Salt Crystal candle holdersAccording to a research of the Institutes of Biophysical Research Germany, released in 1999 (and cited by all the companies that market salt crystal products, including Gama International to which I linked) salt crystal lamps are “natural ionizers” and its use can “adjust and neutralize electromagnetic wavelengths caused by electronic devices in natural way.”

I liked the explanation given for this effect: “As a result of this constant exposure to various frequencies, our own electromagnetic energy field becomes imprinted by the frequencies forced upon it, which upsets the natural development of our cells. Because of the atomic structure of the salt, which is already neutral, it is most likely that the artificial frequencies can be harmonized or balanced by the lit salt lamp as it works as a natural amplifier for the resonant frequency of 8-10 cycles per second, which is so necessary for our life.”

It all sounds beautiful and good, which made me go out and buy two Himalayan Salt Crystal candle holders, that you can see in the photo. The problem is that more in-depth research is starting to put doubt in my heart.

It all started after discovering the relationship between the above mentioned Institute, a book called Water and Salt: The Essence of Life, by Barbara Hendel and Peter Ferreira who is apparently the director of the Institute for Biophysical Research, and who is quoted by all and only by the companies that sell salt crystal products.

On the other hand, I also encountered information on the Internet (from a Fluoride Education Project) about how the whole “Himalayan salt crystal” thing is a scam, and if people really ingest this type of salt, they are at high risk of fluoride poisoning. But you know, even fluoride is a very controversial subject (maybe I’ll write about it more extensively) and there is discussion of the difference between naturally occurring fluoride and the one produced apparently from chemical waste (of the aluminum industry) and dumped into our drinking water.

Finally, I found a very compelling analysis (by a fellow blogger) about why the whole salt crystal lamp is just a hoax.

I was disheartened to notice that there is no online a web site for this Institutes of Biophysical Research Germany, that Peter Ferreira is supposed to lead, so maybe, like in many other cases, it is just a pseudo-scientific institute creation for the sole benefit of corporate gain.

Why is it that there is no impartial information about the salt crystal benefits from multiple sources? All information seems to lead back to the Himalayan Salt Crystal, the Water and Salt book and Peter Ferreira. There were no benefits to salt before 2006?

The Chamber of Commerce of Poland posts an article regarding studies attesting the production of negative ions by salt laps (European and Himalayan), although there are many factors (like size and polish of the surface) that come into play and might render most of these lamps completely useless.

But hey, I did buy into it. It’s easy to believe, right? Natural, unrefined, organic and pure salt (beautiful, beautiful looking) from the Himalayas, that works only with a little heat and gives off negative ions. Not hard to believe. The exposure to all the technology of our days does cause a lot of anxiety and many of us are looking for answers and are prepared to believe almost anything that has the slightest resemblance to a truth.

An article from 2007 in Daily Mail lists the salt crystal lamps among eleven products that make “false health claims”, as proven by a team of scientists from Sense About Science, an organization that claims to be “an independent charitable trust. We respond to the misrepresentation of science and scientific evidence on issues that matter to society, from scares about plastic bottles, fluoride and the MMR vaccine to controversies about genetic modification, stem cell research and radiation.” I couldn’t find the report about salt crystal on their website, as their archives go only back to 2008 at this time.

I am a bit sad right now mourning my 20 dollars worth of two useless lamps and delivery. I am also not very upset about it, because they are exquisitely beautiful and I’m going to use them as much as possible, while meditating, writing or just spending a quiet family evening and I will always appreciate them for the atmosphere they create. It cannot be demonstrated scientifically, but it feels good and for now that has to suffice.