Negative ions naturally boost a person’s mood — elevating it, so to speak. They are odorless, tasteless, and invisible molecules abundant in certain environments like waterfalls and beaches.
Once they hit the bloodstream, researchers believe negative ions create biochemical reactions that raise a person’s mood. They increase the mood chemical serotonin levels, boost daytime energy, alleviate depression, and relieve stress.
Do negative ions work as well as antidepressants?
Molecules that have gained or last an electron are ions. Nature creates ions as air molecules break apart from the effects of sunlight, radiation, as well as moving water and air.
For example, a person will remember the power of negative ions when last visited the beach or stood beneath a waterfall’s spray.
Two factors could cause euphoria. The first is the awesome wonder of the setting, and the natural feeling experienced when away from the normal pressures from work or home. Second, there are tens of thousands of negative ions circulating in the air. By comparison, an average home or business contains dozens to hundreds and many far less.
Ion researcher Michael Terman, Ph.D., of Columbia University explains:
The action of the pounding surf creates negative air ions and we also see it immediately the spring thunderstorms when people report lightened moods.
Researchers at Columbia study individuals with winter and chronic depression. Study data indicate negative ion generators and antidepressants relieve depression — equally. While this news is good since the generator has very few side effects, they still need to study appropriate doses.
Written by Cathy Milne-Ware
WebMD: Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes; by Denise Mann
Featured and Top Image by Christine Courtesy of Ian Collins’ Flickr Page – Creative Commons License
Inset Image Courtesy of Peter Miller’s Flickr Page – Creative Commons License