Himalayan salt lamps are said to improve air quality and boost mood and energy levels thanks to the negative ions they're believed to emit, but doctors say there's just no proof that's true.
"There has been some talk in the holistic community about the fact that electromagnetic radiation from cellphones, from microwaves, from computers, creates positive ionization of our body. The talk has been that the negative ions supposedly produced by the lamps help to neutralize the positive charge. But to be honest with you... I haven't seen any large studies that would confirm this," holistic doctor Svetlana Kogan told Today.
What has been studied however is the use of high-density ionization as an alternative to bright light therapy in people suffering from seasonal affective disorder (SAD). A 2006 study compared the two and found ionization to be an acceptable alternative to bright light or medication.
And the promotion of salt lamps as a cure for asthma and allergies is just as unfounded. While salt in the form of a saline solution has the ability to thin mucus in the body there are very few studies that look at the benefits of salt therapy in asthma patients.
According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, salt therapy comes with its own set of dangers including bronchoconstriction and the premature discontinuation of prescriptions.
So if you're buying a salt lamp to boost your mood or help your breathing, you might want to think twice. Aside form recent recalls, the beautiful lamps are also lacking in proven health benefits.