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Beneficial Effects of Lightning

by Ibrahim B. Syed, Ph. D. 
President
Islamic Research Foundation International, Inc.
7102 W. Shefford Lane
Louisville, KY 40242-6462, USA

E-mail:
IRFI@INAME.COM
Website: 
http://WWW.IRFI.ORG

 

Al Qur'an is a book of guidance. It is also called the book of Wisdom. Qur'aan is not a book of science. However, in many verses (about 20 % of the Qur'anic verses) one finds hints or clues which have scientific meaning or refer to natural phenomena. For example, verses in Surah Rad or Thunder, 13: 1-13, have scientific meaning. The Ayah 12 reads:

"It is He Who doth show you the Lightning,

By way Both of fear and hope " Surah RAD, 13: 12 

" And among His Signs He shows you the lightning by way both of fear and hope, and

He sends down rain from the sky. And with it gives life to the earth after it is dead:

Verily in that are Signs for those who are Wise." Surah RUM, 30: 24. 

Allama Yusuf Ali in his note 1818 says, "Why look to evil rather than to good? To punishment rather than to mercy?--To the fear in the force and fire of the lightning rather than to hope of good and abundant crops in the rain which will come behind the lightning clouds." 

In Note 1819 he says, " Nay, thunder itself which may frighten you, is but a tame and beneficent force before Him, declaring His praises, like the rest of creation. Thunder thus aptly give the name to this Surah of contrasts, where what we may think is terrible is shown to be really a submissive instrument of good in God's hands." 

In Note 3530 one reads, "To cowards, lightning and thunder appear as terrible forces of nature. Lightning seems to kill and destroy where its irresistible progress is not assisted by proper lightning--conductors. But lightning is also a herald of rain-bearing clouds and showers that bring fertility and prosperity in their train." 

Journals publish articles on Lightning injury and death by lightning. However, the Qur'an specifically mentions "hope" of lightning. It is interpreted as "hope" of good or a beneficent force. In other words, Qur'an mentions beneficial effects of lightning to mankind. What are the beneficial effects of lightning to mankind? The purpose of this article is to answer this question in detail. The Qur'an says as quoted above: 

Verily in that (lightning) are Signs for those who are wise." 30: 24. 

"After a storm, the air feels clean and fresh. Filled with negative ions." 

People often report feelings of pleasantness and well being following an electrical storm. Electrical storms are generally preceded by higher level of positive ions and followed by higher levels of negative ions. 

What are Ions?

Air, like all matter, is made of individual molecules. When the outer electrons of two or more atoms of the same or different elements join together, the resulting particle is a molecule Each of these molecules, in turn, contains smaller particles of positive and negative charges (protons and electrons). Under normal circumstances there are equal numbers of protons and electrons and their charges cancel out, leaving the molecule electrically neutral. However, the negatively charged electrons are lighter and more mobile. If they absorb energy from say, intense sunlight, they have a tendency to "jump" from one molecule to another. When a negative charge jumps from a molecule it upsets the equilibrium, leaving behind more positive than negative charges. This molecule is now called a positive ion. The electron arriving at the new molecule brings with it an extra negative charge. This molecule now becomes a negative ion. When the supply of energy is removed, the electrons will return towards the vacated spaces and everything will return to balance, and zero charge. 

Molecular oxygen is a prime example of the small gaseous molecules in the air we breathe. It remains neutral as long as the proton-electron balance is maintained. Because of an equal number of protons and electrons, atoms have no charge. However, if an electron is lost or gained, the molecule becomes positively or negatively charged respectively and an ion is created.

The simplest way to visualise an air ion is as a tiny charge of 'static' electricity carried by the air. This can be either positive or negative. The charged particles, or ions, are not merely suspended in the atmosphere, they actually are part of the 'fabric' of the air itself. The air around you contains billions of tiny, invisible, electrically charged energy packets called IONS. Every time you take a breath, ions fill up your lungs, and are carried by your blood into every cell in your body. Without ions in the air, your body would not be able to process oxygen proper. 

The air we breathe contains molecules with electrical charges, both positive and negative. In ancient times they probably had other names for this energy such as Chi, Ki, prana, pneuma, elan vital and others depending upon the culture involved. Modern science is actually quantifying this form of extremely valuable and life enhancing energy.

Lack of or imbalance of minute electrified particles, called ions, and affects the environment, in which we live and breathe. Research has shown that most of us who live, work and travel in closed spaces suffer some degree of negative ion starvation or positive ion overabundance. This has become extremely evident to NASA in their space travel program.   

People are spending their lives submerged in an atmospheric ocean of nitrogen, oxygen and a small percentage of other elements, plus the toxins and pollutions of our industrial world. Most urban areas with homes and public buildings of masonry, glass, steel and plastics, built amid mazes of roads, walks and parking lots cause reduction of this healthy electromagnetic "life force" of the air. In cities like New York, Los Angeles, Hong Kong, Tokyo, Mexico City, Mumbai, Kolkata and many densely populated cities, there may be few or no detectable negative ions at all during heavy traffic and high pollution periods.

Natural abundance

In nature, ions are generated in abundance wherever energy is transferred into the air, by friction within wind and rain, and surf. Certain events occurring in nature, such as lightning discharges and falling water and air friction can cause electrons to be torn loose from a molecule. These "orphan electrons" are then, 'adopted' by other nearby molecules, transforming these molecules into negative ions. The parent particles become positive ions. Negative ions are themselves the electrical energy carriers of the air. Some examples of nature's ion generators are solar (ultraviolet radiation) and cosmic radiation, air friction, lightening, falling water (the splitting of water into droplets by waterfalls), sea beaches-ocean surf and waves, evergreens and the earth's radioactivity (by natural radiation in rocks and soil). 
 

The Ion Effect: 

There are some amazing clues to how an excess of positive ions and a lack of negative ions can produce uncomfortable effects. These effects have been studied by the outstanding scientist Dr. Albert Krueger, Professor Emeritus of the University of California at Berkeley. Dr. Krueger demonstrated that small air ions are biologically active and can stimulate the over-production of the powerful neurotransmitter serotonin. Serotonin is a very active neurohormone causing profound nerve, glandular and digestive effects throughout the body. Tests show positive ions increase the production of serotonin and negative ions decrease the hormone level.   

The three major effects of positive ion excess are irritation and tension, exhaustion and a hyperthyroid response. The common symptoms of dizziness, headaches, depression, anxiety and a generally lower level of physical and mental function were shown to be alleviated and, in most cases, reversed by increasing the negative ions in the air.  

Other Bio-Ionic Effects: 

Experiments with plants, growing in an ion-enhanced atmosphere, show marked increase in size and growth rate. Airborne bacteria greatly diminish in number when there is a high negative ion count in the air.  

Most non-natural substances and methods with which we embellish our interior living space seem to work against us. Synthetic materials, forced air circulation, improper humidity levels, excess static electricity and a lack of fresh air; all contribute to ion imbalance. We create our own man made "Witches Winds", which may be as harmful as more obvious forms of pollution. Careful attention to interior environmental planning creates an optimal living and working environment. Making sure natural negative ion levels are maintained along with use of full spectrum lighting, natural materials on walls, floors and furniture, windows that open to the outside and living plants, applies "common sense"' to environmental planning that can make any interior a better place to live.
 

Electricity and Air.

It was RCA's Dr Hansell who, in 1932, stumbled on the behavioural effects of artificially generated ions. He noticed a startling swing in the moods of a fellow RCA scientist who worked beside an electrostatic generator. Some days the scientist finished the day alert and in bubbling good spirits. On the other days he was rude, ill tempered and depressed. Dr Hansell investigated and found that the scientist was happy when the generator was adjusted to produce negative ions but morose when it was producing positive ions. Since then advances in technology have enabled scientists to study the process in much more detail and thousands of scientific papers have been published on the subject.  

Winds of depression

The natural production of ions may result from solar or cosmic radiation or the more mundane friction between air masses such as between rapidly moving hot, dry air and the ground. These are the "Witches Winds" that cause such discomfort periodically to the population in certain areas of the world. In these areas, the seasonal winds that blow have become legendary, bringing little short of misery and chaos to many of the local inhabitants. In these places it has been known for generations, that the winds bring feelings of anxiety, stress, depression and sleepless nights. Statistical studies show that when they blow, more road accidents happen and suicide rates increase. So real is the problem that it has been known for judges to take this into consideration when sentencing and for hospitals to postpone some operations until the winds cease!  

In fact winds like these are surprisingly common across the world:

The Foehn is a dry southerly wind which blows from the Alps across Switzerland and southern Germany. There is the Sirocco in Italy and the Mistral in southern France. (It is said that Winston Churchill avoided visiting the Mediterranean coast when the Mistral was blowing).

In the Middle East they have Sharav - also known to the Arabs as Hamsin (the fifty days wind). Western Canada and USA have the Chinook - and in the area around California blow the Santa Ana and winds known in Indian mythology as "The Bitter Winds".

The Swiss Meteorological Institute made extensive studies into the problems arising from their local wind, the Foehn, and in 1974 published a list of physical and mental effects it was found to cause. These included:

  • Body pains

  • Sick headaches

  • Dizziness

  • Nausea

  • Variations in body salts - sodium, calcium and magnesium

  • Respiratory problems

  • Asthma

  • Higher incidence of heart attacks

  • Slower reaction time

  • Irritation

  • Exhaustion

  • Listlessness

  • Anxiety

  • Depression

What was the difference between the air carried in these winds, which could cause so much distress, and the air in the renowned health resorts, which had gained a reputation for their special qualities of relaxation and healing? It was later discovered that this unique quality in the air is its electrical charge, which it carries in the form of ions. Paradoxically, if it carried a positive charge, people (and animals for that matter) felt negative and suffered the symptoms of the notorious oppressive winds.  

 

Positive ions - oppressive

Many people find the atmosphere before a storm is 'heavy' and oppressive. This has been attributed to the high levels of positive ions that build up in the air, which are also believed to be the trigger of "storm-sensitivity" in asthmatics and many other people. Certainly, in laboratory conditions, similar symptoms could be triggered in subjects when they were exposed to abnormally high levels of positive ions. In the hours before the storms arrived, hundreds of people had reported to hospital with severe asthma attacks. Was it due to positive ions?  However if the electrical charge was negative, it imparted a positive feeling of health and vitality. 

Negative ions - refreshing

 

Places we find refreshing such as in the mountains and near waterfalls and seashores - where health resorts are traditionally situated - are found to have high concentrations of negative ions. But areas with high levels of positive ions often make us feel uncomfortable and irritable.  

The earth's atmosphere is absolutely teeming with ions. Nature was making them even before life began. Western scientists believe that ionization, in the form of lightning, was probably instrumental in the formation of amino acids - essential components for the beginnings of life!
 

 

Nature makes Negative Ions 

In addition to providing you with a rewarding visual experience, waterfalls may also be beneficial to your health. A person desiring to enhance his body and mind through breathing exercises should do so by a waterfall. In Switzerland a woman who suffered from migraine headaches would often go to a small waterfall on the River Rhone. She would spend between thirty minuets to an hour by the waterfall. "I go there just to breathe. It makes me feel better for hours." Nearly everyone would agree that visiting a waterfall is a stimulating, refreshing and energizing experience. 

The answer to what causes these effects seems to be electrically charged atoms known as negative air ions. At a waterfall negative air ions are produced by the energy of the falling water. As the falling water breaks up into small droplets, electrons (negatively charged parts of an atom) are knocked loose from the water atoms. These electrons combine with oxygen atoms in the air to create negative air ions. The negative air ions are inhaled into the lungs and absorbed into the bloodstream. Negative air ions are not known to permanently cure anything. It is believed that they help our bodies by accelerating the delivery of oxygen to our cells. Some researchers believe that negative air ions may stimulate cells that regulate our bodies resistance to disease.  

On average there are 1,500 ions are found in a cubic centimeter (roughly the size of a sugar cube) of fresh air. Of these about 45%, or 675, are negative ions; the remainder being positive ions. At Yosemite Falls in California a reading of 100,000 negative air ions per cubic centimeter was recorded. 

Other Sources of Negative Ions 

Many people in Europe and Australia are aware of the benefits of negative ions to our health. These negative Ions are essential for our health and well being. The freshness of the air after a thunderstorm, on a mountain top, or by the seaside, are due to the high concentration of negative ions in the air. On the other hand, the reduced well being one feels in highly polluted areas, cars, factory smog, artificially air conditioned offices, or when certain hot dry wind conditions exist, are usually due to an unduly low negative ion balance (and therefore high proportion of positive ions).

 

Negative ions can be found in billions, on mountain tops, water falls and by the sea. Radioactive substances in the earth's crust and cosmic rays cause most ionization. But fire, crashing water (like water falls and surf), and plants during photosynthesis can produce negative ions as well. They give the air its invigorating freshness, which is so good for us.  

Negative Ions in Sauna  

Physiologically, the presence of negative ions in a sweat bath is as important as the heat. The discovery of negative ions in certain types of saunas a few years ago became headline news in Finland. Until then, the healing power of the sauna was attributed to relaxation and increased circulation. Now, negative ions add startling new possibilities.  

Since the early 1950s scientists have suspected that ions play an important role in how the body functions and, consequently, in how we feel. Research has shown that an abundance of negative ions ln the air we breathe is highly beneficial, while a lack of ions or a higher ratio of positive to negative can cause physical harm. The role played by ions in everyday life has become intensely topical among researchers in the medical profession  

Europeans take ion depletions seriously and simple negative ion generators have been installed in many businesses, banks, hospitals, and passenger cars and even airliner cockpits. Furthermore, in this country, Europe and the Soviet Union, negative ion therapy has been used in treatments to help burn victims heal faster, to cure respiratory diseases, to rid the body of general infections, and even to check the spread of some cancers.  

Conversely, scientists have found that if the air is charged with too few negative ions and too many positives, we become anxious, fatigued and tense. This condition is known as "positive-ion poisoning," and often occurs as the result of weather disturbances, central air conditioning, smog, and driving too long within the confines of an automobile. Positive-ion poisoning has, in fact, been linked to heart attacks, aggravated asthma, migraine headaches, insomnia, rheumatism, arthritis, hay fever, and most allergies.
 

The Finnish Experience  

The effect of negative ions on sweat bathing was discovered when researchers were trying to account for the tremendous popularity of sauna wood burning stoves over electric stoves. Subjective reasons, such as the fragrance of burned wood, did not fully explain why Finns felt so refreshed after time in a wood heated sauna and quite dulled, from certain electrically heated saunas. Tests showed that the practice of splashing water on super-heated rocks produced an abundance of negative ions. Many electric stoves, it turned out, were not getting the rocks hot enough and the glowing metal heating coils were spurting more positive ions in the air. Researchers learned that if the rocks were properly heated in electric stoves, the positive ions, being larger and less mobile, would ground out on the hot stones. The buying habits of the Finns, perhaps the most sophisticated of sweat bathers, has forced many Finnish electric stove companies to pay particular attention to their sauna stove design. Researchers also cited poor ventilation in modern saunas as a cause of positive ion buildup. 

Although tests have not been conducted on other sweat baths, it is likely similar negative ion production occurs in any sweat bath that converts water to vapor quickly. The Native American Indian sweat lodge comes to mind.
  

Ions and our modern lifestyle  

In this modern life, we have created an environment that virtually eliminates negative ions from the atmosphere.

Because negative ions are readily attracted to airborne particles, (Which is how they clean the air - by attaching to particles of dust, pollen, smoke or dirt and dragging them to the ground.) every particle of pollution uses up yet another ion. So while there is a higher concentration of ions in the countryside, as you move into towns and cities, the dirt and pollution causes the level to drop dramatically.

 

Pollution from car exhausts, cigarette smoking, overcrowding and even our breathing, all contribute to this. Ironically, even today's air conditioned buildings, vehicles and aeroplanes frequently become supercharged with harmful positive ions because the plastic and metal fans, filters and ducting of air-conditioning systems strip the air of negative ions even before it reaches its destination. In addition, fluorescent lighting, electrical and electronic equipment, television screens and static producing, man-made fibers in carpets, clothes and upholstery all reduce the level of negative ions and increase the positive ones.  

 

Here are some average sample readings of negative air ions taken in various locations:  

(note that the body responds to levels above 1000 ions per cc)

By a waterfall:    50,000 ions per cc. Pure air, very stimulating, exhilarating and relaxing, germs cannot live in this air.

In the mountains: 5,000 ions per cc. Exceptionally fresh, clean and invigorating air, "mountain air 

In the country: 1,500 ions per cc. "Country fresh air,"

Optimum 1,000 ions per cc. the minimum level one should sleep, work and live in

In an average modern office: only 50 ions per cc. ( As you can see - A city office has probably the worst ion balance you can find!) 

How Ionizers Work  

Negative ions can be be produced by copying any of the ways that nature uses - ultra violet (lamps), radioactive sources etc. Indeed a bathroom shower provides a plentiful supply. 

Air ions have two qualities:

  • They are beneficial to health by their inhalation and absorption.

  • They are very efficient air cleaners, particularly of the smaller sized, more hazardous particles.

The ions leaving the ionizer are small, high velocity ones. These are found to be most beneficial to health. If they collide with particles of smoke or pollution near the ionizer, they pass on their "static" charge. This particle is then strongly attracted to the nearest "earthed" surface. (which could be a wall or the shelf on which the ionizer is placed - so make sure it is washable!)

 

Out into the room the ions naturally begin to slow down. As they drift, pollutants such as dust, pollen, cigarette smoke and even vaporized substances like aerosol propellants and car fumes are attracted to and cluster around the ions. This has the effect of making the ion grow in size. There comes a point where it is too heavy to be carried in the air, so it falls to the ground.

 

The ability of an ionizer to remove very fine particles from the air makes it extremely valuable for health. Recent studies indicate that the smaller the particle, the harder it is for our immune systems to cope with. So ionizers have a "double action" effect. They excel at removing microscopic particles - the most harmful - and at the same time they restore a "vitality" to the air - which our bodies appear to need for their everyday functioning.

 

The quoted range of an ionizer is usually the distance at which it can maintain a certain concentration of ions. (The standard figure is 1000 ions per cc of air - said to be the lower threshold level for health purposes). However most ionizers will have a cleaning effect over a greater distance.

A very important point to be aware of: A badly designed ionizer may produce ozone, and with it nitrous oxide. These are toxic substances and can cause respiratory difficulties and stinging eyes (often the very thing they were purchased to cure). The WHO (World Health Authority) guidelines, say that the maximum acceptable level of ozone is 0.1ppm (parts per million).  

How Negative Ion Generators Clean the Air:  

Negative ion generators, by use of specialized electronic devices, cause an electron to be added to molecules of Oxygen, Nitrogen and other trace gasses in your room air. This process creates ions with a negative charge as well as a small and safe quantity of bacteria-mold killing ozone.   

When the ions become negatively charged, they collide with airborne contaminants such as dust, mold spores, pollen, bacteria and many other airborne particles. The negative charge of the ion is then transferred to the air born particle. Surrounding this newly negatively charged particle are many other particles that are positively charged. These positively charged particles are drawn to the negatively charged particle and begin to build up, Eventually these particles, being built up like a snow ball, become too heavy to stay in the air and fall harmlessly to the floor where they are cleaned up by dusting or vacuuming. If a room is kept reasonably free of incoming pollutants, the air becomes very clean and free of air born particulate. 

In addition, negative ions aid in mood elevation and increased oxygen intake resulting in the feeling of alertness and vitality similar to the feeling we get when we are in a beautiful forest or near a crashing waterfall or the fresh feeling of breathing crisp, clean mountain air, evidence seems to be mounting that ion concentrations in the air do affect how people feel. Further, there is evidence that the new trend toward using computerized equipment in offices may be creating a special problem.  

Outdoor air contains about a thousand positive and negative charges (ions) within each cubic centimeter. Cosmic rays coming into the earth from the sun and elsewhere break apart air molecules and thereby create much of the ionization that exists in the air. Since more cosmic rays come in at the high latitudes, the high-latitude air normally has a higher proportion of ionized air molecules or molecular clusters. However, in cities and in confined spaces such as offices, processes take place to reduce the number of ions. One important process is attachment of charge-carrying molecular clusters to pollution particles in the air. When that happens both the ions and the pollution particles tend to be swept out of the air by the electric field that exists naturally near the earth's surface.  

The loss of ion concentration is thought to be harmful because it does seem that high ion concentrations do make people feel better--just why, doesn't seem to be clearly understood. High ion concentrations also apparently inhibit bacterial growth and perhaps foster plant growth. The good effects seem to be attributed to high concentrations of negative ions rather than positive ones; generally, the concentration of both types go together, except in small volumes of air perhaps only a few feet across.  

The desktop PCs have a CRT (cathode ray tube) monitor which produces a positive static charge during normal operation this in turn sweeps the nearby air of negative charges, thereby depleting the negative-ion concentration in the immediate vicinity. Apparently when the ion concentration is lowered by this or any other means--air conditioning does it too--workers complain of headaches, lethargy, dizziness and nausea. English tests indicate that the more complex the task a person tries, the more the individual is affected by negative-ion levels. Also females are more responsive than males to negative-ion depletion or enrichment. 
 

The effects of air ions on human performance and health 

The effect of air ions on the human organism has been the subject of much debate. Commercial units are available which claim beneficial effects through the generation of negative air ions into the atmosphere. Conversely, it has been claimed that an excess of positive ions can cause discomfort and symptoms such as headaches and nausea in some people.  

The possibility that air ions may affect human health has been suggested since the beginning of the 20th century. In the 1930's Yaglou et al published a series of papers demonstrating physiological effects of air ions and showing that air ion concentrations varied with diurnal and seasonal patterns. Yaglou suggested that air ion control should be considered an important part of indoor air conditioning.  

Warm dry winds such as the Sirrocco (Italy), Sharkije (Egypt), Santa Ana (California), Hamsin or Sharav (Middle East) or the Foehn ((Central Europe), are associated with a sudden increase in morbidity (health problems). During these winds about 30% of the population were reported to suffer from migraine, depression, moodiness, lethargy or respiratory symptoms. Behaviour changes were reported to result in an increase in accidents and psychological illness. A further 30% suffered less, and about 40% suffered no effects.

 

According to Sulman (Israel) and Kreuger (California) there was some evidence that these health changes were due to atmospheric electrical changes, in particular air ion concentrations, and the ion polarity ratio (the balance between positive to negative air ion concentrations). Their work led to a hypothesis that serotonin was involved in a mechanism of interaction between ions and biological systems.

Although the concentration of air ions is very low (in fair weather, circa 1000 ions/cc for negative, and 1200 ions/cc for positive ions), Hawkins (1985) asserts that "the evidence that ions do have biological effects is overwhelming." The main action seems to be through entry through the respiratory system.

Kreuger (1976) reports research by Winsor and Beckett on human adults and children in which high concentrations of positive ions produced congestion in the nose and pharynx, and when prolonged affected the bronchi.

 

Hawkins reports that his own studies confirm a significant beneficial effect of negative ions, positive ions having no effect. He reports that negative ions result in greater improvement for complex tasks than for simple tasks.

 

Buckalew and Rizzuto (1982) found that male subjects exposed to negative ions from commercial ion generators for a period of at least 6 hours reported feeling more relaxed and less tired. Reductions in irritability, depression, and tenseness, with increased calmness and stimulation were associated with negative ion exposure. Buckalew and Rizzuto (1984) found no significant effect on performance and physiological condition of 24 male subjects after up to 6 hours exposure to commercial negative ion generators. No alteration in basic cognitive functioning, perceptual-motor performance, reaction time, or grip magnitude, pulse, temperature and blood pressure were found. They state that: "There does remain the possibility of a physiologic, psychologic or performance response to higher concentrations of negative ions, and the need for investigation using a treatment-by-levels approach remains. Another direction, given evidence of psychological effects of negative ion exposure, is investigating interactions of psychological state and performance effects."

 

Fornof & Gilbert (1988) reported that indoor air ion levels affect the reactions of children to stressors. Negative air ionization increased physiological tolerance of stressors and reduced secondary effects of stress in behaviour and performance. Improvement in conceptualization and attention span coincided with the indicators of reduced stress. Their results confirmed that people of different sympathetic nervous system reactivity respond differently to air ion levels. Autonomic nervous system stability was apparently improved.

 

In a 1984 review Kellogg reports work by various authors on the clinical use of air ions, especially in the treatment of burns and asthma. For example, Kornblueh et al (1958) found that negative air ions, but not positive air ions, afforded relief from hay fever. Kornblueh (1968) has found that burn victims reported cessation of pain and early formation of eschars after exposure to negative air ions. These effects were confirmed by others.

 

Inbar et al (1982) have reported that negative air ions improved cardiovascular and thermoregulatory system function in men performing a bicycle exercise trial in a hot (40oC) environment. Heart rate, body temperature and perceived exertion were all reduced.

 

Serotonin hypothesis

 

Hawkins (1985) reports that 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. Sulman et al have reported that individuals suffering Sharav wind (in Middle East) sensitivity have been successfully treated by inhalation of air containing excess negative ions, or by administration of serotonin blocking drugs (Kreuger 1976).

 

The situation is confused, however, by other factors. Negative ions appear to reduce serotonin via enhancement of monoamine oxidase activity. Paradoxically, mental illness is often successfully treated using drugs which inhibit this activity and cause a rise in serotonin levels in the brain.

 

The motor vehicle environment

 

The air ion balance and levels which may be experienced by personnel in a motor vehicle are not currently reported. This information is essential for assessment of the possible air ion responses of occupants of a vehicle.

 

A second factor which may be extremely important is the subject's body voltage. A high body voltage could considerably alter the ingestion rates of ions. Ions of like polarity would be repelled from the body, and an effective depletion of ingested ions of this type can be expected. Similarly, ions of the opposite polarity would be attracted, and enhancement of ingestion of opposite polarity ions can be expected. Thus it is possible that the same effect as positive ion enhancement could be produced by a high negative body potential, even if the ambient air ion concentrations are balanced. Control and reduction of body voltage to a near zero condition can be expected to reduce any such effects and restore ion ingestion to that due to the ambient air ion balance condition. For Muslims body voltage to a near zero condition is achieved when they perform the Sajda (prostration) in Salat(contact prayer). 

 

Effects on our health 

Besides cleaning the air we breathe, negative ions aid in mood elevation and increased oxygen intake resulting in the feeling of alertness and vitality-similar to the feeling we get when we are in a beautiful forest or near a crashing waterfall or the fresh feeling of breathing crisp, clean mountain air.

Negative ions can provide major benefits for asthma, chronic fatigue syndrome, energy, hay fever, allergies, sleep & snoring, depression, emphysema, sinus, migraines, colds & flu, nausea (all types) chemical sensitivity, fibromyalgia, cigarette smoke & other odors, computers & office pollution. 

Scientific Studies 

Research has shown that negative ions can:

(a) Reduce histamine, which triggers hay fever.

(b) Affect levels of serotonin, a neurotransmitter or a neuro hormone associated with anxiety, stress and

Migraine.

(c) Have a beneficial effect on anyone suffering from bronchial complaints such as bronchitis asthma, catarrh and the common cold.

(d) Help sufferers of insomnia, migraine, emphysema, eczema, headaches, tiredness, and general feelings of malaise.  

(e) Increase the speed and quality of healing of burns and surgical incisions with less cross infection and reduced pain including post-operative pain  

(f) Enhance the body's absorption and utilization of oxygen, thus assisting concentration and alertness.  

(g) Reduce the effects of passive smoking, and allergies to pollen, dust and pets.  

(h) Remove and destroy airborne bacteria and viruses.  

(i) Negative ions accelerate the oxidative degradation of serotonin whereas positive ions have the opposite action and inactivate the enzymes, which break down serotonin. An increase in serotonin level produces: a) tachycardia b) a rise in blood pressure c) bronchial spasm going as far as asthma attack 

d) increased intestinal peristalsis (contractions and dilations of the intestines to move the contents onwards) 

e) increased sensitivity to pain f) increased aggression

( j )A decrease in the serotonin level is calming and increases defenses against infection (as proven with influenza-

the flu)

( k) Negative ions produce an increase in hemoglobin/oxygen affinity so that the partial oxygen pressure in the blood rises but the partial dioxide pressure decreases. This results in reduced respiratory rate and enhances the metabolism of water-soluble vitamins. In addition, negative ions produce an increase in pH making body fluids more alkaline.  

The effect of negative ion depletion varies from person to person; the least fortunate can suffer migraine, asthma and severe depression.

Most authorities on the subject agree that ions act on our capacity to absorb and utilize oxygen. Negative ions in the bloodstream accelerate the delivery of oxygen to our cells and tissues, whereas positive ions slow down this delivery of oxygen, producing symptoms markedly like those in anoxia (or oxygen starvation).

The neurotransmitter serotonin, linked with mood and stress, is also influenced by ion levels in air. Too many positive ions alter the levels, causing stress and discomfort. Increasing the negative ion concentration helps bring relief. Researchers believe that negative ions may stimulate the reticulo-endothelial system, a group of defense cells in our bodies, which marshal our resistance to disease. Treatment with negative ions has produced dramatic improvement in the healing of severe burns and the reduction of pain.  

Offices and organizations that have installed negative air ionization equipment have found that their employees are less likely to get colds, report absent less frequently and are generally more cheerful and alert. Use of negative air ionizers in the closed and artificial atmospheres of submarines and spacecraft.

Our modern vehicles have many problems. Basically they are a plastic-lined metal shell, with air supplied through ducting. All these factors dramatically increase positive ions. Opening a window can cause problems, letting in polluted city air. Many drivers, (long-distance drivers particularly) find using an ionizer in their vehicle helps their alertness and concentration - and in some cases, their passenger's travel sickness - along with the usual benefits of removing pollen and smoke. In the cities, in closed rooms, in cars etc., the proportion of negative ions is markedly reduced compared with undisturbed nature. According to the experts, positive ions rob us of our good senses and dispositions, while negative ions enhance them, stimulating everything from plant growth to the overall well being of the human body. 

 

Summary:  

The Qur'anic verses inspire the readers to new scientific discoveries as quoted in Surah Rad, 13:12.

In nature there are many sources of negative ions, which have many beneficial effects on humans.

In general, those people with sensitivities to airborne allergens will, understandably, have a greater and more immediate response due to the cleansing action of the negative ions. Children, in particular, seem to respond quickly. Children breathing negatively ionized air were superior in incidental memory and that difficulties experienced in dichotic listening were offset.

Given the right conditions, healthy food and pure water, our bodies will usually right themselves and develop properly. But so often we neglect the air we breathe. Most of us live our day-to-day lives in an environment invisibly polluted, and devoid of negative ions.

By using an ionizer we can help purify the air of these microscopic pollutants and restore the ion balance that our bodies have evolved to respond to.

Conclusions

Reading and deeper understanding of the Qur'an leads to many discoveries that will enhance the quality of life of all human beings. Muslims who were the intellectual giants about 1,000 years ago are marginal in today's world in all facets of human endeavors. It is hoped that articles like these will inspire them to do research and advance intellectually to reclaim that number one position once again, Insha'Allah. 

The consensus of the literature reviewed is that environmental air ion concentration levels and balance can affect a wide range of biological organisms, including humans. Elevated negative air ion levels are widely reported to have beneficial effects on humans including enhanced feeling of relaxation, and reduced tiredness, stress levels, irritability, depression, and tenseness.

Depleted ion levels and enhanced positive ion levels are reported to have no effect, or deleterious effects.

References

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Buckalew L W, Rizzuto A. Subjective Response to negative air ion exposure. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. 53, (8) 822-3, Aug 1982

Buckalew L W, Rizzuto A. Negative air ion effects on human performance and physiological condition. Aviation, space, and environmental medicine. 55, Part 8, 731-734, Aug 1984

Conor Environmental Services, Inc., Information on ions, a web page located at: http://www.consultces.com/ions.htm.

Fornof K T, Gilbert G O. Stress and physiological, behavioral and performance patterns of children under varied air ion levels. Int. J. Biometeorol. 32, 260-270, 1988

Hawkins LH. Biological significance of air ions. Proc. IEE Colloquium on ions in the atmosphere, natural and man made. London, UK, 1985. BLL Conf Ind. 3315.470 No 88 1985.

Inbar O, Rotstein A, Dlin R, Dotan R, Sulman F G. The effect of negative air ions on various physiological functions during work in a hot environment. Int. J Biometeor. 26 (2), 153-163, 1982

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Kellogg E W. Air ions: Their possible biological significance and effects. J Bioelectricity 3 (1&2), 119-136, 1984

Kornblueh I H, Piersol G M, Speicher F P. Relief from pollinosis in negatively ionized rooms. Am. J. Phys. Med. 37, 18-27, 1958

Kornblueh I H. Aeroionotherapy of burns. In Bioclimatology, Biometeorology and Aeroionotherapy. Gualtierotti et. al. eds., Carlo Erba Foundation, Milan 1968.

Odatus, Negative Ions, a web page located at: http://www.odatus.com/ions.html

Pentex, What are negative ions, a web page located at: http://www.pentax.com/ion_explain.htm.

"The Ion Effect" by Fred Soyka with Alan Edmonds, 1977, E. P. Dutton & Co.

Sulman F G. The effect of air ionization, electric fields, atmospheric and other electric phenomena on man and animal. Charles C Thomas, Springfield, Ill. 1980.

Yaglou C P, Brandt A D, Benjamin L K C. Physiological changes during exposure to ionized air. Heating, Piping, Air conditioning, 5, 423, 1933

Yaglou C P, Benjamin L K C. Diurnal and seasonal variations in small ion content in outdoor and indoor air. Heating, Piping, Air conditioning, 6, 25, 1934

 

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