Are Himalayan salt lamps really good for your health?

Glowing orange Himalayan salt lamp sitting on computer desk Calming concept at work

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A salt lamp is a large hollow crystal from Pakistani mines that radiates a soft light with a light bulb inside. You may have come across the decorative stone in your aunt’s living room or a pink version adorning your office. This salt lamp can create atmosphere, but does it also affect your health?

How does a salt lamp work (according to its proponents)?

The salt lamp is a panacea that improves your entire life, according to the sales pitch. The idea is that the lamp will attract moisture from the air because of all the salt, and this will have all kinds of benefits. For example, vendors believe that contaminants attached to these moisture molecules are also attracted to the bulb and bind to the crystal. In this way, the lamp will purify the air of your room.

Plus, fans of salt lamps claim that the crystal releases more negative ions into the air because of all that moisture. Ions are electrically charged particles, both positive and negative. You can always find them in the air everywhere, but they are more numerous outside near waterfalls than inside a building, for example. Water molecules attracted to the salt will release negative chloride ions from the salt (composed of sodium and chloride) and cause it to evaporate. And all those negative ion flyaways, the claim goes, improve your mood, promote healthy sleep, help with anxiety and depression, etc.

negative ions? This sounds really scientific. But is this true?

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Health benefits of salt lamps (according to science)

The first claim of salt lamp sellers: Salt purifies the air by attracting water and therefore dirt particles. It is true that the bulbs attract moisture, which is why a wet film sometimes forms on the bulbs and they seem to sweat. And Negative ions are known to bind to polluting particlesbut it was not investigated whether this was also the case with the ions of these salt lamps.

Much research has been done on the effect of negative ions on your health. But the results of that are not very consistent. In 2013, for example, scientists at the US science consulting firm Exponent brought together all the research on air ions. They concluded Negative ions have no obvious effect on anxiety, mood, sleep or relaxation.

(In-between: Want to know what scientifically speaking helps sleep better And Learn to deal with stress? Then buy not a salt lamp, but one Online course from Quest. And you don’t want to fall into bullshit again? Then the cycle Learn to think critically something for you.)

Researchers have noted a link between higher exposure to negative ions and reduced symptoms of depression. But they stress that very few independent studies have been done to conclude that ions actually reduce depression. More research is needed to see if this is biologically possible at all.

Salt lamps do not even produce negative ions…

And there’s another problem with the health claims of salt lamps: It appears that the lamps don’t even add extra ions to the air. Jacques Beauchamp, Professor of Chemistry at the California Institute of Technology (USA). Salt lamp for ionometer. But even after turning on the flashlight for an hour, the meter didn’t detect a single negative ion in the air.

According to the chemist, this is because the lamp is not getting hot enough. In order for the chloride ions to evaporate, much more energy is needed than a light bulb can provide. A salt lamp simply cannot send negative ions into the air. There is nothing here Peer review A search was conducted (reviewed by other researchers).

Do you definitely need a lot of negative ions? Then it is better to use another device, an air ionizer. these machines Creates visibly negative ions. But some devices produce ozone in addition to ions. This substance is definitely not healthy for you.

Can a salt lamp be dangerous to your health? Probably not, unless it’s a new hobby that you don’t like the lamp, but you lick it constantly and because of this Take an overdose of salt. Especially Pets tend to do this regularly.

What is the use of those lumps of salt?

So if ions don’t bring any benefits, what good is a salt lamp? Above all, it is a beautiful piece of decoration. With such a mass of luminous salt crystal, your living room or yoga studio will look more cheerful, for example, and the soft orange-pink light is slightly different from the white or blue light which you often encounter in buildings.

In short, you can brighten your bedroom or balcony with a salt lamp or two, but don’t expect medicinal miracles. Above all, these veined stones create a pleasant atmosphere.

You sometimes hear that plants purify the air, is that true? Or is it better to take that with a grain of salt?

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