What is a Himalayan Rock Salt Lamp?
Pink crystal lamps are pretty simple objects: they typically consist of a large chunk of Himalayan pink salt secured to some sort of base (usually wood) with a carved out center that allows for a lightbulb to be placed inside the lamp, emitting a soft amber glow from the inside of the salt crystal. These rock lamps function as decor, lighting, and, according to some studies, a wellness booster.
Salt rock lamps come in a plethora of colors, shapes, and sizes including 30+ pound statement lamps, miniature salt lamps, salt lamp bowls, nightlights, geometric shapes, animals, white salt lamps, and much more.
Where Do Salt Rocks Come From?
True Himalayan salt rocks come from salt mines in Pakistan- one of 5 countries that the world’s tallest mountain range runs through. According to geologists, as the supercontinent Pangea began to split apart approximately 200 million years ago, the Tethys Ocean was formed. As the resulting subcontinents continued to shift, the body of water was eventually trapped between the landmasses, causing it to evaporate over time. The salt from this tropical ocean was deposited into the earth’s crust and as the tectonic plates continued to collide in what’s known as a subduction zone, the salt deposits were pushed high into the air along with other sediment and minerals found in the earth's crust, thus forming the Himalayan mountain range.
Lava from the earth’s core that bubbled to the surface of the earth during this era coated the Himalayan salt, essentially encasing it and protecting the salt deposits from outside toxins and minerals, which gave it the pure, unpolluted qualities it is known for today. The pink-orange coloration of the salt is a result of trace minerals- particularly iron and potassium.
Himalayan been salt has been used by the people of Tibet and Nepal for thousands of years in trade and food preservation, but the modern salt lamp decor as we know it today came around in the 1980s.
What Are Salt Lamps Good For?
Salt therapy comes in many forms ranging from small Himalayan salt lamps to entire salt caves (speleotherapy) and salt therapy rooms (halotherapy). These recent developments in alternative healing claim to harness the natural healing powers of salt to promote wellness and spiritual well-being. Using a salt light in a home meditation room, on a sacred altar, or your yoga space allows you to take advantage of all of the amazing benefits that a crystal salt lamp has to offer from the comfort of your home.
The heat from the bulb within a pink salt lamp causes the outside of the crystal to dry out as it releases negative ions into the air. These ions attract water molecules and positive ions to the crystal lamp’s surface, simultaneously balancing the ion distribution in the air and purifying the water molecules that land on the surface then evaporate back into the air.
Salt rocks have also started to make an appearance in the culinary world in the form of salt cooking blocks. Himalayan salt tiles create a unique experience and flavor profile when cooking, seasoning, and flavoring a variety of meats and other dishes.
Even if the alternative medicinal effects of salt lamps aren’t appealing to you, the beauty and intrigue that these salt crystal lamps possess is undeniable. They truly look like ethereal gems mined from deep within a cavern (well… because they are!)