Negative Ions Benefits For Your Health
Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. Here’s how they can both clear the air in your home of allergens like pollen and mold and hazardous airborne particles such as bacteria and viruses, and have some surprisingly beneficial effects on your health.
What Do Negative Ions Do?
Negative ions are created in nature by the effects of water, air, sunlight and the Earth’s inherent radiation. They are most prevalent in natural places and particularly around moving water or after a thunderstorm.
That taste in the air and feeling you get at the beach, near a waterfall or after a storm is your body been saturated in the benefits of negative ions.
What if there were a way to take that feeling you have with you and keep it going in your bedroom, lounge room, kitchen or office, as well as cleaning the air of contaminants?
Negative ions clear the air of dust, mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria and viruses. They do this by attaching to these positively charged particles in large numbers. This causes the pollen, mold, bacteria, etc to become too heavy to stay airborne.
At this point it drops to the floor or attaches to a nearby surface, thus removing it from the air you breathe and preventing it from causing respiratory problems and other health issues.
How Do Negative Ionizers Work?
Add to that positive ion producing air conditioning, electrical equipment like televisions and clothes dryers, and even carpet and upholstery, and our homes have become what has been described as ‘positive ion prisons’.
Our homes and workplaces are usually sealed off from the natural benefits of negative ions. Even if you do keep your windows open, aside from all the pollution, if you live in a busy town or city the concentration of negative ions in the air may only be a tenth of that found in country environments.
For a list of the harmful effects positive ions can have on your health see the page on Negative and Positive Ions.
You do have one negative ion generator in your home already though. Your shower, with its stream of hot water and steam, is a good producer of negative ions. That’s part of why so many people need a shower to wake up in the morning.
That’s not much use in the other rooms of your house, but fortunately scientists have come up with another even more effective way to create these negatively charged ions and receive their health benefits in whatever room you spend time in.
Modern negative ionizers work by using a method called ‘corona discharge’, which is actually modeled on the way lightning occurs.
A tiny current of electrons flow down a needle to its point. The nearer the electrons come to the needlepoint, the closer they are forced together. Since electrons naturally repel each other, when they reached the very tip of the needle they are forced off into the nearest air molecule and become a negative ion.
Negative ions repel each other as well, so as more and more are produced they are emitted further and further out into the room they are in. The more powerful the ionizer, the more beneficial ions they can produce and the larger their range.
Top 10 Negative Ion Benefits for Your Health
There are highlighted links to references if you would like to read the relevant scientific research, but for a handy summary here are the top 10 health benefits of negative ions:
- 1. Negative ions increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity by removing the debilitating effects of excessive positive ions in your environment.
- 2. Negative ionizers are proven to clear the air of dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other potential allergens.
- 3. A good ionizer can significantly decrease airborne viruses and bacteria in your home.
- 4. Improves the function of the cilia in your respiratory tract that protect your lungs from irritation and inflammation, thus leading to less instances of respiratory illnesses like colds and flu and even hayfever and asthma.
- 5. Negative ionizers have a relaxing effect and have been reported to normalize your breathing rate, decrease blood pressure and relieve tension.
- 6. Studies show high levels of negative ions can be as effective at treating Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD) as commonly prescribed antidepressants (obviously discuss any medication changes with your doctor).
- 7. Improved energy levels and focus. Research at the University of California showed negative ions normalize serotonin levels in the brain, potentially improving a person’s positive outlook and mood.
- 8. Better sleep. A French study found using negative ionizers could help you to sleep better. This is once again due to their positive effects in normalizing serotonin production in the brain.
- 9. Reduces instances of headaches and sickness. The company Norwich Union found installing negative ion air cleaners in a work area full computers and other electronic equipment reduced instances of reported sickness and headaches by 78%. Negative ionizers are also routinely used in hospitals in Europe for their beneficial impact on patient’s health and healing rates.
- 10. Elevated mental concentration and performance. Testing has regularly shown that subjects exposed to high levels of negative ions perform better in mentally challenging tasks than those breathing normal positive ion dense air. Pierce J. Howard PhD at the Center for Applied Cognitive Sciences says in the Owners Manual for the Brain – “Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”
Negative Ionizers in Your Home
This site will review the best negative ionizers for your home, office and even car. Those that have a high output of negative ions, require little maintenance, are long-lasting and have positive feedback from people who own them.
Nowadays, new and innovative ways of generating negative ions benefits are being developed. Ionizers are becoming smaller and more stylish. There are even highly portable versions you can take to work, like USB stick ionizers that you plug into your computer at the office to counteract that positive ion heavy environment. Alternatively, light bulbs that produce negative ions whenever they are switched on.
While it would be possible to go far deeper into the health benefits of negative ions, I hope this page has provided a good starting summary. If you try a negative ionizer in your own home I’d really appreciate your feedback on how it makes you feel and any changes you experience in your health and energy.