Good To Glow: Do Salt Lamps Work?

Have I mentioned that one of my all time favorite books is Gorgeously Green by Sophie Uliano? It’s funny, easy to read, super informative, and ultra inspiring. I’ve followed tons of tips and tricks from my eco tome to make greening things up around our house a little easier. And one of the more unexpected mentions that grabbed my attention was a paragraph about salt lamps. Of course Sophie is honest and funny as she makes her case:

“Just to clear the ion thing up- negative ions are the ones we want around us. They give off a fresh, clean smell and charge the air with great energy. Consider getting a salt lamp. Okay, I know it sounds weird, but they are really pretty to look at. A salt lamp looks like a large glowing stone and is supposed to balance out the positive/negative ions so that you can maintain some kind of natural air quality. There have been scientific studies (I love scientific studies!) that demonstrate a salt lamp can increase the negative ion count by up to 300 percent. Some people put them by their televisions or computers. The bedroom will do for me.”

I had actually seen some at the state fair of all places a while back. And Sophie is right. They are pretty to look at! We’re always big fans of a natural object or five, and looks alone were reason enough to linger among the glowing amber stones lined up on wooden shelves at the fair. I was hypnotized, but John pointed out that carrying a big rock around wouldn’t exactly be convenient. So off we went to meet the goats and my love of salt lamps fell right out of my head.

Until Sophie’s mention of them…


That’s right, I fired up the ol’ laptop and hunted down the most affordable salt lamp I could find (those things can get pretty expensive if you’re not careful). And guess where it was from? Target! I made that gorgeous hunk of stone mine for just $19.99. Not bad for a 250 million year old natural salt crystal hand-chipped from the foothills of the Himalayan mountains.

And Target’s description also mentioned a few of the selling points that Sophie brought up: “acts as an air purifier,” “ideal for reducing stress,” and “releases negative ions into the air.” I don’t know if it’s all in my head, but I definitely feel more calm when my new salt lamp is on. It’s like lighting a candle except instead of flickering, it glows like a giant amber hunk of quartz. It’s sheer bliss I tell ya. And even when it’s not on, it’s definitely a gorgeous home accessory.


Here’s a shot of the whole media cabinet with my happy little salt lamp now living at the end. I figure since I spend 99% of my day in the den (where I work and also hang out with John when he gets home) it’s the best place to benefit from a little salt lamp therapy:


And I’m certainly crossing my fingers that its air-purifying effect will help with the impending allergy season (I get hammered for about two months and I’m hoping my new salt lick- er lamp- will soften the blow).

While we’re on the subject of allergies, do you guys have any helpful hints to share? I’ve heard everything from local honey (the theory is that bees work a bit of pollen into the honey which you eat and gain immunity) to stinging nettle supplements (which are said to act as a natural antihistamine). I’m someone who has dutifully tried Claritin and Allegra and have experienced zero relief from either of them, so I’m desperate!  Hook a soon-to-be-itchy-eyed-sniffly-nosed girl up.

Wanna learn more about everything from better air-quality to non-toxic makeup and hair dye? Check out “Gorgeously Green” and take notes all over the margins (my copy has more tabs than some of my old Domino magazines).






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