayan salt lamps have become popular recently with claims that it can improve your health and clean the air in a room. Is it just another internet hoax or does it really have health benefits?
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It is believed that Himalayan salt lamps can improve mood disorders, reduce depression and anxiety, boost the immune system, improve sleep, lower blood pressure, and purify the air. How? Negative Ions.
How It Works
Some studies have found that increasing the number of negative ions you are exposed to can improve your mood and could potentially be an antibacterial agent. The idea is that the chunk of salt naturally produces its own negative ions. Salt is naturally hygroscopic, meaning salt absorbs moisture from the air, and water will stick to the outside of the lamp. Pollutants in the air get trapped by moisture in the air which is then attracted to the lamp. The salt lamp has a light bulb inside of it which is supposed to warm up the salt and dry out the water. As the water dries it releases negative ions and leaves the pollutants on the lamp.
Does It Work?
The explanation above sound pretty convincing doesn’t it. This is what a lot of Himalayan salt lamp sellers boast about and promote on their websites. However, none of it is true and there is no evidence currently available to back up any claims about Himalayan salt lamps.
Dr. Jack Beauchamp, a professor and researcher at the California Institute of Technology, analyzed one of the most popular Himalayan salt lamps off of Amazon to test how many negative ions it produced. He and his team found that the salt lamp did not produce a single negative ion. So far he is the only one who has tested this, but it does not look promising that any lamp will produce negative ions. Another chemist, John Malin, explained to Live Science how the salt lamp cannot produce negative ions and how they don’t have any befits these companies are promoting. Essentially, salt is a very stable element and would have to be heated to 1,500*F (816*C) to release ions. The chances of pollutants also mixing with what little water is attracted to the salt is very small. What water that does land on the salt lamp can split the salt ions into sodium and chloride ions. However, when it dries up it goes back to being salt.
There are a lot of claims when it comes to Himalayan salt lamps. There is no evidence currently that shows that it has any health benefits. However, some people have claimed that their allergies and asthma have improved while using a Himalayan salt lamp. This could possibly be a placebo effect but more research is needed to test its health benefits. Right now it does not appear to improve any health conditions.
Even though it doesn’t help the way many companies claim it does it has a beautiful glow. It makes a great night light and an excellent addition to any room. If interested in a Himalayan salt lamp for whatever reason, I recommend this one.