Himalayan salt lamps are decorative pieces of lights that emit a warm, reddish-pink glow. These lamps are carved out of pink Himalayan salt, and they are claimed to have various health benefits. Many people buy these lamps simply because of their aesthetics and enjoy the ambiance the pink light produces in their homes. The fans of salt lamps believe they can clean the air in your home, boost your mood, help you sleep, and soothe allergies, while others doubt these claims. Are Himalayan salt lamp benefits research-backed?
Although the claims sound impressive, there is no strong evidence to support them. And there are also plenty of fake Himalayan salt lamps being sold online, the existence of which doesn’t track back to the Khewra Salt Mine in Pakistan. But while Himalayan salt lamps are definitely beautiful, do they really have any health benefits?
What is a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp?
Himalayan salt or often referred to as pink salt because of its orange-pink color, is rock salt harvested from regions near the Himalayan Mountains, typically in Pakistan. It is supposedly one of the purest forms of salt available. While usual table salts are primarily made of Sodium Chloride. Himalayan salt, along with Sodium Chloride, contains trace amounts of minerals, such as calcium, potassium, copper, magnesium, and ion, and iron oxide (a.k.a. rust), which gives it its pink hue.
Himalayan salt lamps are large chunks of pink Himalayan salt that have a light bulb within. Their look is distinctive, and when lit, they emit a warming, pink glow.
Many people like to buy Himalayan salt lamps because of the way they look and also to enjoy the ambiance the pink light produces in their homes. In the meantime, some believe they provide health benefits.
How Do Himalayan Salt Lamp Work?
It is assumed that salt lamps provide health benefits as they are “natural ionizers”. which means they transform the electrical charge of the circulating air. Ions are compounds carrying a charge because they contain an unbalanced amount of protons or electrons.
When variations occur in the atmosphere, they are produced naturally in the air. For example, waves, storms, waterfalls, natural radioactivity, and heat all generate air ions.
They can also be artificially generated by commercially manufactured air ionizers.
It is believed that Himalayan salt lamps attract water particles that, when heated by the lamp evaporate off as a salt solution and may produce ions, mostly negative ions. However, this theory is yet to be verified. It is unclear whether salt lamps generate ions in meaningful numbers, if at all.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Benefits Research, and Are These Benefits Backed by Science?
There are three primary health benefits claims made about Himalayan salt lamps.
They Improve Air Quality
It is often claimed that salt lamps can improve the air quality of your home. To be more precise, they are advertised as a beneficial product for people with asthma, allergies, or diseases. That affect respiratory function, like cystic fibrosis. However, currently, there is no proof to support the fact that using the Himalayan salt lamp can eliminate potential pathogens and improve the quality of the air in your home.
The claim of these salt lamps being good for people with respiratory conditions may be somewhat based on the ancient practice of halo therapy. In this therapy, persons with chronic respiratory conditions are believed to benefit from spending time in salt caves because of the existence of salt in the air. However, there is not so much support for this practice, and it is not clear whether it is effective or safe for people with respiratory conditions.
Moreover, experiments on-air ionizers that emit high levels of negative ions are yet to be shown to improve respiratory function or benefit people with asthma.
They Can Help You Sleep
The Himalayan salt lamps effects on sleep are yet to be examined. Nonetheless, a review of the effects of air ionization on sleep and relaxation didn’t hit upon any evidence of a beneficial effect. Therefore, even if salt lamps are capable of affecting the air environment, it is unclear whether they have an effect on sleep patterns.
If you use dim light from the Himalayan salt lamp to replace bright electric lights, it may help promote sleepiness toward the end of the day. This is because bright lights prior to bed can delay the production of melatonin – the sleep hormone.
However, this doesn’t only apply to salt lamps, and also, the theory hasn’t been tested.
They Can Boost Your Mood
Another common claim about the Himalayan salt lamp is that it can boost your mood. Some animal studies have revealed that exposure to elevated levels of negative ions in the air may improve serotonin levels, a chemical involved in mood regulation.
However, regarding the psychological effects of air ionization, human studies investigating claims found no consistent effects on feelings or mood of well-being. Yet, researchers did uncover that people with depressive signs who were exposed to extremely high levels of negative ions stated improvements in their mood.
Nonetheless, the founded link wasn’t dose-related, which means that mood developments of people couldn’t be explained by their received dose. Therefore, the researcher questioned if the link was casual.
Furthermore, it is not likely that salt lamps could expose anyone to the high amount of negative ions used in these studies.
Himalayan salt lamps are believed to contribute to improve air quality, help you sleep, and boost your mood. However, currently, there is minor evidence to support these claims.
Do Himalayan Salt Lamps Provide Any Benefits?
Himalayan salt lamp health claims are not supported by science. However, they may have other benefits.
- They are decorative: They look very nice when lit, so they could be a beautiful decorative addition to your home.
- Himalayan salt lamps give an amazing ambiance: With their pink glow, they could create a soothing atmosphere that helps you unwind.
- They can help limit light in the evening: Using dim lights in the evening could help you get to sleep faster if you struggle to sleep.
In conclusion, these above points can make Himalayan salt lamps an amazing addition to your home. These inviting lamps create a warm and relaxing ambiance, which may help you unwind before bedtime.
The Bottom Line
So, are Himalayan salt lamp benefits research-backed? There is no evidence to support the health claims linked with Himalayan salt lamps. While they are an attractive addition to your home and room and help create a relaxing ambiance, there is not much to suggest they do much else.
More research is needed on the theories surrounding their potential health benefits.