What do Himalayan salt lamps do?

Himalayan Salt Lamps

Himalayan salt lamps are undeniably attractive if you like that sort of thing. And they create a wonderful ambience in any room of the house. But beyond being a beautiful addition to your home decor do they actually do anything to the air in your home?

Himalayan salt lamp health claims

There are many reported benefits to having a Himalayan salt lamp in your home and it's for this reason that you’ll often find them in wellness stores around the country.

Health claims of using Himalayan salt lamps include:

  • They improve your breathing
  • They clean and deodorise the air, trapping dust and other allergens
  • They reduce Asthma
  • They reduce the severity of symptoms from the common cold.
  • They boost blood flow.
  • They enhance your mood and reduce symptoms of depression.
  • They aid relaxation and help you sleep.
  • They can even raise your energy levels and improve concentration.

Quite an impressive list. And salt has certainly been used for many purposes for millennia. It’s been used in offerings and as currency, to heal the sick and ward off evil. Plus of course to preserve and season food.

The body needs salt and in fact, provides many benefits due to the naturally occurring minerals.

So how many of these claims have any real basis in science?

Do salt lamps produce negative ions?

Most of the purported benefits of Himalayan salt lamps come from the assumption that they release negative ions into the air thus counteracting the effects of positive ions produced by the technology in our homes, pollution, dust and humidity.

An excess of positive ions is thought to contribute towards tiredness, tension and anxiety as well as asthma, migraines, allergies and depression.

Negative ions known as anions are the opposite of positive ions and have the opposite effects on your health. They are also statically attracted to particles in the air such as dust, mould, smoke and other pollutants causing them to fall to the floor.

Negative ions are found abundantly in nature, in forests, at the beach and by waterfalls, which may explain why you feel so good when you’ve visited these areas. Think about the air after a thunderstorm. And studies have confirmed that negative ions can have a positive effect on your health.

The problem is that the amount of negative ions produced by a salt lamp is minimal and unlikely to have much effect, especially if you opt for the more environmentally friendly LED bulbs.

Other possible benefits of salt lamps

First up Himalayan salt lamps look great, and they produce a lovely soft light. And this is one way they can have a positive effect. Using this soft light to replace bright artificial light as you wind down at the end of the day and you may well drift off more easily especially as the soft amber glow will not interrupt your circadian rhythms the same way blue light does.

Salt is also naturally hygroscopic meaning it attracts water and this may help to clean the air in your home. This is why you might notice your salt lamp appears wet. You can find out more about why is my Himalayan salt lamp wet here.

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