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What is a Himalayan Salt Lamp?
Salt Lights, or Himalayan Salt Lamp, are large pieces of salt mined from the cave walls of the Himalayan Mountains; which were formed by an ancient ocean that dried up. The salt produced is high in mineral content, and can be ground to edible salts or made into what we know as salt lamps. To create a salt lamp, the salt is cut or decoratively carved, holes drilled inside to insert a light-kit, and often put on a safe from erosion wooden base or basket.
In addition to creating a decorative accent that brings the nature indoors, it produces a soft, warm, and welcoming glow. Perfect for any room that needs a nightlight!
How do they work?
Salt, by its nature, creates negative ions by attracting water molecules from the air. Per pound, a cold salt lamp will provide 2-3 inches radius of coverage. When warm, they are able to cover up to a 1-foot radius per pound of salt rock.
Negative ions, when present in an environment, are then able to neutralize the static charge from dust, mold, animal dander, viruses, bacteria, and odors from the air. Once the static charge is taken away from these items, they simply fall to the ground, providing cleaner air for you to breathe in.
Negative ions also counteract the effects of Positive ions in the air. Positive ions are often created by electronic devices like computers, TVs, microwaves, and even vacuum cleaners and can often exacerbate problems like allergies, stress and sleep trouble. Studies have shown that constant exposure to positive ions from items such as our cell phones are a large contributor to ailments such as headaches, insomnia, stress, and depression.
Negative Ions in Nature:
Negative ions occur more often in nature and they are often created by things like lightning storms, sunlight, waterfalls, and ocean waves. Running water is considered nature’s greatest source of negative ions and may be one of the things that contribute to the refreshing scent of waterfalls and the beach. In fact, this is one of the reasons people often report feeling renewed or refreshed after a storm.
Ever noticed that peaceful, relaxed feeling you get while on the beach? Those are negative ions at work!
WebMD explains some of the benefits of negative ions in the air:
Generally speaking, negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy,” says Pierce J. Howard, PhD, author of The Owners Manual for the Brain: Everyday Applications from Mind Brain Research and director of research at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences in Charlotte, N.C.
“They also may protect against germs in the air, resulting in decreased irritation due to inhaling various particles that make you sneeze, cough, or have a throat irritation.”
And for a whopping one in three of us who are sensitive to their effects, negative ions can make us feel like we are walking on air. You are one of them if you feel instantly refreshed the moment you open a window and breathe in fresh, humid air.
Places like waterfalls and beaches where negative ions are naturally produced can have a negative ion concentration of up to 10,000 negative ions per cubic centimeter whereas busy cities can have negative ion levels as low as 100 ions per cubic centimeter.