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Written by Paola Teocoli

There’s nothing like breathing in fresh air whilst walking along the seashore or the air after a storm. Each breath we take helps us feel regenerated and full of energy.

Why is it that this air seems fresher and purer than the air in our homes, our offices or just walking down the street?

The answer lies in the ions and the influence they have on our bodies and behavior.

What are ions?

You probably haven’t heard the term, Ions, since your school days!  We’ll try and simplify it here and explain why they are so important.

Put simply, Ions are atoms that have either lost or acquired energy.  In nature, they are generated by the splitting of molecules – thanks to the action of solar rays, radiation, winds and tides.

The ions that have acquired an electric charge are called negative ions.  On the flip side, those that have lost their electric charge are called positive ions.




Where can we find negative and positive ions and how do they affect our body and mind?

Contrary to what you might think, negative ions are “good”.  These are the ones benefit our health and help us to live better.

The natural producers of negative ions are waterfalls, mountains, beaches and even thunderstorms.  In these situations, negatively ionized air makes us feel more energetic, happier and gives us a general feeling of well-being.

Environments rich in negative ions have a hugely positive effect on a myriad of bodily processes:

  • Increasing the ability of our blood to assimilate (and use) oxygen.
  • Acceleration of the oxidation of serotonin (the ‘feel good’ hormone) with beneficial effects on mood, sexual functioning and metabolism
  • Improvement of mental and cognitive performance
  • Reduction of allergies, asthma, cough and irritations caused by particulate matter (rich in positive ions)

On the other hand, positive ions in high concentrations are very harmful to health.

The main effect of positive ions is that they increase toxins in our body and affect our nervous system.  This makes us more tense and tired, which elevates our feelings of anxiety and irritation.

The real problem with positive ions is that we are surrounded by them: household appliances, mobile phones and computers generate positive ions through their magnetic fields.  The synthetic fabrics of furniture and clothes create static fields.  In addition: cigarette smoke, synthetic perfumes, clothes washed in chemicals and left to dry, all help reduce the concentration of negative ions in our homes and offices

How can we reduce positive ions and increase negatives ones?

Here are some natural remedies that can help:


These generate negative ions. They are the most effective method to obtain a continuous flow of negatively charged ions.


By choosing furniture, carpets, curtains and clothing made from natural fabrics and materials – i.e. wood, cotton, linen, hemp, wool, silk, cashmere etc. – positive ions are reduced


The movement of water generates negative ions. Furthermore, the noise from moving water has a proven therapeutic and relaxing effect.


When heated, salt produces negative ions. Moreover, the faint light of Himalayan salt lamps produces a beneficial chromotherapy effect


Burning wax candles made from natural origins, i.e. bees wax, releases negative ions into the air


Green indoor plants are particularly good for negating the effects of positive ions, by releasing a large quantity of negative ions into the air.  There are many different, beautiful green indoor plants to choose from


Crystals like amethyst and tourmaline, especially when worn, seem to emit negative ions by activating and reloading the energy in our body.

In conclusion, in order to increase the level of negative ions in your home or office, there are several easy-to-apply methods that can help dramatically improve air quality and so your life. Simply choose the remedy that best suits your needs or combine them and create a space where you will feel better each time you enter.



This project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 738719