Last week when I wasn’t feeling well, I broke out my eucalyptus and lavender, and took a long, relaxing Epsom salt bath. What a simple way to get some much-needed relief.
Baths are one of the many uses for Epsom salt, which has been a popular and inexpensive home remedy for years. Containing both magnesium and sulfur, it is believed that Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin when added to warm water. The last time I had taken an Epsom salt bath was after the Susan G. Komen 3-Day. At that time too, it provided welcome relief to a tired and aching body.
There has been surprisingly little research done on Epsom salt, but it sure does remain a fan favorite by consumers, myself included in spite of the controversy surrounding it’s effectiveness, Epsom salt is still used daily for a variety of reasons.
15 of the Most Popular Uses for Epsom Salt
Increase magnesium and sulfate levels in the body.
This one is pretty much a no-brainer. It is thought by many that bathing in water with dissolved Epsom salt is one easy way to increase magnesium and sulfate levels in the body.
Soothe muscle pain and cramps.
Adding the right minerals to bathwater can triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls flushes toxins out of your body. It is thought that Epsom salts can play a role in breaking up the lactic acid that builds up in sore muscles.
Detoxify the skin.
Though I haven’t tried it myself, many people notice clearer skin after taking Epsom salt. Always mix it well with water or a cleanser to reduce the risk of aggravating your skin. An Epsom salt bath may help to wash off the allergens, irritants, or bacteria that can gather on the skin.
Stress drains the body of magnesium, so it may not be surprising that a bath made of magnesium sulfate can be a natural stress reliever. One of the roles of magnesium in the body is to help produce serotonin, a brain chemical that induces calm and emotional balance. Epsom salt baths may be beneficial for people with serotonin issues such as bipolar disorder. Parents of children with autism and ADHD have also reported benefits for children given Epsom salt baths, helping them to feel calmer.
I am forever grateful to my fellow Susan G. Komen 3-Day walker who randomly suggested an Epsom salt bath. As we were chatting I mentioned that the year prior year I didn’t have much soreness in the days following the event, but my feet and ankles were itching like crazy. This year, as soon as that itchiness began I drew an Epsom salt bath, adding a few of my favorite essential oils, and got relief almost immediately.
Relieve migraine symptoms
Likewise, when stress is reduced and inflammation declines, symptoms from musculoskeletal issues such as migraine may subside.
Reduce asthma symptoms
Most kids love baths, so why not add a little Epsom salt if it could potentially help with asthma relief? I wish I had known about this when my son suffered from asthma. An Epsom Salt bath is known to relieve inflammation, making it potentially beneficial in the treatment of bronchial asthma.
Magnesium sulfate is considered a laxative, and can be used to treat constipation. It helps to increase water in the intestines.
Regulate enzyme function
Magnesium is an electrolyte, which may help to ensure proper behavior of enzymes in the body.
Promote a good night’s sleep
Ever wonder why you are tired after an Epsom salt bath? Magnesium produces serotonin, lowers adrenaline and reduces blood pressure, all of which evokes a more relaxed state that is ideal for rest and sleep.
Help for aching feet
You already read about how much relief I got from an Epsom salt bath, but there’s more. Athletes and marathon runners often use Epsom salt for pain relief. By the way, it also can reduce nasty foot odor, which may be something to consider before your next date. Just saying.
Arthritis, Fibromyalgia & Psoriasis relief
Doctors are finding that psoriasis patients can have some relief from arthritic discomfort using Epsom salt in their daily bath. Magnesium deficiency may play a role in fibromyalgia, so soaking in Epsom salt may help. In one study, participants received a spray bottle with magnesium and applied it to their limbs two times a day, with fewer symptoms and less bruising.
Improve gardens and crops
Epsom salt has a long history of use as a fertilizer, soil conditioner, and pest controller. Many rose growers believe that Epsom salt makes the foliage greener and more lush, produces more canes and more roses. Some gardeners believe Epsom salts are most useful for tomatoes and peppers, helping them to grow larger and produce more fruit.
Improve your food
And for those who are magnesium deficient, you can increase the magnesium content of your fruits and vegetables by adding Epsom salt to the base of the plant or to the trench at planting time. Epsom Salt may also help to increase the density of the primary nutrients in most plant foods.
Though the uses for Epsom salt vary widely, there are precautions you should. Before adding Epsom salt in any form to your routine, you should definitely speak to your medical practitioner or pharmacist. Certain medications and conditions can interact with magnesium or sulfur levels in the body, causing an adverse affect. Don’t forget either that it can have a laxative effect. Also, keep in mind that it may be painful if it comes into contact with an open wound. Epsom salt is a salt, after all.
So, go and relax. Your bathtub is waiting.
Disclosure: The information found here is meant to generate insight and conversation. It is not intended to diagnose, treat or cure… well, anything. You should always consult a medical practitioner before making changes to your routine. Affiliate links included.
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