About Himalayan Pink Salt
Pink Himalayan salt is halite (rock salt) mined in Pakistan. Himalayan salt, named for the Himalayan mountain range, is special because of the diversity of minerals in its composition as well as its purity. In addition to being mineral-rich, this particular salt mine was covered in lava for millions of years, which actually protected from pollution and environmental changes over time.
If Himalayan salt is named for a mountain range, why do some people call it Himalayan Sea Salt? All salt was once in the sea! Salt deposits are in locations that were once covered by salted bodies of water, like oceans or salt-water lakes. What we now know of as Himalayan salt is just the remaining mineral deposit from an area that was once covered in water.
The pink coloring, which can range from transparent to reddish or orange, comes from iron oxide, which is a naturally-occurring chemical compound of, you guessed it, iron and oxygen. In addition to cooking and seasoning with pink salt, it can also be used for salt slabs, which function either for cooking or serving food. This actually imparts minerals into the foods as well!
Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps
A Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp is made of a large (usually 6” or larger) salt crystal, which is hollowed out and lit from the inside with a small light bulb. Look for true Himalayan Crystal salt lamps and beware imitation rock salt lamps. A true Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp is made from the very same salt that you could use to season your food. You could even grate off small flakes from your lamp if you needed some in a pinch! Using a salt lamp provides a warm (pinkish or orangish), ambient light. It’s not bright enough to read by, but it can provide a calming glow in both daytime and nighttime uses. You may even choose to use the lamp as a nightlight alternative.
Have you ever heard of dry salt therapy (also known as “speleotherapy” or “halotherapy”)? This medical therapy method began in the 1800s in Poland and was based on the premise that pure, ionized air from inside the salt mines could cure respiratory problems. Patients would go to the salt caves in Poland and Eastern Europe to breathe the clean, mineralized air. Dry salt therapy is still in use in Europe, where you can visit spa-like locations to breathe fresh air inside the salt mines.
Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps may work as natural air purifiers because they give off negative ions into the air as they warm from the lightbulb inside. The negative ions attract moisture from the air onto the surface of the lamps, which evaporates against the heat of the lamp. As the water evaporates, negative ions are released into the air. Negative ions attach to particulates that float in the air such as pollen, dust, dirt, pollutants, and other allergens that are positively-charged. This causes the particulates to become heavy so they drop and settle onto surfaces, which could explain why Himalayan Pink Salt Lamps are suspected to reduce airborne allergens. Be careful where you keep your lamp – in humid climates, the salt sometimes sweats, and may even leave a ring of salt deposit on your table.
Because of the air-purifying action of a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp, you may notice that rooms where you use the lamp may seem dustier than other places in your home or office! Although the additional dust may seem frustrating, it’s a good indicator that your lamp is actually removing the particulates from the air. When possible, you can leave your Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp on at all times. The small bulb in the lamp will keep the lamp slightly warm to the touch, but, as long as the lamp is on a clean, stable surface, you should not have a fire risk. Each lamp will essentially last forever (its properties do not expire), but you will likely need to replace the lightbulb over time.
Have you used a Himalayan Pink Salt Lamp? What do you think?
If you’re motivated to keep improving your indoor air quality, there are a few bigger steps you can take to really boost your health. We recommend investing in a sealed system HEPA Vacuum (our guide to the best vacuum options is HERE). With a proper HEPA vacuum and Branch Basics Starter Kit, you’re ready to try the Official Branch Basics Deep Cleaning Method.
Going on a family trip? Check out our Healthy Travel Guide for our favorite travel snacks and tips for preventing sunburn, jetlag, and more!