words Alexa Wang
You have heard a lot about it.
That should tell why you are reading this article now. You want to know about the fad – whether it would live up to expectations or it would die off like every other fad.
The Himalayan Salt Lamps have seen a significant market with many sellers having sales that rival the biggest Amazon sellers. Some merchants have sold the lamps in thousands. It is a big market.
Despite the profitability of this market, there is a huge dividing line between its promoters and its opponents.
The opponents claim the benefits of the lamp are a fraud; the supporters seem to promise too much.
The questions to ask is not who is right but how did this industry with origins in the Punjabi region come to become a multi-million industry and whether its claim is valid regarding the health benefits?
The Himalayan Salt Lamp is merely an electric lighting bulb inside a block of salt. This block of salt is unusually unlike the common white table salt but have a variety of colors from pink, shades of red to orange.
The salt is mined from the salt mine of Khewra in the Punjab region of Pakistan. Although it is called the Himalayan Salt, its mine of origin is more than 190 miles from the Himalayan Mountains and 5000 ft. Below the mountain range.
But, why is the salt so unique that it gets exported to countries more than 13000 miles from its original country? It all lies on the salt itself.
An Ancient Origin
The Himalayan salt is an essential salt in the sense that it is the only salt with that kind of chemical composition in the world. This is due to the way it was formed 4 billion from the Primal Sea, the earliest ocean in the earth.
The salt began to form when the Earth’s Primal Sea dried up about 250 million years ago during the Cambrian Period. The region where it dried up later came to become part of Pakistan where the mine is located.
But is it not just ordinary salt?
Its advocates say no, that is a naturally occurring salt. They claim that the salt has a reddish shade which is close to the color of blood.
How They Are Produced.
The Himalayan Salt used in the lamp is made from a large chunk of Himalayan Salt hewn from the mines of Khewra. The electric light used inside the bulb is usually those that radiate a right amount of heat. The ones with low heat radiation are not used because without the weather, the health benefits would not be attained.
The chunk of the salt is hollowed to allow a place where the lighting would sit.
The benefit of the Himalayan Salt Lamp is a subject of debate. The benefits as claimed by its proponents are discarded as a hoax by its opponents that there is no study or scientific research to support the interests.
Worthy of note is that the opponents also discard the claims without a study, something that is worrisome.
These are the alleged benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps.
- Removes Dust and Purify Air.
This benefit is based on hygroscope, one advantage of salt, which is the ability of substances to absorb water. The claim is that if salt could absorb water moisture, then it is ordinary for the Himalayan Salt contained in the lamp to consume this water moisture.
The moist would then be evaporated, leaving behind the particles that were present in the water on the salt.
This way the room gets kind air and is free from dust and another particle.
This has not been proven wrong neither has science demonstrated that it is wrong. Many of its users have corroborated the claim. Critics claim that it is false, that the assertion is skewed.
- Block Electro-Magnetic Radiation.
Over the years, many studies have been written about the adverse effects of electromagnetic radiations. Well, known inventor (insert the Japanese inventor here) used to block electromagnetic radiation by using (exact-figure-should-be-here) –carat gold.
Not everyone has the financial means to procure gold of that amount. It is damn expensive!
However, it is claimed that the Himalayan Salt Lamp could block electromagnetic radiation. That would mean that for just a few tens of dollars you would block radiation that hitherto before now would be enough to buy a sports car.
The proponents point to the Himalayan Salt Cave as an example of how Himalayan Salt Lamp could block radiation. But Critics says that the size of a Himalayan Salt present in the lamp is not enough to prevent pollution.
- Lessens Asthmatic Condition
There are dedicated inhalers that use Himalayan salt. These inhalers are used to reduce the discomfort associated with asthma.
Halotherapy, which is salt therapy, has been used to treat people with asthma and lung disease leading to more comfortable breathing. Even the Lung Institute supported the assertion by claiming that people have been relieved of lung disease’s symptoms by using salt therapy treatment.
While these are benefits of salt treatment, proponents claim that these are also applicable to the Himalayan Salt Lamp.
Critics would not agree. Firstly, the salt is too small that it would benefit a room. A salt cave is enormous compared to a piece of salt. Secondly, other critics would not even agree if there are any noticeable benefits associated with the salt cave.
- Increased Energy Level, Mood Booster and Improves Sleep.
The Himalayan Salt Lamp is said to increase energy level by neutralizing the positive ions that electronics emit. They offset it by emitting negative ions that combine with the positive ions to wear out the adverse effect of the positive ions, ironically.
This statement doesn’t go well with its critics who insist that if the Himalayan Salt Lamp generates negative ions at all, it will not be enough to neutralize the positive ions that come from electronics. Simply put, it is no benefit.
The extension of the claim says that Himalayan Salt Lamp improves the mood of the users. Some critics agree but in an unusual kind of bargain.
The bargain is that mood improvement is due to a placebo effect and not the neutralizing of positive ions.
The critic’s point is that the attractiveness and the calmness that the Himalayan Salt Lamp bring is enough to make its users feel alright.
On whether it improves sleep, some critics seem to agree that it would have a positive effect on sleep. Proponents, however, attribute the better sleep to the emission of negative ion, an assertion that still splits them on a ground they seem to agree.
There have been enough evidence to show that Himalayan Salt Lamp improves sleep as many of its users have said that they have slept better when using the lamp.
Despite the fact that there is no study to agree with this fact, science and common sense seem to rally support for the assertion.
Naturally, it is better to sleep comfortably in darkness than in light.
It is even worse when it is blue light. The kind that is emitted from screens. Numerous studies have shown that blue light before bed disrupts the natural sleep rhythm by delaying melatonin production.
The soothing light from the Himalayan Salt Lamp would help to block the blue light increasing the likelihood to sleep. This should be the reason why its users could sleep fine.
Where There Seems To Be an Agreement
Although there are disagreements between both camps, there is a sheathing of the sword when it comes to this point.
There is no scientific interest in the claims or counterclaim associated with the Himalayan Salt Lamp primarily because the market is not big enough to cripple an interest. Fortunately, scientific studies would be carried out in the future to ascertain these things.
At that point, both camps would know the truth.
However, the exploration and mining of the Himalayan salt have little damaging effect on the earth, at this rate though. It would take about 300 – 350 years to exhaust the known deposit.
Both camps seem to agree on the aesthetic benefits of the Himalayan Salt Lamp with retired chemist John Malin saying “They’re pretty. It would be an attractive thing to have on your mantle or your bedside”.
The lamps could also help you create a balanced environment where you would be able to relax and be away from the stress of modernity. This is not what one would need a study to ascertain.
The Himalayan Salt Lamp is an innovative approach to modernity using occurring natural material without using dangerous process associated with another extraction process.
Although its benefits are debated due to no scientific backing for it, there are apparently massive cosmetic benefits associated with it. Unless a scientific study is to take place today, we have no way of knowing who is wrong or right.
However, the choice of whether it has health benefits is not a clear-cut one. Users should have in mind that there is little scientific support for the claim.