What are negative ions? Why are negative ions good for us? Where are negative ions found and how do they work?
My problem was wheezing, chest pain, swelling, bleeding gums, sensation abnormalities, lessening memory, prolapse and loss of balance from living in low levels of hydrogen sulfide. That’s what sent me looking for help. It took awhile to discover that it was negative ions I needed to study up on. After that, I surprised by what I learned.
Effects of hydrogen sulfide ~ Read more.
Negative ions, serotonin and health
Dr. Albert P. Krueger, University of California, was a bacteriologist, microbiologist, immunologist, pathologist, M.D. and Professor, who turned his attention to air ions in the later part of his career. Over a 25-year period his air ion findings made their way into 75 publications, in large part because of the scrupulous design of his experiments, the painstaking care he put into their performance, and his insistence on accuracy and reproducibility.
The sound bite common to many sites that talk about negative ions is, “Krueger found that an astonishingly small quantity of negative ions could kill bacteria and quickly take them out of the air.”
I liked a long piece entitled Air Ions and Health, taken from Krueger and David S. Sobel’s writings. I paraphrased the high points as follows:
Prof. Krueger, and other noteworthy researchers did not give up, however. Their experiments established that air ions can evoke a wide range of response in life forms from bacteria to humans.
Sometimes positive and negative ions induced the same biological reaction. For instance, plants such as barley, oats and lettuce showed marked growth increase from increases in either positive or negative ions, although their protein, sugar and chlorophyll content was unchanged.
Krueger noted that Jean-Michel Olivereau, Psychophysiology Laboratory, University of Paris, surveyed air ion action on the hypothalamus, hypophysis, adrenals, thyroid, brain metabolism, behaviour, eating, spontaneous activity, psychomotor performance and adaptation to stress. From the accumulated data Olivereau concluded that air ions alter blood levels of Serotonin which in turn causes physiological changes in the endocrine glands and central nervous systems. The end result is substantially altered basic physiological processes. For example, negative ions exert a measurable anxiety lessening effect. similar to that of tranquilizers.
Krueger noted Knoll’s experiments which found that negative ion concentrations effected more rapid visual reaction time in humans and Delaneau’s experiments which found that relatively small negative ion dosages were effective in inhibiting the development of gastric ulcers in starving rats.
Krueger was interested in French, Italian, German and Russian work on the ionic environment of spas, particularly those near waterfalls where, it was found, the air contained a high concentration of ions with the ratio of negative to positive considerably greater than normal.
Ions and Winds of Ill Repute
Professor Felix Sulman in Jerusalem identified symptoms that afflict a large segment of the population a day or two before the onset of a hot, dry wind characteristic of the Sharav and given them the collective name “Serotonin Hyper function Syndrome” because patients display an increased output of Serotonin in the urine. Symptoms include insomnia, irritability, tension, migraine, dim vision, oedema, palpitations, precordial pain, respiratory distress, hot flashes, tremor, chills, diarrhea, polyuria, vertigo, and more. When treated with negative ions or with Serotonin blocking drugs the symptoms are reduced or eliminated.
A test in a light industrial area of San Francisco by J C Beckett showed an ion count of less than 80 ions as compared to levels of 1500-4000 found in fresh unpolluted air. The test was done back in 1959, not recently.
Burn patients present increased levels of Serotonin in damaged tissues and blood. Serotonin is associated with pain under some circumstances. Inhalation of negative ions increases the conversion of Serotonin to a physiologically inactive metabolite thus relieving pain.
Monaco and Acker studied a group of Psychiatric patients and a group of non-patients. In the psychiatric patients, negative ionisation decreased systolic blood pressure, increased skin resistance and increased pulse finger volume, indicating increased parasympathetic nervous system activity. For the non patients, only a significant decrease in pulse finger volume occurred, indicating slight increase in sympathetic nervous system activity. Thus, it appears that negative ions have a normalising influence, lowering activation of the parasympathetic nervous system in psychiatric patients and increasing it of the non-patients.Given the apparent relationship between air ions and neurohormones and reports that negative ions produce a sedative effect, the Catholic University in Buenos Aires tried using negative ions in treating a large number of patients suffering from psychoneurosis and anxiety syndromes. Sessions varied from fifteen minutes to two hours and the number of treatments from ten to twenty. Favorable results were seen in 80% of their patients.
M Deleanu claims success in treating gastro duodenal ulcers in animals and man using relatively low dosages of negative air ions.
You can read the piece in its entirety on Dr. Bob McCauley’s Blog.
Marian Diamond, a professor of neuroanatomy at the University of California, Berkeley, found levels of negative ions to be inversely related to serotonin levels in the brain. In other words, negative ions suppress serotonin levels. This is similar to the way that natural sunlight suppresses melatonin. Hence the invigorating effect of fresh air and sunshine and the opposite feelings associated with being closed in and in the dark. If you deplete the air of negative ions, you experience an increase in serotonin and its attendant drowsiness and relaxation ~ not what you want when mental agility is demanded.
Negative ions at home
Epsom salts baths, even soaking your feet in Epsom salt solution produces negative ions. I’m thinking of holding my head over a bowl of hot water with Epsom salts, with a towel over my head to capture the negative ions.
Many house plants produce negative ions, as for instance ivy, chrysanthemum, coconut palm, gerbera, spider plant and weeping fig.
A study from Reading University found school children performed better in exams when pot plants were placed in classrooms.
Air Ion Counter page has a lot of ion facts ~ Visit page.
Serotonin – Melatonin Relationship
Serotonin is not all bad. The brain (as well as the retinas, bone marrow, and certain white blood cells) make melatonin from serotonin. Melatonin is, among other things, a powerful antioxidant that can slow Parkinson’s disease and ovarian cancer.
What about a hyperbaric chamber?
That was the question, posed by a friend, that sent me into research mode. It wasn’t long before I found a cautionary article written by a professional team’s doctor or assistant coach, I forget which.
Its unforgettable point was that after the team got a hyperbaric chamber, which helped injuries, every team member began using it in the belief it would provide a boost.
By the end of the season the team had lost all home games and won only away games.
This made the article’s author question the wisdom of using a hyperbaric chamber as much as it was being used. The author concluded that the reason away games were won was absence from the hyperbaric chamber.
Hyperbaric chamber depleted negative ions
To explain why he felt and believed as he did, he said that the hyperbaric chamber depleted negative ions.
He said, basically, that negative ions are healthy and that we need them. To prove his point he noted that the team began winning at home when use of the hyperbaric chamber was restricted to players with injuries. Read more.
Learning about negative ions
So, this is when I began I looking up negative ions and discovered they are plentiful at the seashore, in mountain pine forests, after rain storms and, Epsom salts baths release negative ions.
My experience verified this when I was staying in a hotel while the privy pit which caused the hydrogen sulfide was being excavated. I used the hotel room’s air conditioner all the time, putting an imbalance of positive ions into the hotel room air. I began to feel decidedly less well, but, if I took an Epsom salt bath I was restored.
I discovered that a soak in Epsom salts reduced my swollen ankles by 70% or more.
Epsom Salts ~ Read more.
My condo was built over an outdoor toilet pit ~ Read more.
When a friend gave me a salt lamp that releases negative ions I was thrilled. I used it 24/7. During the forest fires some years ago it kept my room from feeling and smelling smoky. Which was amazing to me.
What do negative ions do?
Negative ions clean the air of:
- Pollen (grass, weed and tree pollen)
- Dust mites
- Animal dander
- Smoke & Odor
- Mold spores
Negative Ions help relieve symptoms of:
- Hay fever
- Seasonal affective disorder
- Chronic fatigue
Negative ions from Rock Salt Crystal
Rock salt crystal is known to efficiently emit negative ions that improve air quality.
Salt lamps create a microclimate similar to that following a light spring storm.
Fresh pine forest and seashore air carries around 4000 negative ions per cubic centimeter whereas city air during rush hour has around 100 to 120 ions per cubic centimeter.
One of the reasons we feel good when we are near a waterfall, or in a pine forest or at the seashore is the presence of negative ions in the atmosphere creating a sense of well-being.
Meanwhile, those pesky positive ions
When I wrote “pesky” I lacked an understanding of just how powerfully damaging positive ions can be. I wrote this bit when the page was much shorter and before I had learned about “Winds of Ill Repute”, several paragraphs above.
Computer screens, electrical appliances, air-conditioning, TV sets, and if you smoke, tobacco, are but a few sources of overabundant positive ions in our homes that cause bad moods, weakness, sleeplessness, even illness.
In the outside environment positive ions are being discharged by high voltage networks, heating and cooling plants, radio and television transmitters, and radar systems among other things.
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