Salt lamps are large chunks of ancient Himalayan salt stones carved into different sizes and shapes; they are hollowed out for a light bulb and a wooden base is attached.
The salt contains a large number of preserved minerals that are released when warmed with a common light bulb or a candle.
Salt lamps are becoming increasingly popular in the home to improve the air quality. Image credit Amphes/sxc.hu
There's a current trend of plugging in a salt lamp in your home to boost the air quality, but what exactly does it do, and is it worth having in your home?
Salt lamps are meant to reduce the amount of positive ions in the air. But what are ions and why are they bad for your health?
If you've ever walked near your television and felt the warmth coming from it, or held an electronic device in your hand and feel that the screen is a bit warm and fuzzy, that warmth is actually an electromagnetic field. Something that fills the air with positive ions, which aren't all that great to breathe in.
Our homes are filled with items that generate pollutants and dust particles into the air that are positively charged. Image credit:Bartek Ambrozik/ sxc.hu
The air in our houses is filled with pollutants and dust particles which are all positively charged ions. Our electronic devices such as phones, computers, laptops, televisions and kitchen appliances all emit these dirty positive ions, sometimes called 'electro-smog.'
What a salt lamp actually does is eliminate these positive ions, or cancel them out through the use of negative ions, essentially cleaning the air we breathe.
Many believe that electro-smog can have a negative impact on our health and our attitudes in general, and over-exposure can actually cause nervousness, insomnia, and a lack of concentration. Additionally, there will be an accumulation of more free radicals in our body, which are known to cause cancer.
Electro-smog is believed to contribute to conditions such as insomnia and lack of concentration. Image credit: Michael lorenzo/sxc.hu
So how do salt lamps work? When the lamp is on, it emits negative ions which neutralise the positive ions in the air, making them heavier and causing them to fall. This means they are no longer in the regular air circulation and aren't able to be breathed in.
This process simultaneously reduces the dust collection around your home as well, reducing the allergens in your home - another benefit.
Many believe that having a salt lamp will give you improved concentration, diminish stress and radiation from electronics. It's also believed that they will provide a calming and comforting environment around you making them ideal for both homes and offices (or more importantly home offices).
Does size matter? In this case, yes The bigger the lamp, the more area it will cover.
Salt lamps are great for restoring and maintaining the quality of the air that we breathe in a calming and natural way. Some of the most amazing stories have been from allergy sufferers and people with asthma who have shown a great improvement.
So if you want to promote relaxation and reduce stress, a salt lamp may be what you're looking for.