So Good Karma Club is ‘exploring negative ions’ with Wildminds but firstly let me introduce them. Pretty proud of what they are achieving so far and the personal growth in Joel, the founder, has been amazing to see… He has set up Wildminds on the back of realising how amazing he felt after exploring the outdoors more. Check out their Instagram page
So let’s being exploring negative ions.
What are they?
Have you ever suddenly felt a huge change in your mood after a thunderstorm, at the beach or up in the sticks (I mean its lockdown so if you haven’t said “shall we go for a walk” at least 20 times a week I’ll be surprised). Well that’s more than likely the negative ions I keep going on about
Negative ions are molecules floating in the air or atmosphere that have been charged with electricity. They exist in nature in tons of places, including
- ultraviolet (UV) rays from the sun
- discharges of electricity in the air after a thunderclap or lightning strike
- wherever water collides with itself like a waterfall or the ocean shore (creating the Lenard effect)
- produced as part of the normal growth process for many plants
Many researchers of “negative ionization” have put forwards that being exposed to negative ions can have positive effects. Part of this is due to the chemical reactions that ions have with your bodily tissues and DNA
Research behind it
Benefits of negative ions
Proponents of negative ionization make a lot of seemingly lofty claims about its mental health benefits in particular. Which is great for GKC and Wildminds because we will suggest going outdoors and standing in the rain all the time (haha). But on a serious note ere’s what years of research have and haven’t found.
Research supports exposure to negative ions:
Reducing symptoms of depression for some people
Having an activating influence on somebody systems and cognitive performance
Promoting antimicrobial activity
Not enough evidence for:
Reducing serotonin to help manage anxiety
Lowering blood pressure
Improving your breathing
A 2018 review of ionization literature also found an effect of negative ionization on many facets of human health. Researchers looked at 100 years of studies and found evidence that negative ions could:
- Help regulate sleep patterns and mood
- Reduce stress (if you’re stressed you can read more on self-help here)
- Boost immune system function
- Increase metabolism of carbs and fats
- Kill or inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria, viruses, and mold species, such as E. coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and the bacterium that causes tuberculosis
But researchers also noted that there was no evidence that negative ions could:
- Reduce serotonin to help manage anxiety
- Lower blood pressure
- Improve breathing
Positive ions are known as cations. They’re often created simultaneously with negative ions.
Positive ions are created by different processes. During particularly cloudy days, electrical charges in the air are conducted more quickly by increased amounts of humidity. Any negative ions also quickly become attached to any particulate matter in the moist air. This leaves a high concentration of positive ions in the air. That can make you feel lethargic. (this explains so much as to why I feel so urgh when it’s humid)
Positive ions may also make you feel worse off according to the 2013 literature review mentioned earlier. They found that many people who were exposed to increased levels of positive ions reported more:
- Acute respiratory irritation
- Joint symptoms
So, this in a sense falls hand in hand as to why Joel and possibly also you the reader feel so amazing after going out in the sticks and getting a dose of negative ions. Lockdown isn’t all that bad when you think about it, it’s forced us to slow down and visit the outdoors.
To conclude, when exploring negative ions, get outdoors; and I don’t mean up in the sticks in the wet freeze cold, maybe just being outdoors when it’s raining can be a start.
Negative ions are everywhere in nature, and they have some demonstrated benefits but they are not miracle cures for all conditions.
be sure to check out @wildminds.uk because they’re on a mission and have some amazing things coming soon…