3 Scientific Things You Didn’t Know About Himalayan Salt Lamps

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Salt. It’s the most commonly eaten mineral on Earth. Not only is it used as a food item, but it’s recently gaining popularity as a home decor item. Wait, did I just say it’s a home decor item?

Yep, sure did.

Salt lamps, especially Himalayan Salt Lamps, are becoming the coolest and biggest health trend out there.

But we are not eating these salt lamps. Nope, we are placing these things in our rooms while they emit negative ions to help support our health.

You can read more about the purported Health Benefits of Himalayan Salt Lamps here. The focus for this article is to discuss the actual science of salt lamps. What is going on in that salt and why is it beneficial to us?

For those who just want to skip the boring stuff and get one already, get your very own Himalayan Salt Lamp by clicking here.

A lot of our customers report amazing benefits to us and the below are examples of the benefits that have been reported. This article is based on those opinions and should not be construed as facts. We always recommend that you consult your healthcare practitioner prior to starting or stopping any therapy.

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1. Salt Lamps Sweat 

Mmmmm salty!

Before we can discuss the science of salt lamps, we first must dive into a bit of chemistry. There is a term in chemistry called hygroscopy. Effectively, this means to attract water from the environment at room temperature.

To be hygroscopic also means to be hydrophilic, or water preferring. This is opposed to hydrophobic, or water repelling. Many things in our environment are hydrophilic.

Some of the common things include alcohol, vinegar, baking soda, and of course salt. Some things that are hydrophobic are things like oils, xylene, petroleum and anything that behaves “oily”. These things repel water like nobody’s business.

Well, like oil’s business, but you get the point.

Now, a salt lamp is completely hygroscopic. Because it’s 100% pure salt, it wants to absorb water from the air.

Well, it doesn’t really want to do this, but in order to maintain an equilibrium with the environment, it has to absorb water from the environment.

An equilibrium is simply the force that tries to balance out environmental conditions. In this case it’s the humidity in the air.

So, the salt lamps contain 0% moisture. And more often than not, the remnant atmosphere can contain some moisture (greater than 0%) through humidity.

The lamps try to maintain this balance of moisture with the environment. These salt lamps then must absorb moisture from the air. This moisture that is absorbed gets attached to the lamp and causes it to sweat.

This sweating is actually a normal occurrence of pure crystalline rock salt, and really has nothing to do with the origin of the salt. Salt naturally attracts moisture from the air, so it’s natural for pure salt to appear to “sweat”.

The more humid the environment, the more water the salt will readily absorb to quickly attempt to maintain equilibrium.

The more it attracts water, the more the moisture dissolves salt on the lamp and the more the lamp “sweats”. This is 100% normal with rock salt lamps.

This is why it’s recommended to replace your lamp every 6-12 months, especially if you live in humid areas.

Replace your salt lamp every 6-12 months

You may notice leaking or warping on the lamp because of this natural effect. Don’t worry, it’s normal and the lamp is doing its job.

Generally, if you are in an air conditioned home that maintains a constant humidity your lamp may still sweat, but much less. Sometimes this sweating occurs on a microscopic level and you can’t even see it. Of course, this depends on how humid the home is.

The more humidity in the home, the greater the sweating will be, eventually making it visible with the naked eye.

However, sweating is neither a sign of authenticity or origin. It simply means that the item is hydrophilic and presents hygroscopic qualities. A sweaty salt lamp is actually a sign that you have pure, rock crystalline salt.


2. Salt Lamps Could Emit Negative Ions

So this isn’t proven, but it’s highly publicized and all over the web. Either way, I’m sure it won’t hurt to understand a bit about Negative Ions. I’m sure you have heard all about the benefits of negative ions in the air, but it’s time to clear the…well…air of what negative ions really are. There are 2 types of ions that float around in our atmosphere: positive and negative.

Contrary to what you may think, the negative ions are actually the beneficial ions and the positive ions are the destructive ones. Hence why the positive ions are colored red in this article and negative are colored green.

Indoor environments are loaded with positive ions.

Man made things, like electronics, cell phones and Wi-Fi routers emit tons of these positive ions. These ions attach to our bodies and cause us to feel sick, depressed, drained, tired and a whole bunch of things that are uncomfortable.

Because they are floating around in basically every indoor environment, we cannot avoid them.

Now, compare this to a natural environment like an ocean, forest or mountain. How do you feel after being in a natural environment for an extended period of time?

The answer is probably much better than spending your days cooped up in an electronic circus like an office.

Most of the time office environments or indoor environments are very draining and difficult to live in. On the contrary, we tend to feel really good in a natural environment. We feel reinvigorated, energized and renewed.

It’s common to find up to or greater than 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter, compared to less than 100 in city or indoor environments.

When a negative ion meets a positive ion, they bind and form a neutral molecule.

This binding effect weighs down the positive ions, clumps up the particulates and drops them to the floor. Most of our airborne contaminants that are considered pollution and allergens like pollen and air smog are loaded with positive ions.

Negative ions complete the molecule, making it weigh more and eventually dropping it out of the air.

Because the positive ions make us feel bad, naturally the negative ions make us feel good.

Think about a long walk in a forest: you normally feel refreshed after spending a bit of time in nature. Since we feel good surrounded by negative ions because of their neutralizing effect, the more we have in the environment, the better.

Since Himalayan Salt Lamps are a natural product, heating it actually produces certain amounts of negative ions. This negative ion formation helps reduce the amount of positive ions in the air and make us feel better.

Well…wait…where does the heat come from?

The bulb of course.

The bulb will heat the salt lamp to a comfortable temperature that not only produces a warm glow, but also emits the negative ions that help combat pollution.

This is why Himalayan Salt lamps are often called Ionic salt crystal lamps.

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3. Salt Lamps Boost Creativity

The light emitted by salt lamps is a comfortable orange hue. The concept of Chromotherapy exists in that it is the science that the color of a light can be used to combat physical ailments. Yes, the color of a light can affect your mood, attitude and even be a source of creativity.

Orange light, the color emitted by Himalayan Salt Lamps, is said to help boost creativity and breast milk production. The real question is why? What’s the reason why light frequency affects mood?

Well, humans and other mammals see in the visible light spectrum. We see all the hues of the rainbow, but it ends there. We cannot see beyond the visible spectrum, such as UV or Infrared light.

Since our eyes are naturally geared to see colors, we recognize certain colors more than others. Like the bright red strawberry on a strawberry patch. Or the purple flowers on an iris flower.

But, the sun emits all the wavelengths of the light spectrum. We only see a very narrow band of this. This is important to note because we see in color. This color helps us find food, helps us survive and even helps prevent us from dangerous situations (think about deep vs shallow water).

Since the sun emits all the spectrums, including the full band of visible light, we tend to feel different at different times of the day.

Sure, the time is important, but also the color of the light is important. How do you feel in an office vs an outdoor environment? The light emitted is a very different color and causes very different effects on humans.

The bluish/white light in offices causes alertness and awareness, but lacks creativity. But a true blue light can help with migraines and lower blood pressure as well as calm you down.

The major reason is we are designed to feel certain ways at certain time of the day.

The dusk like light emitted by Himalayan Salt Lamps can help calm you down, get you ready for sleep and boost creativity.

What other scientific things have you heard about salt lamps? How have they helped you?


Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of Ripe Thought or any Ripe Thought brands. Examples of benefits within this article are only examples portrayed by our reviews and by our customers. They should not be utilized in real-world medical, or health applications.  Knowledge and information is based only on very limited and dated open source information provided by anecdotal evidence. Assumptions made within the content are not reflective of the position of Ripe Thought. Our Products, including label and brochures have not been evaluated by the FDA and are not approved to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent disease. Ripe Thought makes no warranty as to the accuracy of any information and disclaims all warranties express or implied. The information provided is intended for educational/informational purposes only. Any liability that arises therefrom is excluded to the fullest extend allowed by law. All content on this site is based of the opinions of the content writers. We take no responsibility for the accuracy of this information.

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21 thoughts on “3 Scientific Things You Didn’t Know About Himalayan Salt Lamps

  1. Nancy Wagner says:

    I ABSOLUTELY LOVE my salt lamps! We have 14 in our house! The glow is soothing and cozy, creating a very homey atmosphere…like you’re wrapped in love. I use them instead of night lights and leave them on all day, except in the bedroom. The 15 watt bulbs warm the lamps better than the 7 watt bulbs, making them warm to the touch. I usually give them as gifts. WONDERFUL idea…

  2. Carol Hullender says:

    I have purchased 4 lamps & 2 night lights & I absolutely love them!!! I can breathe better & I don’t have as many migraines!💜🦋

    • Judith says:

      I suffer from 15+ migraines a month. I didn’t know about the salt lamps helping migraines and my husband sometimes has trouble breathing. I’m going to get some of these lamps. Thanks for the tip, Carol!

      • sam overson
        sam overson says:

        Hey Carol, we are hopeful that you are going to feel the significant positive change in your lifestyle. Give it a try and I am sure that you’re going to love it. 🙂

        • Dan says:

          Hi, have your husband to try the salt inhaler. I love mine. Look in your area for salt caves. Constructed out of the Hymalayan salt rocks and they blow a very fine salt in air to breathe in. He’ll feel the difference after one if not by the 2nd visit.
          Good luck and enjoy.


    We LOVE Salt breathers too! There are nose sniffers which I carry and have by my bed. The crystals have actually stopped asthma in my lungs after 45years of battling it with pneumonia and flu! None this year!!!HALLELUJAH!!!

  4. Stephanie says:

    My daughter got me a Himalayan Salt Rock for Mother’s two years ago and I absolutely love the ambiance in my bedroom. I turn mine on in the evening to relax after a shower and to set the mood. I’m very big on the lighting in and around my home for evening time as well as daytime. I love my bedroom ambiance most! Thank you whoever discovered this natural remedy. Stephanie Mandina

  5. Sue Yoder says:

    Every morning I would wake up with my nose being stuffed up Since Using my salt lamp that I don’t have that problem. I’m planning to get some more & gave 1 as a gift.

  6. Sarah h says:

    The effect of himalayas salt on breathing was noticed by the miners. You can use pink himalyan salt for eating it has extreme benefits over table salt.

  7. patricia says:

    I too have much less breathing problems at night. I still do not have the typical sweating as mentioned in the articles.

    • Barbi says:

      Have you kept in mind that the article claimed sweating is sometimes microscopic, depending on humidity in your area?

  8. Linda says:

    I have emphysema will these lamps honestly improve my breathing? Is there a particular kind thats genuine or are they all real salt? My boss has one and when you move it it crumbles . Is it supposed to do that? Are there fake lamps and if so how do you know what to get?

  9. Pamela Pyne says:

    These lamps are fantastic! They help with your mood no matter where they are. I had one in the living room. and it helped immensly with my moods greatly. I intend to get several more.

  10. Edie Fiorica says:

    This article was very interesting. I have been considering getting a few for my home. Still want to a little more research and read more reviews. Thank you for a very good article!!

  11. Kathy Santini says:

    I bought a this lamp about 5 years ago not knowing anything about it I just liked it. I noticed the salt around the bottom and threw it out thought it was faulty. Is it true you have to replace this lamp every couple of years and use the special lights I enjoyed reading this article as I didn’t know anything about the lamp just thought it looked nice

  12. Nancy Southwick says:

    Nice presentation, sounds through, I usually give people a choice of 4 or 6 types of “salt” …. study still in it’s indulgent phase, paper is not near ready to be published

  13. Dan says:

    Hi, have your husband to try the salt inhaler. I love mine. Look in your area for salt caves. Constructed out of the Hymalayan salt rocks and they blow a very fine salt in air to breathe in. He’ll feel the difference after one if not by the 2nd visit.
    Good luck and enjoy.

  14. Michelle Anderson says:

    I really love my salt lamps I feel better everyday I have three of them one next to my bed n two in living room notice my attitude has changed for better I feel healthy and happy thank you

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