Soaking in a warm bath has many health benefits, both physical and mental.
Adding Epsom salts to your bath water can help you to relax, detoxify, and treat many health issues.
Epsom salts have been used for generations to treat everything from pain to sluggish bowels.
Learning how to use this natural compound properly, can help keep all your body systems and muscles working smoothly.
What are Epsom Salts?
Epsom salts are very different from table salt, sea salt or even bath salts.
The name is slightly confusing to some since the word “salt” is really a chemistry term for how compounds are formed.
Salts form from a reaction in which an acid and a base neutralize one another, creating a product that has a neutral charge.
This chemical structure is unique and can be comprised of either organic or inorganic components.
Epsom salts are comprised of magnesium and sulfate.
The name “Epsom” refers to the location in the UK, where these salts are found in a natural spring.
Epsom salts are widely available commercially in drugstores and grocery stores, among other places, and they are inexpensive.
When added to water, Epsom salts break down into its two compounds, sulfate and magnesium.
These minerals have different benefits for your body, which we’ll discuss below.
You can soak in a bath with Epsom salts, or you can take them internally, depending on your need.
The Benefits of Epsom Salts
There are wide-ranging uses for Epsom salts.
They are usually added to bathwater to create a soak to ease arthritis pain and swelling, treat bruises and musculoskeletal inflammation, and to ease the discomfort of disorders like fibromyalgia.
Many people also use Epsom salt baths or soaks to treat tired feet and sore muscles from overexertion.
We will examine the many benefits of Epsom salts a little more closely, to help you understand how this amazing natural compound can help you and your health.
Addressing Nutrient Deficiencies
You are already aware that your body needs vitamins and minerals to perform basic functions and to keep you healthy.
Minerals like iron and calcium are often on everyone’s watch list since they get a lot of attention for their role in your overall health.
However, you may not be aware that magnesium is the second-most abundant element found in human cells and is a critically essential nutrient.
Magnesium is responsible for the regulation of over 300 different enzymes in your body and plays a critical role in muscle control, the production of electrical impulses, the elimination of wastes and toxins from your body and the production of energy.
Many people today are deficient in magnesium since our diet has moved steadily away from whole foods, including fruits and vegetables, toward a diet full of processed items.
Not only does the Standard American Diet (SAD) lack fiber and nutrients, it can lead to significant health problems, like heart disease, inflammatory disorders, reduced kidney function and much more.
Even whole, plant-based foods grown today have less magnesium than a few generations ago, due to soil depletion of this critical mineral.
A deficiency of this vital mineral is a significant health problem.
Many people are not even aware that it is affecting them.
Epsom salts can help restore your levels of magnesium to healthy levels and improve all of the health conditions previously mentioned.
Detoxifying Your Body
Your skin is the single largest organ in your body that is responsible for eliminating waste and toxins.
When exposed to magnesium sulfate, your skin receives a message to unload stored toxins.
This message is received throughout the body, and detoxification pathways are strengthened.
This helps your body to eliminate wastes more effectively.
When taken internally, the magnesium sulfate in Epsom salts also works as a laxative, by drawing more water into your bowels.
This softens the stools and makes them easier to pass.
This can help you detoxify your digestive system and eliminate stored waste and toxins clogging your intestines, liver and other organs.
Reducing Pain and Inflammation
Epsom salts are best known for helping to eliminate pain and soreness in muscles, tendons, and joints.
Magnesium sulfate promotes the excretion of lactic acid from muscle tissues, which can help athletes recover from a workout more quickly.
Both magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed through the skin, and these minerals enter your system to improve blood flow and relax muscles.
Soaking with Epsom salts helps repair muscle damage from an injury or exercise, reduces inflammation from arthritis or tendinitis and generally soothes tired and sore muscles of all types.
Boosting Immune System Function
If you are starting to feel flu-ish or have a cold, soaking with Epsom salts can help you feel better faster.
A warm bath plus magnesium sulfate enhances vasodilation, increases the production of white blood cells and helps you fight off infection.
If you have body aches due to the flu, Epsom salts can also help with those.
Improving Your Foot Health
If your feet have an offending odor or if you have a fungal infection on your feet or nails, you can use Epsom salts to solve your problem.
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts dissolved in warm water treats the cause of fungal infections, reduces skin problems that cause odor and draws out infection and inflammation that could be causing your foot pain.
For those who stand on their feet all day, a nightly Epsom salt foot soak can also help with soreness and swelling.
Your endocrine system relies on magnesium for the proper regulation of hormones.
If you are deficient in this important nutrient, you may have difficulty regulating your hormones or suffer from more severe fluctuations in your hormone levels.
Those with a magnesium deficiency often experience hormonal migraines, polycystic ovary syndrome (PCOS) and endometriosis.
Using Epsom salts and eating a magnesium-rich diet can help you control hormone production and experience fewer symptoms of PMS and other hormonal changes.
Treating Skin Conditions
Epsom salts can also relieve skin conditions such as psoriasis, bug bites, rashes, and even sunburn.
By drawing out the moisture in the lesions caused by rashes, and by reducing the inflammation and swelling in stings and bites, you can treat many common sources of itching.
Use Epsom salts dissolved in water, to soak a cold compress for the best results.
Improving Your Sleep
If you are deficient in magnesium, your sleep may also suffer.
Magnesium relaxes muscles, aids in digestion, restores healthy blood pressure and soothes aches, which can all help you sleep better.
Take a relaxing, hot Epsom salt bath, just before bed to achieve a better night’s rest.
When you are under too much stress, your stress hormones can drain your body of the necessary magnesium you need to be healthy.
When you have a magnesium deficiency, your natural levels of serotonin, which elevate your mood and help you feel relaxed and happy, are decreased.
Soaking in Epsom salts can help you feel more relaxed, restore your serotonin levels and give you the ability to deal with the responsibilities of your life.
Since Epsom salts have been around for a very long time, they have been extensively researched to examine their purported benefits.
Some of the other benefits that are often attributed to Epsom salts and for which there is scientific support include:
- Improving circulation and heart health by promoting a regular heartbeat, reducing blood clots, and lowering blood pressure
- Reducing insulin resistance
- Improving electrolyte regulation, which promotes nerve function
- Enhancing nutrient absorption
- Treating migraine headaches
How to Use Epsom Salts in Your Bath
Now that you know all the amazing health benefits of Epsom salts, you can start using them regularly to improve your well-being and detoxify your body.
When Epsom salts are used in the bath, the magnesium and sulfate enter your body through the skin and flush unwanted toxins and heavy metals from your cells.
This can ease muscle pain and help your body to eliminate harmful substances.
If you want to take a full-body Epsom salt bath, fill your tub with warm water that is comfortable to the touch and not too hot.
While the water is still running, add one to two cups of Epsom salts.
Swirl the water around to completely dissolve the salts, before getting into the tub.
Soak for at least 12 minutes, or longer if you prefer.
If you have sore muscles or joints, you can add one-half cup of Epsom salts to a large container of water, then soak your affected joint or muscle for up to 20 minutes.
If you want to enjoy the detoxifying benefits of Epsom salts regularly, you can take a bath with the salts up to three times per week to draw out the wastes and heavy toxins from your body.
If you wish to do this, it is important that you stay hydrated both before and after your bath, since the Epsom salts will draw out toxins, as well as your natural store of salt and water.
Drink one large glass of coconut water or water with electrolytes both before and after your soak.
Soak for 20 to 60 minutes in each session.
Epsom Salts for Beauty Care
In addition to the many uses of Epsom salts to treat your health problems, you can also use this natural compound as a regular part of your beauty regimen.
For example, Epsom salts make a wonderful natural exfoliant.
Combine salts with eucalyptus oil, sesame oil, and coffee grounds, then exfoliate your entire body.
Doing this before sun exposure will allow your skin to more effectively absorb sunscreen.
You can even use Epsom salts mixed with olive oil to exfoliate dry lips in the winter.
You can soften skin and cuticles by soaking your hands and feet in an Epsom salt bath before getting your manicure and pedicure.
You can also exfoliate your feet by combining Epsom salt with a 5-10 percent glycolic cream, then rubbing it into your skin.
If you have blackheads, you can use Epsom salts to dislodge and treat them.
Combine one teaspoon of Epsom salts with three drops of iodine and one-half cup of boiling water.
After the mixture has cooled slightly, apply this to your blackheads using a cotton swab.
If your hair is plagued by hairspray or product residue, Epsom salts can also help with that problem.
Combine one cup of Epsom salts and one cup of lemon juice with one gallon of water, mixing thoroughly.
Cover this mixture and allow it to sit for 24 hours.
Pour the mixture over your hair and allow it to set in for at least 20 minutes.
Shampoo as usual and rinse thoroughly.
To get more volume from your hair, combine equal parts of your favorite deep conditioner with Epsom salts.
Warm these in a small saucepan, then work the warmed mixture into your hair, allowing it to rest for 20 minutes before rinsing completely.
Once you realize the many benefits to your health and beauty that Epsom salts provide, you’ll wonder why you haven’t been using this inexpensive product all along.
Since magnesium is such an important mineral for your health, it’s no wonder that having a magnesium deficiency can cause problems for your health and well-being.
Using Epsom salts can help you treat sore muscles and joints, detoxify your body and skin, and provide a better sleep as well as lower stress levels.
Epsom salts also help keep your feet healthy, keep your hormones in check, fight off a cold, and treat many different skin disorders.
You can even use it to keep your skin and hair healthy and beautiful.
The easiest way to use Epsom salts is to soak in a bath of water and dissolved salts.
The magnesium sulfate penetrates your skin and draws out toxins as well as imparts the many benefits previously described.
Epsom salt baths are a wonderful tool for relaxation, detoxification, and treatment of a number of disorders.
Stop by your local drugstore today to pick up some Epsom salts and get busy soaking!
The information on this website has not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration or any other medical body. We do not aim to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any illness or disease. Information is shared for educational purposes only. You must consult your doctor before acting on any content on this website, especially if you are pregnant, nursing, taking medication, or have a medical condition.
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