Research & Science

Ions explained – Background

Air ions were unknown until the end of the nineteenth century, when Elster and Geitel in Germany and Thomson in England independently discovered their existence. Promptly thereafter, biologists and physicians began to explore the possibility that air ions might influence physiological processes, and over the years hundreds of papers from around the world detailed their findings. It is today widely believed that the abundance of evidence derived is sufficient to support the conclusion that air ions can affect life systems. The Elanra Medical 50 year database also confirms this conclusion in various ways.

Unfortunately, there has been much debate over the existence and application of small negative ions on the human body. This is created by a very uneven quality of research that has been reported, and devices used that simply cannot generate the only ingestible ion – the small negatively charged ion. The only device currently on the global marketplace that resolves these factors is the registered medical device Elanra Medical.

The major factors contributing to errors in reporting are as follows: 

  • Neglect of the ozone and oxides of nitrogen produced by most ionisers
  • Failure to control and monitor ion densities, speed, temperature and humidity
  • Incorrect surface for holding the device to test
  • No measurement of the electrical field
  • Subject distance and tenure with device not recorded or insufficient for a result
  • Device is simply not powerful enough
  • Use of other gaseous particles in the vicinity which combine with air ion and lead to widely fluctuating small ion densities
  • Device cannot project the produce small ion at distance with speed
  • Misunderstanding the life cycle of a small air ion
  • Failure to hold the experimental subjects at ground potential, so that their surfaces developed high electrostatic charges and repelled approaching air ions.

It was in the 1950s when the ionisation industry experienced its largest set back. Some cheap versions of air ion generators were sold directly to consumer in the United States with claims they would treat a wide variety of diseases. Of course the FDA then banned the devices for a short period which gave the industry an unsavoury reputation.

While it is true that during the early history of air ion experimentation, much of the work failed to provide contestable proof that ions were the proximate cause of observed functional changes, this situation has been rectified. Investigators in many parts of the world have conducted experiments with air ions under rigorously controlled test conditions and have demonstrated measureable changes in living forms clearly related to the ion content of the air.

It wasn’t until the 1960’s that promising findings renewed the interests of scientists and started the many organisations and associations dedicated to air ions that we have today. In the 1960’s researchers found more reactions between air ions and bacteria, protozoa, plants, insects, animals and humans. This led to more reputable scientists researching in both basic and clinical standards.

Historically there have been numerous occasions when the Western medical world discovered merit in remedies of unconventional origin. For example, acupuncture, at first roundly condemned in the halls of orthodoxy, and surely no stranger to the profit motive, is now reported by competent medical specialists to be successfully applied in anaesthesia and treatment of certain diseases. Not to mention Einstein’s general theory of relativity with electromagnetism which was not accepted for almost 100 years, but today is finally understood, respected and being used in modern space research!

Our Modern living

Very few human activities can create small negative ions in the air, while many of them lead to small ion loss. The consequence is we suffer from both the direct toxic effects of the pollutants we generate, and long-continued exposure to air in which the normal total ion concentration of about 2000 to 3000 per cubic centimetre (cc) as found in the relatively clean air of the open country, is reduced to barely detectable levels. Should we live in the congested area of a typical city, toil in a factory, live in a vertical concrete building, or work in an ordinary office, we spend most of our time in a Faraday cage which, with varying degrees of efficiency , insulates us from the electrical and ion-generating phenomena of nature. Insulates us from being grounded and insulates us from the natural environment God intended for humans.

These pervasive gaseous and particulate pollutants react with whatever small air ions are present to ensure that the air surrounding us is ion depleted. Ion depletion is a constant concomitant of modern urban living, this depletion has been shown to have a detrimental effect on the health and mortality rate of not only humans but animals and plants too.

Researchers Example:

Sulman et al2 showed with a subset of 200 patients that too high a positive ion count in the air (which is the way we live in our modern world) causes very low mood, fatigue, confusion, lack of concentration, culminating in exhaustion. Subjects also complained of being irritable, increased headaches, and exacerbation of respiratory ailments due to the overproduction of serotonin, which we know is the result of too many positive air ions in the air.

Researchers Example:

Krueger et al1 researched the effects of small negative ions on the very powerful and versatile neurohormone ‘Serotonin’. They found that small negative ions stimulate, while small positive ions block monoamine oxidase action, thus producing respectively, a drop or rise in the concentration of free 5-HT present in certain tissues and eliciting a corresponding physiological response. These experiments were validated over a 16 year period of time in controlled conditions in the USA using 12,000 brains and 36,000 blood samples.

High concentrations of positive ions raised blood levels of 5-HT, while high concentrations of negative ions had the opposite effect. The resulting benefit is physiological changes in the endocrine glands and central nervous system. These in turn substantially alter basic physiological processes. The Elanra can be used to normalise the body’s natural hormonal levels and assist with relieving the symptoms of seasonal conditions that are caused by out of balance hormones created as a result of too many positive ions in the air.

References for the above – adapted from:
  1. P. Krueger & E.J Reed, ‘Biological Impact of Small Air Ions,’ American Association for the Advancement of Science, 1976 Vol. 193 pp1209-1213.
  2. G. Sulman, Y. Pfeifer, E. Surperstine ‘The adrenal exhaustion syndrome: and adrenal deficiency,’ Bioclimatology Unit, Department of Applied Pharmacology Medical Center, Hebrew University, Jerusalem, Israel.
  3. H Hawkins, T. Barker ‘Air Ions and Human Performance,’ Department of Human Biology and Health, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK Ergonomics, 1978, vol.21, No.4, 273-278