What’s the Deal with Himalayan Sea Salt Lamps?
It seems everyone is talking about Himalayan sea salt lamps. But is there evidence they even work? Yes and no.
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Riding the cusp of a trend, Himalayan sea salt is popping up everywhere. Not only can you find it in your supermarket spices aisle and in many restaurants, there’s now salty yoga, pink-salt saunas, salt caves, and, now, Himalayan sea salt lamps.
So what makes this variety of salt so special? Himalayan sea salt comes from mines located in the Salt Range of northern Pakistan, which sits close to 100 miles south of the Lower Himalayan range, resting 900 feet above sea level. There, it’s harvested with minimal processing, and the resulting salt is said to be rich in elements like phosphorus, bromine, boron, zinc, and more.
The purported benefits of Himalayan sea salt “lamps”
Proponents of Himalayan sea salt lamps claim they emit negative ions that:
- Purify the air
- Protect against electromagnetic radiation
- Stave off fatigue
- Increase oxygen flow to the brain
- Protect us from toxins
- Soothe allergies
- Lower blood pressure
If all this were true, we could all benefit from one, but so little of the hype around Himalayan sea salt lamps is supported by scientific evidence. “There is evidence that negative ionization is beneficial for seasonal affective disorder and reducing stress,” says Catherine Uram, MD, a course instructor and fellow at the University of Arizona’s Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, AZ. Other claims seem pure hoodoo. “There are no studies to support that salt lamps emit negative ions, though. There is also no support for the purported health benefits of salt lamps, such as soothing allergies and lowering blood pressure.”
Bottom line: Himalayan sea salt lamps have no health benefits. If you’re simply a fan of the soft pink hue though, these sea salt shot glasses might prove to be more useful.
- Center for Environmental Therapeutics: "The Science of Negative Air Ionization."
- Catherine Uram, MD, a course instructor and fellow at the University of Arizona's Andrew Weil Center for Integrative Medicine in Tucson, AZ.
- Mayo Clinic: "Seasonal Affective Disorder."