Over the past few years, Himalayan Salt lamps have become very popular and trendy, you are guaranteed to come across them in a multitude of places; at the spa, yoga studio, doctors or therapist office, living or lounging area, high-end retail clothing stores, etc.
In a way, they have seemingly become a hot must-have item, its popularity can be attributed to the internet especially through various lifestyle magazines, social media platforms such as Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube and the ever-expanding community of clean, better, natural living. But more so, its purported health and wellness claim. According to The Nutrition Connection, these cumulative factors result in an estimated 250 million dollars annually just for gourmet salts. If you ask me that quite a significant number.
What exactly are Himalayan Salt Lamps?
For the most part, many of us don’t really know what exactly Himalayan salt lamps are. Other than, it is a light bulb surrounded by hand carved mound of pink salt, that when lit produces a dim but unique pinkish light. The general consensus is that- Salt lamps like the name states are lamps made of pink salt crystals originating from the Khewra Salt Mines of Pakistan by the foothills of the Himalayas. The rich pink pigment is reportedly caused by the high concentration of minerals. These minerals comprise magnesium, sodium, calcium, iron, strontium, etc.
How do Himalayan Salt Lamps Work?
According to several sources, including distributors like the Solay Wellness Inc, Himalayan salt lamps have the effect to eject negative ions into the air. Meanwhile, positive ions will be absorbed into the water. Hence, filtered out of the air. Those negative ions are supposedly refreshing as they are mostly found in places close to waterfalls and oceans. Another statement by a different source is that they allegedly tie pollutants onto the rock and therefore deposing them. Thus, they are among other advantages antibacterial. Nonetheless, there is little to none scientific evidence to back any of these claims. Here is how they actually work: Himalayan salt lamps emit a distinctive warming pinkish hue when lit creating an aesthetic contemporary look to any living space. Barley anything further could be considered in the way they work.
Himalayan Salt Lamp Health Claims
Unfortunately, there are a few common misconceptions about Himalayan salt lamps. First of all, some people do believe that they could have a purification effect on the air. This claim further states that in conclusion people with asthma or allergies might benefit from using them. Nevertheless, no scientific proof could back that whatsoever. A wrong perception of the benefits of Himalayan salt lamps with respect to serious health issues like asthma or other respiratory symptoms may lead to alarming inaccurate treatment besides a placebo- effect. However, perhaps said placebo- effect has the opportunity to have an impact on the mood or sleep behavior of a receptionist. Even if a former scientific study was not able to provide empirical evidence to associate an improved sleeping pattern with Himalayan salt lamps, some consider the dimmed light as relaxing. Moreover, they could be appreciated for the nice ambiance and soothing atmosphere it creates. Though such impressions are solely depending on the opinion of users which can be different because of the expectations they might have. In conclusion, Himalayan Salt Lamps should not find an application at any given health issue which requires medical assistance. The lamps should only serve the purpose to be decorative and appreciated for the relaxing atmosphere which could be generated.
Are Himalayan Salt Lamps Toxic?
Himalayan Salt lamps or salt lamp night lights are safe in all methods of use. There is no published literature and/or scientific evidence to suggest that Himalayan Salt lamps are or could be unsafe or toxic in any way shape or form- that is human consumption or usage. However, when it comes to diet and nutrition- there are many claims that gourmet salts such as the Himalayan Salts contain up to 84 other minerals and trace elements. Although in the past, there has been a concern over radioactive and heavy metals in gourmet salts.
When tests were conducted, analyzing 12 different gourmet salts- including Himalayan salts. The results indicated that indeed darker or colored salts contained increased levels of minerals and heavy metals. At no point did the results suggest or single out Himalayan Salts as the culprit. When compared to regular iodized table salt which is refined the level of heavy metals and minerals were significantly lower. But most importantly, what the results were able to verify is that from a health point of view- the number of minerals and trace elements found in specialty salts was too diminutive to cause or bring about all these alleged and significant health and wellness benefits.
Another alarming concern was that Himalayan Salt Lamps contain toxic elements such as lead, arsenic, and mercury, which are emitted into the atmosphere when in use. However, when the salt was analyzed, there was little to no amounts of toxic elements. The majority of the specialty salts had a yield of 0.5mcg of led per gram. Well, now you’re thinking that is quite minuscule and wouldn’t cause any significant harm. Please, keep in mind that at no point did these tests single out Himalayan Salt- the results were an analysis of a variety of specialty salts from various parts of the world.
The Bottom Line
There is little to no evidence to support the massive claims that Himalayan Salt lamps offer these abundant and health and wellness benefits. These alleged and promoted health and wellness benefits have no scientific basis but simply buzz words and make-believe results from bloggers and social media influencers. The only scientific evidence available states that indeed salts with darker or bright bold pigments do contain an increased level of iodine or nutrients in forms of minerals and trace elements in comparison to table salt. However, these nutrients are not significant enough to constitute all these health and wellness benefits that have spread like wildfire.