I saw my first salt lamp over 20 years ago in a tiny health food store. The owner spoke enthusiastically of its ability to “take the bad out of the air”. There was no Google back then. No way to prove or disprove his claims. Despite that, I believed him. The beautiful warm glow of that lamp seemed to put me at ease. I knew I needed one.
Twenty years later, and I have a salt lamp in nearly every room in my home. All it takes now is a simple search online to bring up hundreds of sites listing all the health benefits of these beautiful lamps. These claims range from reducing stress to relieving allergy symptoms. Some are scientific studies, while others are just true believers.
As I have come to understand, these claims are based on the salt lamp’s ability to create negative ions when warmed, as well as its ability to absorb moisture from the air. We’ll take a closer look at what that really means.
The air around us contains positive and negative ions. These are created naturally in nature when a molecule gains or loses an electrical charge. They can also be created through man-made devices. Computers, tablets, cell-phones, and other electronics all create positive ions. These positive ions have been linked to sleep disturbances, stress, headaches, etc.
The himalayan salt lamp, when heated, has been shown to create negative ions. These negative ions seek out their positive counterparts and neutralize them. In high enough quantities, negative ions can clear the air of odors, pollen, bacteria, etc.
Don’t get me wrong. One salt lamp will not purify your home. The range of effectiveness increases with the size of the lamp, but generally the average sized lamp will only affect a 4 by 4 area surrounding it. I try to keep mine near my electronic devices and places I wish to be relaxed.
The other amazing ability of himalayan salt is that it is hygroscopic. It literally pulls moisture out of the air. Anyone with a salt lamp in a humid environment can testify the lamp literally gets damp. Less moisture in the air means less mildew or mold. As someone with allergies, I can’t stress enough the benefit of that!
As I said, I try to keep my salt lamps near the electronics, near my bed, and use them as night lights. Do they really “take the bad out of the air”? I don’t know. All I can say is I can’t stare at the beautiful, warm amber glow without feeling the day’s stress fade away. That’s all the proof I need to believe.