Quick & Brief History
Over 3000 years ago the Himalayan Mountains were covered by an ocean. When the ocean dried up, it left behind a deposit of mineral rich salt. As the mountains continued to build up over time, this salt deposit was sealed form contamination of the chemicals and pollutants of civilization.
The ancient practice of Ayurveda, which has been around for over 5,000 years, uses this mined salt in over 300 medicines. It has been proven to contain over 84 trace minerals, which have been helpful in conditions such as diabetes, blood pressure, and obesity. This, at least for me, is evidence enough that there are at least some time tested health properties of this salt.
Benefits of Salt Lamps
Ground & Balance
Warming Himalayan salt works to ground and balance the body’s electromagnetic field, and the central nervous system. This works in the same way that healing crystals do. The salt, when warm, emits negative ions (more on this below) and therefore, changes the vibration of the air around us. Since everything on Earth has its own vibration, including the Earth itself, this new vibration of the air adds to our own. This is a fascinating topic that I would love to write about more if you are interested. (Let me know!)
Basically, the movement of a negative ion is slower and more akin to the vibration of the Earth. Experiencing this vibration brings our bodies closer to the frequency of the Earth and therefore grounds us, making us feel more secure and safe. Neat stuff, yeah?
Heated Salt Emits Negative Ions
When the oxygen in the room comes in contact with the surface of the salt lamp an extra electron is added to the molecule. This makes the oxygen a negative ion which you breathe in. There is some research that negative ions have the ability to rejuvenate the body and mind by entering the bloodstream and promoting biochemical reactions that increase serotonin. Serotonin is a hormone that makes us happy, and feel positive toward our environment. It has been said that these lamps might be able to help individuals with Seasonal Affective Disorder, and cope with the lack of sunlight in the wintertime.
Cleanse the Air
Salt is hygroscopic, which means that it attracts water molecules from the surrounding environment. Included in these water molecules are dust, pollen, mold, allergens, bacteria and viruses found in the environment. When the water molecules come in contact with the lamp, these tagalongs are left with the lamp and the water returns to the air cleansed.
These lamps are said to help people with respiratory issues and allergies because of this.
Promote Quality Sleep
There has been some research that positively charged particles reduce the supply of blood and oxygen to the brain and therefore lead to irregular sleep patterns.
Negative ions on the other hand promote a more positive atmosphere in your bloodstream and might actually help you sleep better. Turning the lamp on a few hours before you go to bed is plenty of time to cleanse the air, but for some added ambiance leave it on while you are sleeping.
The low light that it emits is soothing, and for us its enough light for us to move around without bothering each other at night and in the morning.
Salt lamps are pretty. If nothing else, these lamps give off a warming glow that enriches the relaxation and coziness of the space. There is a lot to be said for the connection between your space and your mental well-being. So if you are skeptical of the research and the health benefits of the salt lamp, it will enrich your home environment. And who knows? Maybe you’ll experience some of the other benefits for yourself.
I have had a salt lamp in my bedroom for about a year now, and I definitely notice a difference in the air quality of that room and my own sleep quality. For a month or two recently, I did not turn it on because the outlet that it usually plugs into was occupied by a humidifier (winter problems…) and I noticed that my sleeping patterns changed. I was tossing and turning more nights than not and having a difficult time falling asleep. In the last couple of weeks of having it back on, I feel much better. I feel safer when falling asleep and I sleep much more soundly.
My mom also uses a salt lamp. Hers is in her workshop where she experiences a lot of respiratory issues. Since having it on consistently, she has noticed that breathing in that space is much easier and she feels better after working than she did before having the lamp.
I believe that they are a useful way to cleanse your space, but make sure you get a 100% authentic lamp if you are looking around to try one. The fake salt ones will do nothing other than look pretty. 🙂