Himalayan Salt Lamps: Their Benefits and How to Choose the Best One
There’s no better feeling than the calming effect of a soothing and relaxing glow. If you walk into a room with such ambiance your problems will simply melt away. That’s exactly what Himalayan salt lamps offer when put in a home.
Their pleasing red glow is only comparable to the golden rays of soft sunlight, except they also freshen and clean the air, and bring a ton of health benefits on board.
You have no idea what you are missing out on if you’ve never owned these salt lamps. But don’t sweat it, I’ll tell you how you can get the best quality in an easy and affordable way.
First, how about we start with some little explanation of what they are.
What Are Himalayan Salt Lamps?
They are exactly what they sound like – large pieces of salt chiseled at the center to put a small bulb inside. The bulb emits a soft glow that lights up the surrounding in a sensational manner when it passes through the salt’s reddish-pink crystals.
In case you are wondering, yes, the salts are in fact extracted from the Himalayan mountain ranges. That’s why they are called Himalayan salt lamps or Himalayan pink salts. They are believed to have occurred from dried remnants of primal sea contents that date back to the earth’s origin.
Although these spa-like room accessories are popular for their moderate lighting abilities, they are more than just decorations. They are food grade when in pure form (which is the only form you should be buying) and can be crushed and used as salt in recipes.
But perhaps their most beneficial use (at least health wise) is cleansing the air. Having just one large piece or a few pieces in a basket will help clear the air of debris and electro-smog. Ultimately, they may help reduce symptoms of most mood disorders (like affective disorder), increase oxygen flow to the brain, improve sleep, and generally improve the immune system.
So how exactly do they do that? Let’s find out…
How Himalayan Salt Lamps Work
Himalayan pink salts work in two ways. Firstly, they are hygroscopic, and usually use that property to attract pollutants and allergens to their surface.
Scared by the big word? Don’t be!
Hygroscopic simply means they have the ability to trap humidity (water particles). That humidity, in turn, attracts and traps allergens and pollutants like smoke, pollen, dust and other debris.
When a salt lamp does that, it reduces the concentration of these bad particles in an area significantly. That is why placing just one or two lamps in a room creates a cool and refreshing aura. It also explains why Himalayan lamps have a reputation for reducing allergy and asthma symptoms as well as treating coughs.
Secondly, the salt lamps naturally generate negative ions which are known to offer plenty of health benefits. Now, this is where we get a bit more technical with ions, anions and cations. Finally you get to use that freshman chemistry knowledge that you’ve probably never applied in real life, yay!
If you’re not into the specific science, or aren’t 100% clear on the next section, don’t worry. I have included it for people who like to know the specific details of positive and negative ions.
First things first, what are ions?
They are simply charged molecules; i.e. molecules whose total number of electrons does not equal the total number of protons. The difference between protons and electrons creates a charge which could either be negative or positive. When an ion is positively charged it’s called a cation and when it’s negatively charged it’s called an anion.
But how is all that relevant to our topic?
Well, positive ions are generally harmful to human health.
They are linked to:
- increased anxiety
- arthritis symptoms
Most of the devices we use (like mobile phones, computers TV sets and all other electronic gadgets) generate electromagnetic fields with a high concentration of positive ions. That is why you may suffer from a headache and general lack of energy when you spend so much time on an electronic device.
We like Negative Ions
On the other hand, negative ions are good and beneficial to your health, particularly mental and spiritual fronts. Their biggest source is running water (others include sunlight, rain water and lightening).
That is why places like rivers, waterfalls and even beaches usually have an unexplainable and almost mystical feel that is calming and relaxing. Most people visit them to relieve stress. What they don’t know is that the high concentration of negative ions (up to 10,000 ions per cubic centimeter) is in fact what is making them feel relaxed and at ease.
The only problem is, unless you are living in the famous Fallingwater House designed by Frank Lloyd Wright, it is safe to say the kind of water you have in your home doesn’t generate nearly enough negative ions to neutralize the positive ions created, especially with all the modern electronics that we have become so accustomed to. The good news is, you don’t need a river or waterfall, you only need Himalayan salt lamps.
As mentioned already, they generate negative ions. These ions bond with the cations in a room, thereby reducing their (cations’) harmful effects.
PS: in an urban setting there are as few as 100 negative ions per cubic centimeter. It’s no wonder urbanites are crankier and more stressed compared to their backcountry counterparts.
7 Reasons to Put a Himalayan Salt Lamp in Your House
You get the idea, Himalayan salt lamps are good for your overall wellbeing. So far I’ve only bundled most of their benefits in the discussion above. Let me just break them down into simpler, more specific points for you to see why you need these lamps in every room in the house:
- Cleanse and purify the air in a room
- Improve mood (can be used to treat mood disorders) and help combat stress
- Reduce symptoms of asthma and allergies and also ease coughing
- Enhance quality sleep
- Help combat fatigue
- Provide moderate, soothing light for the night
- Neutralize electromagnetic radiations
Where Should You Place Your Himalayan Salt Lamp?
If you asked me I would say you need at least one salt lamp in every room in your house. If you can manage to make that a basket with a few lamps (3 to 5) it would be even more awesome.
Obviously the more the lamps the more the benefits, so your basket will not just light up the room sensationally but it will also be more effective in offering the health benefits of Himalayan salt lamps. You can place the lamp or basket anywhere in the room; on a stand, table, desk, decorative shelf or anywhere else you prefer.
Either way, it will increase the aesthetic appeal of the room.
How Can You Choose the Best Himalayan Salt Lamps?
Shopping for Himalayan salt lamps is a fun thing to do. But if you are absolutely new to them you may find it a bit tricky to choose the best, especially with regards to size and quality.
Let’s start with size, shall we?
The main thing to know here is that the size of the lamp will determine how much space it can cover. A large lamp is more suitable for a big room while a smaller one is best for a small room.
- If you are buying one for a large room, say living/dining room, you should be looking at lamps that are at least 15 lbs. in weight.
- For smaller rooms like a bedroom or study you can consider smaller lamps of about 6 to 9 lbs.
Ideally, a single pound of Himalayan salt crystals should cover an area of approximately 4 x 4 inches. If you feel like the maximum size of lamp you can get is still not enough remember that you can put more than one lamp in a basket.
How can you ensure that the Himalayan salt lamp you pick is 100% original and not a cheap imitation?
Here are the main indicators:
- Color: original Himalayan salt lamps usually have a darker shade of pinkish or orange hue. If the light is too bright you’re probably looking at an imitation.
- Durability: you probably won’t be able to test durability before you purchase but you should know anyway. Although original Himalayan salt lamps usually last for a very long time when cared for, they are extremely fragile. A small impact can destroy your lamp. Well, that’s a bit obvious seeing as they are made of salt crystals.
- Origin: if the salt lamp is not from the Himalayas (particularly Khewra, Pakistan) then it is almost certainly not original.
- Moisture: salt crystals usually absorb water so your lamp should absorb moisture without fail. If it is water resistant there’s a good chance it’s a fake.
Salt lamps are beautiful sources of soft light. They are also very attractive and worth placing on your bedside, desk or mantle. But most importantly, they come with tons of health benefits, ranging from light therapy to treatment of several conditions and symptoms that are related to positive ions.
With all the electronics that we use nowadays, there’s no question the concentration of positive ions is more than harmful. But with a few Himalayan salt lamps in each room you can reduce those harmful effects significantly.
Feeling tired after a long day’s work and need something refreshing? Why not try placing a Himalayan salt lamp on your office desk, living room or anywhere near you and see the changes it makes!