Salt lamps have become very popular they look great and give off a lovely ambient glow but they are also said to have health benefits however there is little evidence to support that claim.
What are pink Himalayan salt lamps?
The lamps are made from large pieces of pink Himalayan salt which has the centred carved out in which you place a light bulb, you can also get tea light holders made and place your chosen sized tealight inside.
Pink Himalayan salt is a salt rock crystal that comes from the Himalaya mountains in Asia. True Himalayan salt in mainly mined from the Khewta salt mine in Pakistan. The salt is pink due to its high concentration of minerals.
The salt lamps gained popularity due to them appearing in home décor magazine and a massive surge of interest on sites such a Pinterest.
How do they work?
One way that they are to supposedly work is that they release negative ions into the air a process known as air ionization. The water molecules from the salt naturally produce negative ions just like rain or a waterfall does.
Some studies suggest that there are benefits to have this in the home such as improved cognitive performance.
Here are the most common health claims associated with pink Himalayan salt lamps and the evidence behind them:
Many believe that having a salt lamp in the home or at the office help those with allergies to dust and some people with asthma have said that once they started using a salt lamp, they found their breathing improved.
Ease respiratory symptoms
You will often see when searching salt lamps online to purchase that the seller claims they help those who not only suffer from asthma but the chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
The inhaling of Himalayan salt has been used through the centuries as the ancient practice of halotherapy, as it breaks down the build-up of mucus making it easier to breathe.
Improved mood and sleep
One of the biggest claims to salt lamps is that it helps with a persons mood and if used in the bedroom can aid to a good nights sleep.
A 2010 study claimed that, in animals, exposure to a salt lamp for 14 weeks improved tryptophan and serotonin metabolism, leading to an antidepressant effect. The chemicals tryptophan and serotonin help regulate mood in the body.
Yet a study in humans found that there was no consistent relationship between negative or positive ionization and mood or sleep.
Reasons why someone might want to use one
Overall it appears that there is no significant positive impact to using salt lamps on a person’s health, but there are many reasons why a salt lamp can help on a personal level.
Benefits can include:
Decorating the home. The lamps have a unique look and can complement a home’s décor.
Boosting mood. The low-level pinkish light can create a soothing ambient atmosphere.
Using as a nightlight. The low light can be used as a nightlight in a child’s room or even your own as a soothing light rather than the harsh lighting that even a commercial nightlight can give off.
Are they safe?
They are as safe as any lighting when used properly. They should be kept out of reach of children and pets just as you would any lighting. Cats have appeared to be drawn to salt lamps which can be dangerous if they lick the salt. My cat makes almost impossible feats or acrobatics trying to get to mine!
You should ensure you are purchasing your salt lamps from a reputable retailer as there are many fake lamps out there. A good retailer will be able to answer any questions you have before your purchase and proved proof of their supplier.
As yet there is no solid proof, they benefit your health but they do help with giving your home peaceful lighting so there is that to them at the very least.