The Earthing Product Range: A Critical Review

Connecting to the Earth‘s natural electrical rhythms through direct skin contact, also known as "earthing," has gained popularity in recent years. Proponents claim it reduces inflammation, improves sleep quality, increases energy, and more. But what does the science say? In this in-depth review, we analyze the product line and health assertions of Earthing, a prominent retailer in this market.

About the Earthing Company

Based in Ojai, California and founded in 2000, Earthing distributes a variety of products designed to harness the "natural healing power of the Earth," including conductive sheets, mats, bands, and grounding rods. Their website offers extensive information touting the benefits of earthing. But while initial research shows promise, most health claims remain scientifically inconclusive at this time.

Earthing Product Categories

Earthing‘s product range features conductive materials intended to facilitate electron transfer from the earth to your body when in direct contact with skin. Let‘s break down each category in detail:

Earthing Mats

Materials: Made from conductive foam and fabric with silver threads interwoven. Mats contain a cord to connect to an earth ground. Prices range from $60-$99.

Health Claims: Using while sitting purportedly reduces inflammation, improves focus, and protects from EMF radiation emitted by electronics.

Evidence: A small 2016 pilot study found reduced inflammation markers in participants after use. More research is still needed.

Our Take: Of all Earthing products, conductive mats show the most initial promise and may be worth trying. Look for third-party lab verification of conductivity.

Earthing Sheets

Materials: Made from organic cotton, silver threads, and SnCu ribbons along the seams. Must be used with a grounding rod. Queen sets run $200+.

Health Claims: Promotes better sleep and healing by reducing inflammation during rest.

Evidence: While we lack robust clinical trials, a 2012 study did find improved sleep and reduced pain in a small sample group after sleeping grounded.

Our Take: The high price tag is a concern. Those seeking better sleep may want to try more affordable options first, like blue light blocking glasses.

Earthing Shoes

Materials: Leather shoes lined with conductive copper fabric. $129 and up.

Health Claims: Connects you to the earth while walking, giving anti-inflammatory benefits.

Evidence: We found no studies specifically on earthing shoes. Claims lack scientific support at this time.

Our Take: The supposed benefits remain unproven. We suggest saving your money for now.

Examining the Health Assertions

Earthing products supposedly work by connecting you to the Earth‘s negative surface charge. This facilitates electron transfer, acting as a natural antioxidant that reduces inflammation in the body. But examining the scientific literature reveals a more complicated picture with regards to these claims.

While a few small studies show modest benefits, research remains in an early, exploratory phase. Most trials lack proper control groups or randomization. Nearly all were funded by earthing product companies themselves, raising the potential for bias. Independent, large-scale studies by reputable institutions are still needed.

Furthermore, the electron transfer mechanism itself remains theoretical. And some physicists have raised doubts about whether earthing materials can meaningfully facilitate such transfer at all through common shoe or glove barriers.

Potential Risks

While limited evidence suggests low risks from proper earthing activities, experts encourage caution regardless. Improper grounding carries dangers of shock or electrocution. Those with electronic medical implants like pacemakers should always consult their physician first. And earthing should not be seen as a replacement for standard medical care.

The Bottom Line

Initial research shows some promise. But substantial evidence for health claims remains lacking at this time. While generally considered safe, effective grounding requires careful setup that may prove cumbersome for general consumers.

For those still interested, we suggest starting with cheaper conductive mats rather than expensive sheet sets. Mats provide most cited benefits with less financial risk. We also recommend products with third-party conductivity verification. Other more proven solutions may exist for issues like sleep troubles or chronic inflammation.

Earthing continues an interesting area of inquiry. But extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence. Until more rigorous, independent research validates assertions, claims should be viewed with healthy skepticism. We will continue monitoring the latest studies for new developments.

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