What are Himalayan salt lamps?
Himalayan salt lamps are salt crystal lamps made from the purest salt in the world, found at the foothills of the Himalayan mountains. The large salt crystals are hand-carved and shaped into lamps or candle holders that are unique in shape, size and color. The salt lamp is composed of a base in order to place the lamp or the candle holder anywhere you want and of a light bulb socket to insert a light bulb or a small candle. The salts typically come from Khewra Salt Mines that are located in Pakistan, 300Km from the Himalayan border. It is is the 2nd largest salt mine in the world, attracting more than 40 000 visitors a year. The salt started being extracted in 320BC at the time of Alexander the Great. The mine is located at almost 300m above sea level, forming a 19 story-building. The tunnel where the salt is extracted from is more than 40 km long and 465,000 tons of salt is produced each year. The salt crystals are of pinkish, whitish, reddish or even transparent colors and can be 99% pure at certain spots.
How Himalayan salt lamps work?
The Himalayan salt lamps are a nice decoration item, providing soft light and thus creating a very relaxing and subtle atmosphere. However, salt lamps are more than that since they also have therapeutic effects that have been proven by scientific studies, much like speleotherapy, a salt-based therapy that can help cure a wide range of bronchial problems. First of all, salt lamps are hygroscopic, which means that they attract and retain moisture and humidity in the atmosphere. The salt lamps have indeed the ability to produce negative ions thanks to their chemical composition. Negative ions produce an air that is similar to the one after a rain storm: the air is clear and recharged with oxygen. They are therefore ideal at home to absorb humidity and to reduce bacteria, germs or airborne particles that feed from humidity but they also counteract the positive ions created by electrical appliances, computers, cell phones that often have a negative impact on our mood and health. In country side, forests, mountains or near waterfalls, the air is charged with 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter while in polluted areas or cities, the air is only charged with 100 or 200 negative ions per cubic centimeter. By producing negative ions, the salt lamps recreate this natural atmosphere, leading to a state of well-being.
Himalayan salt lamps are said to help with conditions such as asthma, bronchitis, chest congestion, coughs, sinus problems, snoring and allergies because they contribute to a cleaner air. They also increase energy levels and contribute to a better mood while inducing relaxation and well-being during stressful times. They can also help improve sleeping patterns. They have even been used by health practitioners in Europe, Japan or North America for their proven benefits and ionized rooms are gaining in importance because according to the US Environmental Protection Agency, indoor air pollution is in the top 5 threats for health.
Salt lamps can be placed at home in each room, next to the computer, on in the bedroom or living room. They are ideal for work space such as spas or relaxation rooms to create a nice atmosphere while purifying the air. The salt lamp works best when lit up for a while because it had time to warm up and make the lamp surface warmer than the surrounding air, therefore attracting water molecules that form condensation on the salt crystals.
Where to find Himalayan salt lamps?
You can find salt lamps in natural stores, specialty stores or decoration stores, even online. However, salt lamps have become popular and it is important to double check their origin to ensure that they are not fake as the same applies for all organic products. Also, a true salt lamp will not be polished but rather will have this rough effect. This is important because polished salt lamps will not produce negative ions the same way as rough salt lamps will. Also, larger salt lamps made of salt chips are better because they will also produce more negative ions. Ask your vendor for more details and if he/she cannot give you an answer, look somewhere else. We also suggest the online store Solay Wellness that carries a vast variety of hand-crafted salt lamps made with salt crystals from the Khewra salt mines.