I’m sure while living in the chronic illness community that you have seen salt lamps mentioned once or twice. Let’s face it, the salt lamp industry is bigger than ever! But what is a salt lamp and what makes it so special? Well hold on to your hats because you are in for an interesting ride!
If we were on the Magic School Bus, this is the point where Ms. Frizzle would say “All aboard!”, we would all load up the bus, and then she would say “Liz, hit it!”
So class, right now we are standing in the underground salt mines of Western Pakistan on the edge of, none other than, the Himalayan Mountains. Beautiful, isn’t it? This is the only place in the world where you can get the salt used in those magic healing lamps that are so popular. Big blocks of this salt are chipped away and hand carved, leaving the middle hallowed out so a heat and light emitting bulb can be placed inside. So there ya have it! Class dismissed!
Ha! Nothing can fool you. Of course we aren’t finished, yet. There is so much more to learn! Now I would like to redirect your attention to water vapor. I know you’re wondering what the heck water vapor has to do with salt lamps, so you will just have to trust me.
Now class, we are standing on a water molecule most commonly referred to as water vapor. I know what you’re thinking. “Gross, Ms. Frizzle, what’s all of this junk on top of the water vapor?” I’m so glad you asked! This junk is the same junk that is in the air you breathe every day and also what makes a salt lamp so great to have. Salt is hydroscopic. I know, it’s a mighty big word but just stick with me. Hydroscopic just means that it attracts water vapor. And this water vapor just so happens to be literally everywhere. Well you learn something new every day because the air we breathe, no matter where you are at the time you are breathing it, is made up of water vapor and pollutants that stick to said water vapor. A salt lamp will attract this water vapor and subsequently the pollutants that are hitching a free ride on it. Once the lamp attracts the vapor, the heat and light emitting bulb will dry the vapor leaving the pollutants trapped in the salt.
I know! Crazy right? I told you it would be an interesting ride!
So, other than air purification, what are some of the other benefits to owning a salt lamp, you ask? Well I’ll tell you!
It’s so great that it’s worth mentioning twice. As mentioned above, a salt lamp helps purify the air in your home by attracting pollutant carrying water vapor. Once this vapor dries, the pollutants such as dust, allergens, cigarette smoke, pollen, etc. is trapped in the salt instead of being breathed in by you and your family. This also aids in removing foul smells from your home.
Reduces Allergies and Asthma
The purification properties of a salt lamp has positive benefits for your health. Because Salt lamps help to remove many of the very things we are allergic to such as dander, pollen, mold, mildew, and dust, there is a drastic improvement in our allergy suffering and asthma symptoms. They even have Himalayan pink salt inhalers for this very reason! Did your mind just explode? I know mine did!
Increases Energy Levels
Most homes are filled with positively charged ions created mostly be the electronics in a home, though many things contribute to filling a home with positively charged ions. All things in the universe (the body, air, water, the furniture that fills your house, etc) is made up of molecules which are made up of atoms. Each atom is made up of electrons which have a negative charge, protons which are positive, and neutrons which have no charge.
Sparing you a chemistry lesson, I will simply say it is much better for our health to be surrounded by ions with a negative charge as opposed to a positive charge. Salt lamps help to remove many of the positive ions in the home by emitting negative ions which neutralize the positive ions filling your home and the results are beneficial to your health.
Amongst the many health issues that positive ions can cause, zapping your energy is one of them. If you are able to remove many of the positive ions in your home, you will be able to see an increase in your energy levels.
Neutralizes Electromagnetic Radiation
Electromagnetic radiation is all around us and you probably have no idea. In fact, whatever device you are reading this on is emitting them right now. In low, short term doses, this poses no threat to your health. However, in large or long term doses, it is said that exposure to electromagnetic radiation can increase your stress levels, cause chronic fatigue, have a negative effect on a body’s immune system, and even lead to depression.
Because salt lamps emit negative ions into the air, they are able to neutralize the positive ions that are being emitted by your electronics among other things.
Positively charge ions in the air can physically reduce blood and oxygen to the brain which can cause irregular sleep patterns. Because the Himalayan salt lamps emit negative ions, your quality of sleep will improve.
Keep one or two salt lamps in or around your bedroom to improve your sleep. Turn them off at bedtime if you prefer total darkness when sleeping.
As previously mentioned, too many positive ions can decrease the amount of blood and oxygen to the brain. If you reduce the amount of positive ions in the air, which is done by the salt lamps ability to emit negative ions which neutralize the ions in the air, your mood will subsequently increase. This will also cause concentration to improve.
Because Himalayan salt lamps are becoming increasingly popular, so are the knock offs. But don’t you fret because we have some tips for how to spot a fake.
Poor Return Policy
I know this sounds silly, but because salt lamps are made out of real salt, they are fragile. Most sellers will want to ensure the customer they will be able to return the item if it is damaged in transit. A “No Return Policy” is a red flag.
As mentioned previously, these things are pretty fragile! If the one you buy seems as though it can survive a fall from any given distance without so much as chipping, then it’s not likely salt as all.
Salt lamps typically give off a pink or orange light. Because salt has so many minerals in it, the light does not shine through very brightly.
No Mention of Pakistan
This is the only place where the salt is mined from. If there is no mention of this in the sellers description, then it is likely not worth buying.