*Originally published Feb. 4, 2018. Updated on Feb. 24, 2018.
If I had done my research before purchasing this new trend of orange-lighted, natural lamps made of Himalayan pink salt (HPS), I would have bought a larger one because the benefits are REAL.
After researching for hours and studying over 20 credible sources, I’ve come to the conclusion that the trendy pink salt lamps have true potential. And now that I’ve done my research, my wife and I will be buying a far larger one soon! (*Update: I actually ended up buying a 12.5-pound salt lamp!)
This article will cover important information about Himalayan salt lamps:
- their benefits
- their pros/cons
- how to choose your own
- my recommendations
Benefits of HPS Lamps
There are plenty of proven benefits of Himalayan salt lamps and I’m excited to list and explain each one. There is truly a reason behind this new fad around the U.S.
Himalayan salt lamp benefits:
- Improves energy levels, performance, and sleep
- by reducing electromagnetic radiation
- Reduces asthma and allergy symptoms
- by filtering the air due to salt’s hygroscopic properties
- Improves mood
- through biochemical reactions, color therapy, and it’s natural 84 minerals
- Reduces stress
- by counteracting the effects of electronics and blue light
Many of the terms above may not make sense quite yet, but I wanted to immediately back up the benefits with answering the question: “how?” Don’t be fooled by website articles that state there is no evidence or reason behind these benefits – these benefits are REAL.
1. Improves energy levels, performance, and sleep
To make this short and sweet, pure salt imitates the effects of nature and thus reduces the effects of electronics.
In detail (get ready), the world as we know it has electricity both positive and negative. Electronics, such as screens with blue light, are positively ionized. Nature, especially water, has a negative ionization (substances unaffected by humans are generally not positively charged). Due to the natural quality of Himalayan pink salt, negative ions are released through the exposure of air to salt.
For a little perspective (according to WellnessMama.com):
- c. 10,000 negative ions are produced per cubic centimeter by waterfalls and beaches
- c. 100 negative ions are produced per cubic centimeter by busy cities
Salt lamps don’t generate vast amounts of negative ionization like nature does, but it can help alleviate the symptoms of office work, use of electronics, and general indoor life. According to Dr. Svetlana Kogan of New York City, there are no large studies of salt lamps producing enough negative ions to counteract electromagnetic radiation. BUT, I disagree.
According to Dr. Axe from DrAxe.com, there have been over 2,000 studies to conclude the toxic effects electromagnetic radiation (or positive ionization) has on humans. NBC news reported that chronic exposure to such radiation (such as cell phones) can cause not only sleep issues, but a variety of cancers, impair immunity and can contribute to heart disease, dementia, and Alzheimer’s disease. Before you begin to worry too much, PLEASE do your own research on this topic before unquestionably trusting one source (albeit a trustworthy one). Science changes. New studies pop-up. Stay up to date on it if it truly concerns you.
With so much exposure to EM (electromagnetic waves), it only serves to help to have anything that produces negative ionization. Even small amounts like salt lamps.
2. Reduces asthma and allergy symptoms
Himalayan pink salt (HPS) provides relief for asthma sufferers and is even used in some inhalers. For the public, the American Society for Horticultural Science reports that one of the main components for air pollution is ozone. According to WebMD, HPS lamps don’t replace air filters, but it may serve you well to help filter with style because HPS is hygroscopic by nature.
Hygroscopic means a substance “readily attracts water from its surroundings” by absorption or adsorption (definition from ScienceDaily.com). So air molecules with mold, bacteria, allergens and other pollutants can be caught on the surface of HPS lamps, forever caught in the salt. Salt eventually dries out and then continues the cycle, releasing pure water vapor back into the air.
“Salt therapy” is a REAL treatment for asthma and allergy sufferers. In the late 1800’s Siberian salt mine workers were known to have surprisingly very little respiratory problems leading medicine to utilize salt’s natural healing abilities. Salt therapy is widely used throughout Russia and Eastern Europe – “salt caves” were even approved for medical use by the Russian government in 1995.
Halotherapy, otherwise known as salt therapy, usually involves relaxing “two to three hours per day in underground salt grottos” according to CNN and it said to reduce inflammation caused by allergens and clear the airways of mucus. With the right balance of temperature and salt concentration, the benefits of salt caves and therapy are said to last “for up to 12 months!” A study in 2006 by the New England Journal of Medicine deemed this type of saline therapy a safe and effective additional therapy for patients with cystic fibrosis. Even the Lung Institute has reported that some people have found salt therapy a helpful relief for lung disease symptoms and help to ease breathing.
According to clinical studies mentioned by Dr. Axe, salt therapy is also known to impressively benefit about:
- 85% of mild/moderate asthma cases
- 75% of severe asthma cases
- 97% of chronic bronchitis, bronchiectasis, cystic fibrosis cases
Himalayan salt lamps are not anywhere large enough to offer the same benefits as a salt cave, but the evidence is real. It wouldn’t hurt to try a lamp yourself and experiment with pink salt on your own merit. Inform us here at MusicalGrowth.com what you think!
3. Improves mood
Have you ever wondered why going outside and taking a big breath of fresh air makes you feel better? Ionization! Well, more specifically negative ionization. As I mentioned in the first section, negative ionization is generally a physical occurrence of the natural world with bodies of water being the best source.
To reiterate a very powerful point (according to WellnessMama.com):
- c. 10,000 negative ions are produced per cubic centimeter by waterfalls and beaches
- c. 100 negative ions are produced per cubic centimeter by busy cities
HPS lamps are known to produce negative ions due to its natural purity in salt content. Anything to counteract electronics and cell phones (which have really taken over our lifestyles!).
It can, in fact, improve your mood! I couldn’t believe it.
Serotonin levels are believed to be increased by the negative ionization due to the biochemical reactions in the bloodstream according to Dr. Axe. And although there are few clinical studies, many online testimonies can be found proving that HPS lamps aid with Seasonal Affective Disorder.
Color therapy is a holistic approach to improving a person’s mood, mental health, and even physical health.
A long tradition of color therapy, dating thousands of years, can be seen in the cultures of Egypt, Greece, and China. Color therapy has been utilized throughout history and even more recently. In 2013, the project, “Cool Down Pink,” adopted over 30 prisons in Switzerland to aid in calming down inmates by painting cells with the color pink!
Orange, the color of these HPS lamps we’ve been studying, is said to pinpoint the “sakral” Chakra and according to Aetherius.org, orange can be given “to the spleen, liver, kidneys, heart and indeed to any organ which helps to promote good circulation.”
4. Reduces stress
Screens, electronics, cell phones, and generally most electrically powered items contain sources of positive ionization due to the nature of its functionality. According to a 2002 study by the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), “negative air ions are effective for the reduction of and the prompt recovery from stress caused by computer operation.”
Stress is greatly affected by positive ions produced by a lot of the gadgetry in modern society, but it was only a matter of time that science would find that we are happier with exposure to nature (or more specifically, the negative ionization of nature).
It is only reasonable to assume that any addition of negative ions to your home or office can greatly improve your stress levels and mood along with the other benefits stated in the first point above (negative ions also improves energy levels, performance, and sleep!).
Obviously, the pros include the benefits previously mentioned, but apart from the “science” backed reasons to consider having your own HPS lamp, there are other reasons!
HPS lamps that have a rugged, handmade shape to it really offer a great natural look to any room. The low-light of its “orange” glow offers a great night light as well.
My wife and I bought our first lamp at a store in Madison, WI – as soon as we came home, we unboxed, unwrapped, and plugged it in. Since we were sleeping in our friends living room, the light from the lamp added such a warm, mellow illumination to the room when all the other lights were off.
Warm low-light lamp
Calming night light
Trendy look due to its natural aesthetic
I remember our friend mentioning it looks like a fireplace was lit – and we had even bought the smallest size (before I knew all the benefits)! Of course, we really want the biggest size now – they’re so beautiful.
You do have to be careful when looking around for your own Himalayan salt lamp because some are only USB-powered. For most modern homes, outlets with USB ports have already been installed. But it is definitely something to consider.
To properly care for you HPS lamp, it is said (at least by Earthbound Trading) you must turn the lamp on at least 30 minutes a day to prevent moisture build-up. If planning not to use it for a long period of time, use a plastic bag to protect it. Most lamps should only be used indoors and also try not to spill water on the salt itself (if you’d like to remove dust, use a dampened towel and then dry with a paper towel).
According to Rheana Murray from TODAY.com, there was one occurrence of an HPS lamp recall in 2016. Apparently, the Lumiere branded salt lamps were found to be shock and fire hazards. Though it doesn’t occur often, it is important to know that it has been a small issue in the past with a specific brand of Lumiere.
Choosing Your Own HPS Lamp
When choosing your own lamp made of pure Himalayan pink salt, there are many factors to weigh out when comparing options.
Not studying up on this is another huge regret for me, because, with my new found knowledge after diligently researching about these lamps, I would have definitely wouldn’t have bought the mini, cheap lamp a few months ago. Now I have a 9-pound lamp coming in the mail straight from Pakistan that I’m so excited about!
Factors to consider when choosing a lamp:
- Durability & Vulnerability
- Purity of the HPS
- Return Policy
PLEASE keep reading though, because some of these factors are backwards and not what you might think (trust me).
For your benefit, I’ll go into detail to help you choose the best quality salt lamp for your money.
1. Durability & Vulnerability
Durability is actually less desirable. Believe it or not, if the salt is unaffected by bumps or collisions, it may be an IMPOSTER. Salt crystals are naturally fragile.
Ensure the salt lamp is vulnerable to moisture. Natural salt is prone to moisture when exposed to humid spaces such as a bathroom with a running shower.
For maximum benefits, choose natural handmade salt lamps with rough exteriors. The rougher a lamp, the greater the surface area and thus the salt has greater exposure to the air in your home.
Most importantly, the light must produce heat. In order for salt’s hygroscopic characteristics to do “it’s thang,” salt, heat, and water must work together. Without heat, the water wouldn’t stick to the salt. In fact, the salt itself should appear “sweaty” when in a humid environment. For some of this, the humidity must be imitated through the heat of the lamp’s bulb (LED bulbs don’t produce heat!)
Keep an eye out for lamps that are too bright! We don’t want a replication of office lights with high positive ionization within the lamp itself – it would defeat the purpose of having the lamp! A good quality HPS lamp shouldn’t be able to illuminate an entire room.
Companies always offer options but be warned. If the white salt lamps are as expensive or cheaper than the pink lamps – WALK AWAY.
White Himalayan salt is very rare and the price tag should match the demand for the real deal. If the white option isn’t far more expensive than the pink, you may have an imposter on your hands.
4. Purity of HPS
Pure Himalayan pink salt comes from, and only from, the Himalayan mountains, generally only mined in Khewra, Pakistan (on the western edge of the Himalayan Mountains). It’s the only true source of HPS, not Poland (which is another source you may see for HPS).
Check to see if the box the lamp arrives in attributes the origin of the material and confirms that it is 100% HPS. Don’t be another victim of off-brand scams.
If the lamp is too small, its effects will be too small to notice. Make sure you invest in a proper size in order to reap the benefits of your new pink addition.
The general rule of thumb to follow, according to WellnessMama.com:
1Ib of salt = filters 4’ x 4’ area in a single room
Small room? Shoot for 1 or 2 lamps of medium size
Big room? Shoot for 2 or 3 lamps of medium size
Of course, there are more variables to consider than just size, like cost. It may be more expensive to buy one large lamp than buying a few small ones. So although size does matter, consider the best combination to cover the greatest area.
6. Return Policy
High-quality HPS lamps are fragile. There’s potential for damage during shipping and a good, prepared company will know this and offer a return policy. If there is no return policy offered, consider the authenticity of the product. A good company will offer a return policy.
There are many options online, but don’t trust all of them! The internet is littered in pink salt lamp imitations, but I’m so excited that I’ve been informed of an original source for these nifty lamps.
A representative from BuddhaGroove.com told me of the first company that sold these pink salt lamps (starting in 2004) before they became a fad. After reviewing the company, “So Well,” and their website SoWellMade.com, this is by far the best option to acquire an authentic HPS lamp and offers the most trustworthy source – more than I’ve seen elsewhere online or even compared to local stores.
So Well not only cares about the customer’s experience, but also offers fair trade for the Pakistani crafters of these salt lamps. Sure, sure. I’ll offer some options for Amazon lamps later, but really, it would be so much better to benefit the workers with your purchase – according to the So Well website, their fair trade program offers about 25% greater wages to ensure mutual accountability.
- Happier workers and improved quality of life in Pakistan
- Better hand-crafted lamps due to boosted moral
Not only do they offer fair trade regulations for their products and a 30-day satisfaction guarantee, they also offer all the information you need to know about salt lamps (benefits, origins, etc.). So much better than Amazon where most products just list a few vague (and questionable facts). Here are a few great options I found worthy of mentioning from So Well:
With about 5 to 6 pounds of salt, a wooden base, a 15-watt bulb (which will warm the salt), and a dimmer cord, this package (Medium HPS Lamp by So Well) is literally everything you need for the highest quality Himalayan pink salt lamp. If you’re looking for something smaller (and less pricey) with the same quality, they also have a Small HPS Lamp thats around 2 to 4 pounds with all the same equipment except with peg feet (not a wooden base).
If you’re not fond of the color, be rest assured that So Well offers high-quality (and REAL) white Himalayan salt lamps that are absolutely gorgeous.
If you follow the link, you’ll notice that the rarity of the white salt is represented by the price (about $20 to $40 more depending on the size you select), which if you remember from the previous section of this article is a great sign for authenticity! The quality of the amber, white, and grey salt crystals are top-notch and for the options they offer, you can be rest assured they’ve been doing this for 14+ years.
If you’re looking for different variances of the pink salt lamp, I did find a nice salt lamp holder from BuddhaGroove below.
I’m really excited about this unique looking HPS lamp that looks very fancy. It comes with a 25-watt light bulb ready to warm the Pakistani pink salt. For the price, two pounds of salt is very appealing – instead of two for a room, you can buy this one and be set. I was only able to find the above option on BuddhaGroove.com.
For the die-hard Amazon fans, Amazon does have a few options that are trustworthy, though I would still recommend checking out SoWellMade.com for their guaranteed quality because there are many lamps on Amazon that don’t offer a return policy and aren’t specific about the location of the HPS. BUT, the above lamp offers 100% money back and mentions the specific location of the salt’s origin. Another great addition is the dimmer switch to control the brightness of this 7 to 9 pounds lamp of ancient salt.
This is also a trustworthy source of HPS on Amazon. The Lake Industries lamp comes with the dimmer switch, it mentions Pakistan origins, and returns are a possibility (according to the customer reviews). It is the largest option, weighing in at around 9 or more pounds of Himalayan salt. And not at all bad for the price! You can check it on Amazon here.
The Dream Lamp
I have to at least mention the dream for any Himalayan salt lamp owner, even though our budget may not allow us to ever own this beast of a lamp. But if anyone does actually end up buying the below lamp, PLEASE send me a photo of you standing next to it!
So Well offers “Architectural-sized Lamps” of up to 100 pounds of pure Himalayan salt!
I can just imagine this huge block of negative ionizing slab of HPS sitting in the corner of my office. I would probably be extremely happy all the time due to being untouched from EM radiation due to this beautiful hunk of ancient salt!
Although the benefits of Himalayan pink salt (HPS) are relatively new to the western world, medical practices and holistic healing methods have utilized HPS and salt therapy for centuries. These pink lamps are very popular right now and there truly is a reason behind the fad.
The benefits of ingesting HPS have been proven time and time again: provides essential minerals and trace minerals, balanced body’s pH levels, normalizes metabolic functions, and increases energy flow and circulation. It was only a matter of time that the western world would study and favor the consistently beneficial Himalayan pink salt.
Personally, I’m astounded that there hasn’t been more widespread education about salt therapy and color therapy in the western world.
Sometimes I feel the “convenience” of medication distracts the population from other less disrupting options like holistic practices or eastern medicine.
To give an example. I suffer from intense TMJ issues. I first went to a specialist that described an invasive surgery to implant material to help my jaw’s fluidity. Luckily before I went to spend thousands, I tried acupuncture and violá. My jaw felt so much better and lasted about 6 months before I remember my TMJ issues. It worked so well that I threw up three times immediately after I stood up because the blood was flowing so freely to my brain that I just couldn’t take it! So I’m so glad I tried the Eastern route, before spending hundreds on a procedure that would have to be repeated multiple times in the future.
So in conclusion, I highly recommend exploring Himalayan pink salt lamps and see if you feel benefits from them after a few weeks. Not only are they a cool addition to your living, the benefits are almost undeniable.
Let me know if this article helped you! I’m truly here to serve the community and I really want to know if I’ve helped you in any way through my intense research into HPS lamps. You can even disagree with me – any and every comment below I will read and reply with care.
If you’re curious, I’ve listed my sources below.
Best of luck with finding your HPS lamp!
|Art Therapy Blog|
|Diamond, M. Text. Enriching Heredity:
The Impact of the Environment on the Anatomy of the Brain.
New York: Free Press, 1988.
|Salt Cave UK|
|Thayer, R.E., Text. Biopsychology of Mood
and Arousal. New York: Oxford University Press, 1989.