If there’s one thing I remember as if it were yesterday from my youth, it’s sitting out by a roaring campfire somewhere in the woods with my nearest and dearest friends. Luckily for me, I recently happened across Himalayan salt lamps, which can give a very similar ambiance at home. Here’s the low-down on these stylish (and healthy!) lamps:
What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?
In essence, a Himalayan salt lamp is a lamp that’s made up of a large lump of pure, food-grade Himalayan salt. A small bulb is placed inside for illumination, and they offer a nice, warm glow when lit. In addition to their soothing glow, these lamps are said to purify indoor air.
Himalayan Salt Lamps and Negative Ions – A Quick Chemistry Lesson
An ion is a charged atom or molecule, and they’re present pretty much anywhere you can think of. The charge comes from the atom containing a different number of protons to electrons, resulting in an overall positive or negative charge. A negatively-charged ion is often referred to as an anion.
Negative ions are more prevalent in nature than anywhere else – think lightning storms, sunlight, waterfalls, and ocean waves. The greatest negative ion source of all is running water. You know that refreshing scent you can smell after a big storm or a visit to the beach? It’s thought, in part, to be down to negative ions.
To give you a clear example of how prevalent negative ions are in nature as opposed to in urban environments, consider that waterfalls and beaches can have concentrations of up to 10,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter of air, whereas busy cities can have negative ion levels as low as 100 ions per cubic centimeter.
But What Does This Have to Do With My Health?
Negative ions increase oxygen flow to the brain, which results in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness and more mental energy. They’re also thought to protect us against germs in the air, resulting in reduced irritation thanks to inhaling fewer particles that make us cough or sneeze.
So Are You Saying That Himalayan Salt Lamps Produce Negative Ions?
Yes, Himalayan salt lamps do produce negative ions, but not in large amounts. Being out in nature will always be the best way of exposing yourself to negative ions, however having a salt lamp in your home is a good idea should you wish to counter all the positive ions that are produced by computers, TVs, microwaves, and even vacuum cleaners.
Positive ions are detrimental to human health because they can often exacerbate problems such as allergies, stress, and sleep trouble. Himalayan salt lamps can help to neutralize these harmful effects, as well as adding a soothing glow to whichever rooms they’re placed in.
Other Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps
1. They’re Hygroscopic
This means that they absorb water out of the air, preventing the accumulation of mold, bacteria and allergens.
2. They Make Great Night Lights or Low-Light Lamps
Doctors recommend that we avoid exposure to lots of blue light during the evening, and this is because it can interrupt the body’s natural circadian rhythm, which in turn interferes with sleep hormones. In contrast, a warm orange glow, as given off by Himalayan salt lamps, is ideal because it won’t interfere with sleep.
3. They Offer Light and Color Therapy Benefits
Sufferers of Seasonal Affective Disorder will find that these lamps will do wonders for them. The soft orange hues given off by them are perfect for calming moods and increasing focus.
4. They Soothe Allergies
Many who suffer from allergies have reported that their symptoms were reduced after placing these lamps in their homes or offices.
1. The Darker the Color, the Better
Go for the darkest hue you can find, as these lamps are believed to be of higher quality. Also ensure that the lamp you buy specifies that it’s made out of 100% Himalayan rock salt.
2. The Larger, the Better
A larger lamp is always going to have more of an effect over a smaller one. As a general rule, a 1-pound lamp will be enough to fill a 4x4 area of a room.
3. Look for One with a Rough Surface
Rougher lamps have a higher surface area than smoother ones do, therefore their hygroscopic potential is higher, making them more effective at improving air quality. They’re arguably more visually appealing than smoother lamps.
4. Pay Attention to the Bulb
The hygroscopic effect of a Himalayan salt lamp is a combination of salt and the heat from the bulb inside, so make sure you use a heat-producing bulb.
These lamps DO NOT replace air filters, nor do they give you as large amount of negative ions as you would get in nature. On the other hand, they offer color therapy benefits, clean the air and help to alleviate allergies.
Content Source: WellnessMama
Images (including cover) by Deposit Photos