Himalayan salt lamps are decorative lights you can buy for your home.
They are carved out of pink Himalayan salt and believed to have various health benefits.
In fact, advocates of salt lamps claim they can clean the air in your home, soothe allergies, boost your mood and help you sleep.
Himalayan salt lamps are made by placing a light bulb inside large chunks of pink Himalayan salt
They have a distinctive look and emit a warming, pink glow when lit.
Salt sourced from this area is believed to be millions of years old, and although it’s very similar to table salt, the small amounts of minerals it contains give it a pink color.
Many people choose to buy Himalayan salt lamps simply because they like the way they look and enjoy the ambiance the pink light creates in their homes. Meanwhile, others find their supposed health benefits alluring.
There are three main health claims made about Himalayan salt lamps.
1. They Improve Air Quality
Salt lamps are often claimed to improve the air quality of your home.
More specifically, they are advertised as being beneficial for people with allergies, asthma or diseases that affect respiratory function, such as cystic fibrosis.
However, there is currently no evidence that using a Himalayan salt lamp can remove potential pathogens and improve the air quality of your home.
The claim that they are good for people with respiratory conditions may be partly based on the ancient practice of halotherapy.
In this therapy, people with chronic respiratory conditions are said to benefit from spending time in salt caves due to the presence of salt in the air.
Yet, there is little support for this practice, and it’s not clear whether it is safe or effective for people with respiratory conditions
Furthermore, tests on air ionizers, which emit high levels of negative ions, haven’t yet been shown to benefit people with asthma or improve respiratory function
2. They Can Boost Your Mood
Another frequently made claim is that Himalayan salt lamps can boost your mood.
Some animal studies have shown that exposure to high levels of negative ions in the air may improve levels of serotonin, a chemical involved in mood regulation
Yet, human studies investigating claims regarding the psychological effects of air ionization found no consistent effects on mood or feelings of well-being
However, researchers did find that people with depressive symptoms who were exposed to very high levels of negative ions reported improvements in their mood.
Nevertheless, the link they found wasn’t dose-related, meaning that people’s mood improvements couldn’t be explained by the dose they received. Thus, researchers questioned whether the link was causal.
Additionally, it’s very unlikely that salt lamps could expose you to the high number of negative ions used in these studies.
3. They Can Help You Sleep
Studies have not yet examined the effects of Himalayan salt lamps on sleep.
However, a review of the effects of air ionization on relaxation and sleep didn’t find any evidence of a beneficial effect
Thus, even if salt lamps do affect the air environment, it’s not clear if this would have an effect on sleep patterns.
It’s possible that using the dim light from a Himalayan salt lamp may help promote sleepiness toward the end of the day if you use it to replace bright electric lights.
This is because bright light before bed can delay production of the sleep hormone melatonin