Healthy or Hype? – Himalayan Salt Lamps & Negative Ions


Healthy or Hype?

It’s perhaps the most important question we must ask ourselves when presented with any new health care treatment.  Unfortunately getting clear, concise, honest answers can be difficult when the primary reason most of these treatments are being offered is for one reason – money.  Yes, there are claims made by people who have supposedly benefited from the product, but those testimonials are ALWAYS for the purpose of parting you and your hard-earned money.  Those claims are built on emotionalism and the inherent desire for better health.   The real question is, ‘do those claims have any scientific backing?’

We want to be just as healthy as the next person, but that desire to be healthy doesn’t have to come at the expense of good sense.  When people make claims that include scientific explanations, there should be scientific evidence to support it.  When that evidence is lacking we say run the other way, the person with the big smile trying to take your money is no different than the snake oil salesperson of days gone by.

Last week we published our first post in yet another ongoing series designed to lift the veil regarding some of the more dubious claims made by various salt purveyors.  The first three posts in the series focus on Himalayan Pink sea salt, not because we are picking on Himalayan Pink, but primarily because some of the most ridiculous claims come from those who tout the benefits of that particular salt in a wide variety of uses.

The positive effect of negative ions on mental and emotional health has been well documented – literally hundreds of scholarly papers and findings have been produced.  It seems that our rapid pace of technological advancement is primarily responsible for the lack of ion balance in life.

Electronic devices produce tremendous amounts of positive ions as a by-product of operation and electrical discharge.  HVAC systems also produce an unbalanced number of positive to negative ions.  It is believed that these two causes of high positive ion production may be the primary culprits for “sick building syndrome”.

Have you ever stood near a waterfall and notice how calm and peaceful you feel?  Then you go home, try to recreate that feeling by listening to a recording of a waterfall or other white noise – but it’s just not the same.  That audio recording couldn’t capture all the negative ions being produced by the waterfall but your body was benefiting from them as you stood next to it.

Today some unscrupulous people have tried to climb on the negative ion bandwagon by promoting various ill-conceived methods of generating negative ions in the home.  One of those methods is the Himalayan Salt Lamp.

Does it really work as explained?  Yes and no.  We can chalk this one up in the mythinformation category.

It does generate some negative ions, but not nearly enough to cause a change in your environment.  You are much better off if you buy a high-density corona discharge negative ion generator.  Yes, they do make something with a ridiculously long name like that for home use.  The negative ions generated by that type of device in one hour would take a Himalayan salt lamp hundreds of years to produce.

Suggesting that a Himalayan Salt Lamp can generate enough negative ions to benefit your health is like suggesting that a farmer could water thirty acres of farmland with a hand-held spray bottle.  Because the spray bottle can be used to water plants the idea might at first seem plausible.  However, when examining the claim in light of the scope of context that plausibility quickly disappears.

The bottom line is that there is no scientific evidence to support the claims that a Himalayan Salt Lamp will produce a measurable amount of negative ions capable of improving your health in any way.  If someone makes claims to the contrary, ask for the proof.  They should be able to give clear, concise, measurable evidence of negative ion generation – without such, all they have are baseless claims.

So, Himalayan Salt Lamps – Healthy or Hype?  What do you think?