Have you noticed the trendy crystal lamps popping up in homes and yoga studios? They are Himalayan pink salt lamps, and we are beyond intrigued by these pink-hued pretties. We'll break down exactly what they are, the purported benefits, and proven perks. It's sure to be enlightening!
Himalayan salt lamps are created when a lightbulb is placed into a large piece of Himalayan pink salt. Himalayan salt is only mined in one specific place in Pakistan, the Khewra Salt Mine. Its distinct pink color is due to iron oxide being present in the salt, and it also contains small amounts of potassium, calcium, and magnesium. Salt lamps are popular home decor items and are also commonly found in yoga studios, and therapists' offices.
We know that these lamps are aesthetically pleasing, and make for a cool decor element. They also emit a soft warm light, which could be useful as we wind down to sleep. Plus, they help to create a zen atmosphere, so here we come relaxation station. Additionally, they're sustainably sourced, and use less energy as they require a lower wattage bulb.
Salt lamps have increased in popularity in large part due to the health benefits attributed to them. Let's examine those more closely below, with an explanation of the top 3 most widely circulated claims.
Salt lamp proponents often claim that they enhance and improve one's mood through exposure to negative ions. While there have been promising studies that show increased serotonin produced in animals with ion exposure, there is no proven link yet established for humans. Additionally, the lamps don't even produce the amount of ions being studied in these cases, so it's a moot point.
Another common benefit listed by salt lamp advocates is that they promote healthy sleep patterns. At this time, there have been no scientific research studies completed regarding the effect of Himalayan salt lamps on quality of sleep, so this claim remains unfounded. However, since they emit a softer light than traditional lights or electronics, they could be helpful to ease the transition from day to night.
The most popular health benefit related to Himalayan salt lamps is that they purify and improve air quality. This is due to their "ionizing" nature, which means they change the electrical charge of the air. This claim may also refer to the old-fashioned practice of halotherapy, where sitting in salt caves was said to help those with respiratory diseases. Again, there's no scientific evidence to support this, so it is another fact that cannot be proven.
While they're certainly pretty and popular, it's clear that the health benefits claimed to be connected to salt lamps have not been definitively proven. That doesn't mean they aren't true, but anecdotal evidence is not as strong as research-based information. Overall, we dig Himalayan pink salt lamps and would love if they positively affected our environment, but we aren't counting on it.