Are Himalayan Salt Lamps Healthy Or A Hoax?

Made from large rock crystals of salt mined in Pakistan and India, Himalayan salt lamps are often pink or orange in color, but can also be brown or off-white. They provide a soothing light when carved out and a candle or light bulb is placed within. This light is sometimes credited with offering up a variety of health benefits, such as eliminating the output of electronic devices, called electro-smog, as well as offering up positive energy via negative ions; these ions are purported to help reduce indoor pollution, bring oxygen to the brain, and boost the immune system.

As great as this all sounds, there is no scientific evidence to support any of these claims. While negative ions are naturally produced by ocean waves and waterfalls, which tend to have a soothing effect on our mood, and positive ions (produced by electronic devices) seem to cause agitation and anxiety, there is no proof that Himalayan salt lamps produce negative ions or improve your health.

It should be noted that a few small studies have indicated that negative ionization can, in specific circumstances, be beneficial to health: high-density ionization can be a useful alternative to bright light therapy for people with seasonal affective disorder (SAD).

If you want to reduce electro-smog, a better option than a Himalayan salt lamp is to keep your electronic devices away from where you sleep. If you use your device as an alarm, put it on “airplane mode” to decrease electromagnetic output as you sleep. Another concern with our increasing use of devices is the light exposure leading up to bedtime. This late exposure can shorten REM cycles and lower levels of melatonin. Aim to limit the use of these devices one to two hours prior to sleep, and use a blue light filter as often as possible at night by adding one to your screen or wearing blue-blocking glasses.

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