They are pretty, that’s for sure. But if you were hoping for any medical benefit on the claim that the lamps produce negative ions, prepare to be disappointed.
First thing first, let’s talk about Himalayan salt itself. Himalayan salt is a type of rock salt that actually comes not from Himalaya but from the salt mines in the Punjab region of Pakistan, primarily at the Khewra Salt Mine one of the oldest and largest salt mines in the world which located more than 1000 kilometers from the Himalayas.
Himalayan salt is a result of ancient seas being covered by lava after all the water evaporated the salt remained and covered by rock, so its technically a sea salt. The pretty rosy hue came from iron oxide deposits in the mountains and other traces of minerals, like magnesium, potassium, and calcium.
The main claim of this salt fan is that Himalayan salt had a lower sodium chloride composition than sea salt, meaning it has higher amounts of other minerals like sulfate, magnesium, calcium, potassium, bicarbonate, bromide, borate, strontium, and fluoride. The claims are ranging from 85%-87% of sodium chloride with the remainder is the other trace minerals. In truth, the number is as high as 95-97% of sodium chloride, leaving only mere 3-5% composition for other minerals.
So, what is a Salt Lamp?
A salt lamp is a piece of Himalayan salt of varying size that hosting a small light bulb of varying wattages. The salt lamp has become an increasingly popular product marketed with natural healing properties as “natural ionizers.” It’s being advertised for its attractive, soothing light and has been credited with providing various health benefits using his ability to produces positive energy in the form of negative ions.
According to a popular claim about salt lamps around the web, the product can positively affect your health in these diverse ways:
- Salt lamp releases a massive amount of negative ions, which counter the positive ions that make our body feel bad.
- The ions neutralize the “radioactive waves” radiated by electrical devices.
- Himalayan salt lamps could help your night sleep better.
- The ions have an ability to lower high blood pressure.
- 84 trace minerals are presents in the Himalayan salt, giving many benefits such as strengthen your bone, balance the water content in your body, etc.
- Himalayan salt will ‘create an electrolyte balance
All the claims above rely on the one false insistence that a block of salt rock with a light bulb will naturally release negative ions. California Institute of Technology Professor of Chemistry Jesse L. Beauchamp who was skeptical with this assertion did what any other intellectual possibly do: hook up the salt lamp to his lab’s quadrupole ion trap mass spectrometer.
This instrument works by sucking in the air directly from around the salt lamp and analyzes the mass and charge of particles captured. His findings? Nothing. No negative or positive ions were observed at all.
Himalayan Salt Candle Holders Health Benefits
Now, let us dance through this claims logically one by one. Shall we?
1. Salt lamp releases a massive amount of negative ions, which counter the positive ions that make our body feel bad.
Though we already have a prove about the lack of ions in the salt lamp, this brings us to the claim that positive ions make us feel bad and negative ions make us feel great. Luckily, there is some research that suggests that negative ions can play a role in affecting our mood.
JAMA psychiatry in 1998 found that negative ions can play a role in the treatment of seasonal affective disorder (SAD) by acting as specific antidepressants. In 2013, researchers finally concluded, that negative ions at very high concentrations had an effect on improving mood.
However, it is important to note that these studies used high concentrations of negative ions generated by industrial-scale ion generators and surely can’t be compared with a mere rock salt lamp. Also read: Health Benefits of Salted Peanuts
2. The ions neutralize the “radioactive waves” radiated by electrical devices.
There are many Himalayan salt candle holders health benefits. Ignoring the fact that “radioactive waves” is an incorrect term for an electromagnetic field generated by household electronics this claim is clearly not true. As stated by the WHO, an electromagnetic field generated by household appliances are not strong enough to cause an electric discharge, making Himalayan salts ions claimed benefits useless against this. Also read: Benefits of Warm Salt Water Rinse for Toothache
3. Himalayan salt lamps could help your night sleep better.
Thank God for science. In 2013, the researcher evaluated 33 studies from 1957 to 2012 and conclude that neither positive nor negative ion has a consistent influence on anxiety, mood, relaxation, sleep, and personal comfort. Also read: Health Benefits of Kosher Salt
4. The ions have an ability to lower high blood pressure.
This claim actually originates from an experiment performed on an under anesthesia laboratory rats who were getting pumped with high concentrations of negatively ionized air.
In case you don’t notice, humans are actually different than rats especially in the body size department and specifically designed laboratory ionization instruments produce a whole lot more ions than a salt lamp if they at all. Also read: Health Benefits of Kosher Salt for Cooking
5. Himalayan salt consist up to 84 trace minerals that our body needs, making salt lamp good to strengthen our bones, balance the body’s water content, etc.
There are many Himalayan salt candle holders health benefits. Listed at spectral analysis, there are only 15 minerals are known to play important roles in biological processes, with the seven others which are not yet confirmed. The 84 elements they advertise includes many poisons such as arsenic, mercury, lead, thallium and many radioactive elements such as uranium, radium, polonium, and plutonium that are possibly harmful to our body. Also read: Health Benefits of Dead Sea Salt Bath
Which then bring us to the next question, even if we wish this 84 elements somehow can rejuvenate our body, how would these trace minerals released from the salt in a lamp and transported into our body?
6. Himalayan salt will ‘create an electrolyte balance
It will. But so will our usual sea salt. Enough said.
The bottom line is, the salt lamp may have a nice pinkish color that glows once the bulb is turned on but that’s probably the most you’ll get out of this rock. It is not more than a pretty decoration and wouldn’t give you any health benefits.