Salt therapy?

My cousin gave me a salt crystal lamp for Christmas. A friend gave me a trip to a salt cave for Christmas. We’re going next week. All of a sudden salt therapy seems to be the trendy thing.

Supposedly breathing in dry salty air is good for you somehow. Is this true or is it just hype? When I googled Salt Therapy I got mostly websites from salt caves and salt lamp purveyors, plus one from Prevention that didn’t really say anything substantive.

Also, I have a tendency toward high blood pressure. Will the salt lamp cause me to take in extra sodium and possibly cause a rise in my BP?

Not sure about the BP question, you should confer with your doctor on that, but “Salt Therapy”, or Halotherapy, has been around for a while. Whether it helps most people seems to be up for debate. Again, I would consult with a trusted medical practitioner before going too far down the road, however I don’t think it can really hurt you that much.

The salt lamps are pretty, but don’t do anything for your health.

Salt… air? How? Salt isn’t volatile. That lamp will remain a solid lump of salt, and unless you’re licking it none of it will enter your body.

Unless it’s finely powdered, and you have a fan blowing it into the air. In that case, I can unambiguously state that it is not a good idea to breath in lots of salt.

By inappropriately extrapolating the Antoine Equation to ludicrously low temperatures, I’m seeing a vapor pressure at 25 C of 10[sup]-34[/sup] bar. Which, if we pretend an ideal gas, gives us 10[sup]-36[/sup]moles per liter, or 10[sup]-12[/sup] molecules per liter :smiley:

So yeah, not volatile. Homeopathic salt vapors?

Salty aerosols are a thing. They’re well-studied but not fully understood. But they’re formed over liquid solutions. I’m not seeing home air currents over a solid aerosolizing much.

Here’s rationalwiki’s entire entry on halotherapy:

Here’s Skeptoid’s article on the same. Nothing but woo.

“Good for you somehow” isn’t exactly a very precise claim. What, exactly, are the benefits supposed to be? For bonus points, what is the claimed mechanism by which these benefits are achieved?

It is beneficial only in that “breathing in” is good for you, as compared to “not breathing.”

On a related side note, I once worked at a salt mine/processing plant, where several of the personnel mentioned that they developed new hypertension/high blood pressure problems since they started working there. I don’t have the background to validate their claims, but there was certainly a noticeable amount of salt in the air; your lips/clothes were always salty, a lot of rusty cars in the parking lot, etc.