Many believe that Himalayan salt lamps are not just decorative items that adorn your homes but also an easy fix to health problems. Pink salt lamps, Himalayan salt lamps, rock salt lamps, or salt crystal lamps are all essentially lamps crafted out of carved pink Himalayan salt and fitted with a bulb inside. They take on a distinctive pink hue from the mineral content of the rock in which they are found in the Himalayas, specifically, from the East Karakoram range of the Himalayas in Pakistan.1 There are claims that Himalayan salt lamps could cure a range of ailments from asthma to seasonal affective disorder (SAD).
Salt itself is known to be an antibacterial and anti-inflammatory agent, have the ability to remove airborne allergens like pollen, and even help loosen mucus and pacify an oversensitive immune system.2 So shouldn’t lamps made from the mineral-rich Himalayan salt have the same benefits? Or is it a myth? Here’s a closer look.
Himalayan Salt Lamps Claim
To Help By Releasing Good Negative Ions And Attracting Allergens And Pollutants
The lamps attract moisture and humidity since the salt is naturally hygroscopic or “water attracting.” Manufacturers claim that the lamps are able to also draw in pollutants or allergens in the air suspended in water vapor – indicating that it may help with allergic conditions like asthma.
At the same time, they also give out healthy negative ions like you’d find in oceans or waterfalls, helping those with anxiety or depression.
Some people who believe in the power of such lamps even say they could help counteract radiation from gadgets like television or computer screens that release positive ions into the environment which can be harmful to you. If that seems like a stretch, it could well be. Not many of these claims are backed by research, though there may be some benefits to the use of salt as a therapeutic agent.
Mild Reduction In Chronic And Seasonal Depression
Assuming the lamps were able to generate the level of negative ionization they claim – something that itself is under the scanner – what impact would
However, they cautioned that no link could be established between the duration and frequency of ionization treatment and the severity of depression. Negative ionization also made no impact on anxiety or mood. 3 The bigger question is, can your salt lamp afford a high enough degree of ionization?
No Direct Benefit On Sleep
The Himalayan salt lamp has not been seen to help improve sleep. Studies on negative ionizers have shown no effect on sleep either.4
That said, if you were to trade out the brighter lights in
No Significant Benefit For Asthma Or Respiratory Problems
One of the ways a salt lamp is supposed to help you is to fight off respiratory problems. But while anecdotal evidence suggests benefits of salt cave therapy or the use of a dry salt inhaler for treating mild to moderate asthma, research on halotherapy, where you inhale very finely ground (micronized) dry salt in a salt cave-style environment, hasn’t been as compelling.6 Moreover, one review of research in this area found that there isn’t enough evidence
Studies on ionizers for asthma have also not supported the idea. Such studies have largely shown no significant improvement or change in lung function after exposing a person to ionized air compared to when they were breathing regular or control air.8
No Significant Benefit With Eczema, Psoriasis, And Other Skin Conditions
There is no proven research linking the use of HImalayan salt lamps to improvement in symptoms of skin conditions like eczema or psoriasis. But can salt help
|↑1||Does Pink Himalayan Salt Have Any Health Benefits?. Time.|
|↑2, ↑6||Salt Therapy and COPD. The Lung Institute.|
|↑3, ↑4||Perez, Vanessa, Dominik D. Alexander, and William H. Bailey. “Air ions and mood outcomes: a review and meta-analysis.” BMC psychiatry 13, no. 1 (2013): 29.|
|↑5||See. National Sleep Foundation.|
|↑7||Rashleigh, Rachael, Sheree MS Smith, and Nicola J. Roberts. “A review of halotherapy for chronic obstructive pulmonary disease.” International journal of chronic obstructive pulmonary disease 9 (2014): 239.|
|↑8||Blackhall, Karen, Sarah Appleton, and Christopher J. Cates. “Ionisers for chronic asthma.” The Cochrane Library (2012).|
|↑9||Eczema and Bathing. National Eczema Association.|
|↑10||For some people with psoriasis, spa therapy is a clear choice. National Psoriasis Foundation.|