Himalayan salt lamps are made from pink Himalayan salt, and while they can light up your surroundings, that’s not why most people purchase them. They are definitely beautiful to look at, but they do a lot more than provide a nice glow. They’re said to decrease pollutants in the air along with negative ions and “electrosmog,” caused by all of those electronic gadgets, and even help reduce symptoms in those who suffer from allergies, asthma, and other illnesses.

Authentic Himalayan salt lamps are hand carved from solid blocks of Himalayan salt that come from deep underground mines in Pakistan on the western edge of the Himalayan Mountain Range. They range in color from light pink to pink-orange, thanks to the concentration of minerals within them. The block of salt is hollowed out at the center and a light bulb is placed in it, which emits heat as well as light.

The reason that it offers a number of therapeutic benefits is because salt is hygroscopic, meaning that it attracts water molecules. That water vapor can also carry common air pollutants that are found indoors, such as bacteria, allergens, and mold. When these vapors come in contact with the salt lamp, the pollutants are said to stay trapped within the salt block. The salt dries out due to the heat, and can then continue its cycle of attracting water vapor and pollutants. It releases the water vapor back into the air while keeping the harmful pollutants inside.

Himalayan salt lamps are in high demand and for good reason, but it’s not all great news. In this article, we reveal four things you desperately need to consider before purchasing a Himalayan salt lamp.

  1. Himalayan salt lamps have a wide range of physical and mental health benefits

They purify and deodorize the air. The primary purpose of a Himalayan salt lamp is to purify the air. It also helps to remove unwanted odors. In addition to getting rid of common toxins like mold, bacteria, and allergens, it can eliminate ozone, the main component of air pollution that can make its way into indoor living space from outdoors. By removing these toxins, it can improve your health and well-being by giving you healthier, cleaner air to breathe. The lamp can make a significant difference in allergy symptoms too as it removes those microscopic particles of pet dander and dust.

Himalayan salt lamps balance positive and negative ions. In our modern world, we’re surrounded by electromagnetic radiation through unhealthy positive ions. Your smartphone, laptop, and television are just a few things that emit them. While you can’t see it, over the long term it can cause problems like a weaker immune system, increased stress, and fatigue. Experts say that chronic exposure to even low levels of this radiation could lead to a number of different cancers, heart disease, impaired immunity and may even contribute to Alzheimer’s disease.

This is where a Himalayan salt lamp can help – they emit negative ions in small amounts to counteract the positive ions. By neutralizing this electromagnetic radiation, it’s believed to help decrease its negative health effects and it could also reduce airborne infections.

Salt lamps boost energy levels. When you’re out in nature, taking a walk along the beach or through the woods, you’re getting lots of healthy negative ions which provides a boost of energy. The same thing is said to happen when you’re around the negative ions produced by a Himalayan lamp.

Himalayan salt lamps ease anxiety and promote better sleep. A Himalayan salt lamp adds an attractive warm glow to a room and makes it a more calm, pleasant place to be. In addition to its beauty, the negative ions it gives off is said to help reduce anxiety while creating a more relaxing atmosphere to promote better sleep, which is why many people keep a salt lamp in their bedroom.

According to WebMD, when negative ions enter the bloodstream, they’re said to produce a biochemical reaction that boosts the “feel-good hormone,” serotonin, which is known to relieve stress and boost one’s mood. While these lamps offer lots of great benefits, they aren’t without their downsides. There are some potential problems that you should know about too.

  1. Some Himalayan salt lamps are downright DANGEROUS

The United States Product Safety Commission has reported that Himalayan salt lamps could pose a hazard, though it’s specific to the Lumiere brand sold at Michaels between July and November of 2016. These lamps were recalled, and in the recall, notice it stated: “the dimmer switch and/or outlet plug can overheat and ignite, posing shock and fire.” It should be noted that Michaels sold these at a very cheap price –  as low as $15, which is a big clue that they were not genuine. A genuine Himalayan salt lamp should cost double or triple that. Remember, you get what you pay for, and cheap does not always equal good. It should also be noted that other salt lamp manufacturers and suppliers have taken notice of this product recall and it means safety across the board has been improved.

  1. Himalayan salt lamps require proper care and maintenance

Just like most things, a Himalayan salt lamp requires proper care in order to retain its full operational quality. It should not be placed in a very damp room or outside due to its hygroscopic properties, and it should be dried as soon as possible if it gets wet. To keep it dry if you live in an extremely humid area, you’ll need to keep it on continuously. Cleaning it is important too – if it’s left idle and not switched on for a while, dust and dirt can build up. Remove that buildup by using a moist, but not too damp dishcloth and then let it dry by turning it on or placing it in direct sunlight.

  1. Some Himalayan salt lamps are fake

Due to the increase in demand for Himalayan salt lamps, there’s also been an increase in cheaply manufactured counterfeits, which makes it a must to look for an authentic, high-quality lamp.

Some of the red flags to watch out for include:

It’s cheap. As we mentioned, cheap does not always equal good. If it’s a large lamp and under $20, it’s likely to be a fake. Smaller lamps can sometimes be under $20. Himalayan salt comes from just one region in the world, which makes it harder to come by, and therefore, it costs more.

It’s really heavy and provides a ton of light. If an authentic Himalayan salt lamp weighs more than 20 pounds, it will be unable to emit light uniformly. That means if the lamp weighs more than that and can light up your entire room, it’s probably made from something other than real Himalayan salt.

It doesn’t sweat. The salt in the lamp will absorb moisture around it, which it’s supposed to do, and that causes it to shrink. You can test it by rubbing it gently with a damp cloth. The part of the cloth you used should have noticeable discoloration and the lamp should look like it’s “sweating.” If that doesn’t happen, it isn’t authentic.

You’re not getting any benefits. While all of your life’s problems won’t be solved with a Himalayan salt lamp, you should notice a difference within a couple of weeks after using it in your home, such as improved energy levels, decreased allergy symptoms, less stress and better sleep. If you don’t notice any difference after a few weeks, it’s probably fake.

It’s worth paying a little more to get a quality Himalayan salt lamp – otherwise, you could be throwing your hard-earned money away. By ensuring its authentic, and properly caring for it, it can last forever, allowing you to enjoy its many benefits.

Once you’ve made the decision to invest in a Himalayan salt lamp you want to make sure the salt lamp you buy is real, safe and provides the promised benefits.

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