Negative Ions Benefits for Your Health & How Negative Ionizers Work
Negative ions are oxygen atoms charged with an extra electron. They are created in nature by the effects of water, air, sunlight and the Earth’s inherent radiation.
Negatively charged ions 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 being 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 pollution and floating contaminants?
Ahead is how to use special negative ion generating ionizers like this to both clear the air in your home of allergens and have some surprisingly beneficial effects on your health as well.
What Do Negative Ions Do?
In high enough concentrations, negative ions purify the surrounding air of mold spores, pollen, pet dander, odors, cigarette smoke, bacteria, viruses, dust and other hazardous airborne particles.
They do this by attaching to these positively charged particles in large numbers. This causes the germs, mold, pollen and other allergens to become too heavy to stay airborne.
At this point they drop to the floor or attach to a nearby surface. This removes them from the air you breathe and prevents them from causing respiratory problems, such as asthma and allergies, and even more serious pollution related illnesses in the long term, like lung cancer.
Himalayan salt lamps can also clean the air in a different way. There’s more on salt lamps and whether they do produce negative ions here.
Unfortunately, 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 air pollution, if you live in a busy town or city then the concentration of negative ions in the air may only be a tenth of that found in country environments.
Add to that positive ion producing air conditioning, electrical equipment like televisions, microwave ovens and clothes dryers, and even carpet and upholstery, and our homes have become what has been described as ‘positive ion prisons’.
For a list of the harmful effects positive ions can have on your health see this page on what positive and negative ions are and how they affect you.
How Do Negative Ionizers Work?
You do have one negative ion generator in your home already. Your shower, with its stream of hot water and steam, is a good producer of negative ions. That’s likely part of why so many people need a shower to wake up in the morning.
It’s not much use in the other rooms of your house though. 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 — negative ionizers.
Modern ionizers work by using a method called ‘corona discharge’, which is actually modeled on the way lightning occurs in nature.
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, also known scientifically as an anion.
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, like these extremely high powered ones, the more beneficial ions they can produce and the larger their range.
12 Health Benefits of Negative Ions
So just what can ion therapy with an ionizer potentially do for you in terms of improving your health and well-being? There are highlighted links to references if you would like to read the relevant scientific research, but for a handy summary here are 12 very positive negative ion health benefits:
- Negative ions increase your sense of well-being and mental clarity by removing the debilitating effects of excessive positive ions in your environment. They are often described as a natural antidepressant.
- Negative ion machines are proven to clear the air of dust, pollen, pet dander, mold spores and other potential allergens.
- A good negative ion generator can significantly decrease airborne viruses and bacteria in your home.
- Exposure to negatively charged ions 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.
- Negative ionizers have a relaxing effect and have been reported to normalize your breathing rate, decrease blood pressure and relieve tension. Because negative ions are absorbed directly into the bloodstream they may help to combat harmful free radicals within your body.
- 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).
- 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.
- Better sleep. A French study found using negative ion technology could help you to sleep better. This is once again due to negatively charged ions positive effects in normalizing serotonin production in the brain.
- Reduces instances of headaches and sickness. The company Norwich Union found installing negative ion air cleaners in a work area full of computers and other electronic equipment reduced instances of reported sickness and headaches by 78%. Negative ion generators are also routinely used in hospitals in Europe for their beneficial impact on patient’s health and healing rates.
- 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 Owner’s Manual for the Brain – “Negative ions increase the flow of oxygen to the brain; resulting in higher alertness, decreased drowsiness, and more mental energy.”
- Research showed negative ion exposure improved physical performance as well. A study entitled ‘An investigation of the effects of negative air ions on responses to submaximal exercise at different times of day’ measured heart rate, oxygen uptake and ventilation in male subjects at rest and during exercise bouts. Results indicated that: “negative air ions significantly reduced resting values of all physiological variables” and “are biologically active and that they do affect the body’s circadian rhythmicity”.
- One explanation for negative ions health benefits can be found in a research paper called ‘The stimulatory effect of negative air ions and hydrogen peroxide on the activity of superoxide dismutase’. Scientists found that negatively charged ions boosted concentrations of the antioxidant superoxide dismutase (SOD), one of your body’s primary defenses against oxidative stress. They concluded: “The primary physicochemical mechanism of beneficial biological action of negative air ions is suggested to be related to the stimulation of superoxide dismutase activity by micromolar concentrations of H2O2.”
Negative Ionizers in Your Home
Breathing in less positive ions and more negative ions is clearly beneficial to your health and well-being. How do you take advantage of this though when so many aspects of modern life increase positively charged ions in the air you breathe rather than negatively charged ones.
Nowadays, new and innovative ways of generating negative ions benefits are being developed. Negative ion generators are becoming smaller, more stylish and much more powerful, like this highly recommended bestseller on Amazon.
There are also highly portable versions you can take to work, or even wear wherever you go to protect you from pollution and viruses, like these travel ionizers and desktop air purifiers.
This site has detailed reviews on the best negative ionizers for your home, office and even for your car. Especially those that have a very high output of negative ions without ozone, require little maintenance, are long-lasting and have high levels of positive feedback from the people who own them.
Negative ionizers, and the negatively charged ions they produce, can purify the air where you live and work, counteracting the debilitating effects of positive ions and air pollution, all while providing many benefits that science is only just beginning to discover.
If, like most people, you live a high pollution city environment, and in a modern home full of positive ion producing electrical equipment, it’s well worth considering the health benefits of negative ions and using an air ionizer for daily negative ion therapy.
If you’d like to see what a good ionizer looks like then check this comprehensive review of the best negative ion generators I’ve found on Amazon for 2019. Most are quite inexpensive yet could make a significant difference to your physical and mental well-being by flooding the air you breathe with beneficial negative ions.