Negative Ions Health Benefits

The Health Benefits of Negative Ions

Both positive ions (cations), and negative ions (anions), occur naturally in the air and have historically had a relative balance in nature. However, the environment we live in today has far more sources of positive ions than in the past, creating an electrical imbalance in the air and  in our bodies.


Cations are produced by machines and technology: Computers,televisions, airplanes, refrigerators, heating units and air-conditioners saturate homes, offices, and other indoor environments with cations.

They are also called free radicals.

Free radicals (cations), are active forms of oxygen and can be produced by:  Electrical Discharge from high-voltage network, heating and cooling systems; TVs, radio transmitters, radar systems, computers, exhaust and cigarette fumes, smog, radiation along with harmful chemicals and toxins.


Cations can damage cells and are believed to be one reason for deteriorating our physical and emotional well being and have a role in the aging process and instigating cancer.


Anions counter the exhausting effect of cations – and they have also been found to be profoundly helpful to the immune, respiratory, circulatory systems, mood enhancement and more.


Negative-Ion (Anion) Research:

Abundant anions are produced in natural surroundings such as 
on the beach, or beneath a waterfall. The air circulating in the mountains is said to contain tens of thousands of negative ions.  Much more than the average home or office building.

Scientific tests reveal that the ratio of anions to cations should be between 1.02 to 0.98 and the air's composition of anions should range between 1000-1500/cm3.


Studies on the effects of anions in the home and work environment report that:


     * negative ions improve learning in normal and disabled children;

     * cattle were able to maintain a 90% immune protection against respiratory disease with negative air ionization;

     * anions resulted in a more than 40% reduction of airborne microbes in dental clinics;

     * visual test performance in college students improved when anion exposure was increased.



Iovine, John, "Negative Ion Generator," Popular Electronics Magazine, Gernsback Publishing, 1992.

Mann, Denise, "Negative Ions Create Positive Vibes,", May 6, 2002.

According to a 1992 article published in Popular Electronics Magazine, cations have been linked with "a number of low grade problems, such as fatigue, headache, and anxiety." (Iovine, 1992). On the other hand, anions have been linked with an assortment of positive benefits such as mood enhancement, clarity of mind, and creativity. This is accomplished by increasing oxygen flow to the brain which  improves coordination and gives more mental energy.


Dr. Jacob, Professor of Physiology with the Public Sanitation Institute of Harvard University acclaims anions as "Vitamins of the Air."  As the largest organ, our skin absorbs 85% of charged particles from the surroundings constantly. Such long term exposure to an environment full of smog, chemicals, and cations adversely affects our health.


Dr. Albert P. Krueger, a microbiologist and experimental pathologist at the University of California, found that an astonishingly small quantity of anions could kill bacteria and quickly take them out of the air so they were less likely to infect people. "At the University of Pennsylvania's Graduate Hospital and at Northeastern and Frankford hospitals in Philadelphia, Dr. Kornblueh and his associates administered anion treatments to hundreds of patients suffering from hay fever or bronchial asthma. Of the total, 63 percent have experienced partial to total relief. "They come in sneezing, with watery eyes, itchy noses, worn out from lack of sleep, so miserable they could hardly walk." "Fifteen minutes {later} and they felt so much better they didn't want to leave."


Natural anions have many health benefits:


    * Enhance the immune system & reduce susceptibility to colds and flu; can provide relief from sinus, allergies and hay fever.  Many scientific studies have been conducted over the years (mostly in Europe and Russia), showing how exposure to high levels of anions drastically or significantly reduced asthma and allergy symptoms, as well as respiratory-related illness.


    * Relief from migraine headaches. Kreuger (1976), reported that in laboratory animals levels of serotonin, a powerful neurohormone, could be affected by the polarity and concentration of air ions breathed. Serotonin can produce neurovascular, endocrinal, and metabolic effects throughout the body (Kreuger 1976), and plays an important role in mood and sleep patterns. Anions act to reduce serotonin levels in the respiratory system, blood and brain, while cations increased serotonin levels. Hawkins (1985), reports that his own work confirmed these effects. High concentrations of serotonin have been associated with migraine headache attacks. Thus an increase in negative ions would be expected to reduce migraine attacks. Reduced serotonin levels result in a mentally relaxed state and reduction in feelings of depression.


   * Mental Performance and Concentration. Several tests have shown people exposed to anion treatment perform much better in mentally-oriented activities than those who are not.


   * Fatigue. The production of Serotonin (a chemical produced in the brain), also causes fatigue, but anions reduce production of Serotonin.


   * Physical Performance. Due to test results performed by Russian scientists, negative ionizers were installed in locker rooms and resting places for Russian athletes.


   * Stabilize alpha rhythms. These are a pattern of smooth, regular electrical oscillations in the human brain.  They normally occur when a person is awake and relaxed. The machine used to record these waves is called an electroencephalograph , or EEG .  Alpha Rhythms have a frequency of 8 to 13 hertz (also called alpha wave).


Anions Can Also Treat Depression


Depression is the nation's most prevalent mental health problem affecting approximately 15 million Americans who spend about $3 billion a year on drugs to battle it. A study at Columbia University suggested that Anion treatment is just as effective as anti-depressant drugs such as Prozac or Zolof, with one exception: there are no side effects with anions. Almost all of these medicines target either serotonin or norepinephrine, brain chemicals which are neurotransmitters.


Now Serotonin levels are believed to be the reason for many cases of mild to moderate depression which can lead to symptoms like anxiety, apathy, fear, feelings of worthlessness, insomnia and fatigue.


In 1984, a study was published in the "Journal of Abnormal Child Psychology" named, "Negative Air Ionization Improves Memory and Attention in Learning-Disabled and Mentally Retarded Children." The effectiveness of anions on mental performance was tested by researching the power of anions to improve the cognitive abilities of mentally handicapped as well as normal, children.

Anions Occur in Nature

Anions are abundant in nature. They are especially present near rapidly flowing water, waterfalls, forests,  or anywhere that molecules may have lost a charge thanks to radiation, sunlight, or moving air or water. Michael Terman (Columbia University), credits anions with the feeling of optimism  which  occurs   after a thunderstorm.


Dr. Svante August Arrhenius, a Swedish chemist who received the Nobel in Chemistry in 1903, discovered that the air is full of anions near waterfalls and forests. That is why the air is so fresh. Thus, he formulated his theory of electrolytic dissociation, or “ionization.” At the turn of the 20th century, a Nobel Prize Winner in Physics, Dr. Phillip Eduard Anton Lennard, confirmed that anions are found in very high density near the basin of waterfalls where we feel especially refreshed and re-energized.


As an example, in healthy outdoor environments such as in the mountains, or in a country meadow, the anion concentration could reach 2000 to 4000 anions per cubic centimeter of air. By contrast, the anion concentration in an unhealthy place, such as congested L.A. freeways, is less than 100 anions per cubic cm. The anion concentration in most indoor environments is between 100 and 200 anions per cubic cm.  In extremely healthy and invigorating environments such as near a large waterfall, the anion level can reach 1,000,000 per cubic cm.


 Natural sources of anions include:

    * moving air in the mountains

   * crashing surf at the beach

   * near waterfalls and other moving bodies of water

Anion Facts

     * Approved by the U.S. FDA (Food & Drug Admin.) as an approved allergy treatment.

     * Ionization is mandatory in many European and Russian Hospitals.