Negative Ions vs. Positive Ions

Negative Ions vs. Positive Ions

Negative ions work for you! One of the great benefits to spending time outside is exposure to negative ions.

There are ions around us all the time and they affect how we feel. Ions are not visible to the naked eye. They are so small that they are absorbed through the skin and into our bloodstream from the air we breathe.

Negative ions are health-enhancing molecules found in the fresh air in nature—near mountains, forests, beaches, and waterfalls. Negative ions are created by the movement of water, by sunlight and by the earth’s radiation. Exposure to negative ions is thought to reduce stress levels, enhance your mood, increases levels of serotonin (the feel-good chemical), increase oxygen flow to the brain, protect you from germs and allergic particulates in the air, and protect the body from stresses. There is even an abundance of negative ions produced when you take a shower because of the way the water molecules collide! Ever notice how you feel good during and after a shower?

Positive ions, on the other hand, have been shown to have a negative effect on your body when exposed to them in excess. They are believed to cause fatigue, lack of energy, tension, anxiety, irritability, headaches, and are thought to be possible contributors to asthma and depression. Positive ions are commonly formed in nature by high winds, dust, humidity, and pollution. In our homes and workplaces, positive ions are generated by air-conditioning systems, fluorescent lights, fibers in carpets and upholstery, and electrical equipment such as televisions, computers, mobile phones, wireless networks, vacuum cleaners, microwaves, electric stoves, clothes dryers, and women’s hair dryers. And with homes and offices sealed from the air outside, there is often little fresh air and its negative ions coming in to counteract this positive ion damage. One way to make your home environment healthier is to open the windows and let the fresh air in (although, large towns and city environments have far less negative ions in the air than country environments).

You can also use ionizer machines in your home to enhance the ratio of negative ions. Negative ions in the air even attach to bacteria and viruses, giving them a negative charge causing them to fall to the floor or nearest surface. A study in the U.S. found that ionizing a room reduced dust in the air by about half and decreased bacteria almost entirely! This can be particularly helpful if you suffer from allergies. Columbia University studies also show that negative ion generators relieve winter and chronic depression in people as much as antidepressants!

In just 10 minutes of inhaling negative ions, brainwaves show a state of calmness. Wherever you live you can get the “good” negative ions. Take a walk in the park, walk near a stream, walk along the beach, sit in a lush garden, or have a shower! Get active in nature by climbing a mountain, going for a hike, or playing in the water at the beach. Even just stepping outside for a break when you’re at the office helps!

Increase your negative ions

To increase the negative ions in your home or office you can install a water fountain or have live plants (best for negative ions are peace lilies, gerberas and bamboo palms). Salt lamps are a good way to generate negative ions in the home because they decrease the amount of positive ions in the air. Salt lamps are pretty to look at and they off other benefits, too. Leave the salt lamp on because it takes a longer period of time to work its magic on ions. Every week or so turn off the salt lamp, let it cool for an hour, then wipe it with a barely damp cloth (because particles carrying contaminants get stuck to the salt lamp). To get the most benefit from a salt lamp, place it close to you in places you spend the most time. Put one on your desk closer to you than your computer and other electronic devices. If possible, place a salt lamp in every room.

Try to use natural fibers as much as possible in your home to reduce the positive ions caused by static electricity: cottons, linens, bamboos, and wools as opposed to polyester, plastic, vinyl, and chemically treated woods. Eliminate carpet if possible, and buy an all-natural mattress. Use fresh air to drip dry your clothes as opposed to a clothes dryer whenever possible, and when you can, let your hair dry naturally. Replace bright fluorescent bulbs with low-wattage bulbs. Get some exercise outside every day, preferably near running water. Let some cross-breeze come through your house. When you go to sleep turn off electrical equipment. Have indoor plants, ionizer machines, and/or crystal salt lamps. Burning candles and keeping fresh flowers in the home are also natural elements that help. These all increase negative ions in the air!

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Love, Janelle

Janelle Moon supports our readers with carefully chosen product recommendations, some of which may earn us a commission including those from our Amazon Associates program.

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