While making your way around the allergy product world, you may have come across salt lamps, specifically the pink kind: Himalayan Salt.
I've seen them around for a while, but didn't always know they supposedly have health benefits. I've always thought they were pretty neat - they're beautiful and I love any sort of low lighting - so soothing!
Himalayan salt lamps usually look like one huge chunk of pink salt with a light inside it or a bowl of salt chunks with a light at the bottom:
People say that these lamps purify air inside your home due to the negative ions they release. Also, these negative ions are said to leave you feeling refreshed and balanced... the feeling is often compared to what it feels like standing next to a waterfall or bathing in the sun... both of which are (usually) pretty soothing.
So, I did a bit of research. Let's break it down:
Why should we care about negative ions?
There are negative and positive ions already in our air. People say that electronics produce so many positive ions that they throw off the balance in our indoor environments. By adding more negative ions into the mix, we in turn feel more balanced. Also, negative ions help purify the air... lessening allergens!
There was actually a study done on purifying the air (the testing was done with aerosol spray) and it looks like negative ions really ARE beneficial for air quality!
You can read more about that study here.
Do himalayan salt lamps really release negative ions?
Yes, when the light is on, Himalayan salt will release negative ions (and it sweats a little too as it draws moisture from the air).... BUT not nearly as many as the electronic machines which are made specifically to create negative ions. Many say that these salt lamps create such a small amount of negative ions that doesn't even make a difference. You'll find a much higher amount just by going outdoors.
Can they actually affect people in a positive way?
That's up for debate. Science seems to say that you'd need one lamp per six/eight square feet for them to actually be effective. It seems like more people have had a positive experience with it improving their mood and calming their minds... whether it's due to the negative/positive ions being put back in the air or because soft, glowing light is soothing.
I'm open to trying it, though. When purchasing one of these lamps, it's important to make sure that it's made out of 100% pure Himalayan salt and not just some ol' chunk of salt. At this point, I don't have any good place to put a new lamp but at the next chance I get... I might just snag one!