I love to use Epsom salt in many remedies and I always stock it at home. Epsom salt is generally used in bath salts but it also has other uses. It is used for treating constipation, foot fungus, swollen feet, reducing itching and pain in eczema, psoriasis and hives, for promoting good sleep, for reducing muscle soreness, foot pain and knee pain. Since it helps soften the skin, it is wonderful to use in bath and foot salts too.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt whose chemical name is magnesium sulfate is a chemical compound that consists of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Epsom salt is commercially produced by dissolving magnesium carbonate into sulfuric acid. The majority of magnesium sulfate produced is used as a fertilizer in agriculture.
Though it is termed as salt it is entirely different from table salt and since it is bitter it is never used in cooking. Though it is consumed internally as a medicine to treat constipation, internal consumption should be done only in the prescribed dosage.
Epsom Salt Common Names:
Epsom salt originated in England and was named after a bitter saline spring called Epsom and so it is commonly called Epsom salt everywhere. Here in India also it goes by the same name in all languages including Hindi, Telugu, Tamil, Marathi, Kannada, Bengali, Punjabi and Kannada.
Does Epsom Salt Provide Magnesium?
It is a common advice to take Epsom salt bath if you are deficient in magnesium. When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, it releases magnesium and sulfate ions. A study done on 25 participants using magnesium cream that contains 56mg of magnesium has shown that there was a significant difference in the the amount of magnesium before and after using the cream thus proving that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin. You can read the study that supports this claim here.
5 Top Health Benefits Of Epsom Salt
1. Reduces Stress
Epsom salt baths are very very relaxing and calming. Magnesium deficiency can also be one of the reasons for depression. Adequate levels of magnesium helps our brain produce neurotransmitters that helps us get peaceful sleep and deal with stress better. If you feel you are stressed out often and are not able to relax, consider taking Epsom salt bath regularly.
2. For Constipation
Epsom salt is taken orally for treating constipation and it is a very popular home remedy. It is effective because magnesium helps stimulate bowel moments. But I would suggest you consult a physician before consuming Epsom salt for treating constipation on a regular basis. The one thing about consuming Epsom salt is it should never be over consumed and it also does not taste good. You can also try Epsom salt bath wherein magnesium is absorbed through the skin which in turn helps draw water into the gut which helps ease bowel movement.
3. Reduces Pain & Swelling
If your legs, knees or feet hurt or if you are suffering from arthritis or other painful conditions soaking in Epsom salt bath will be a great comfort. One of my aunts suffer from severe leg and foot pain. I made and gave her Epsom salt foot soak blend and she mentioned that it gave a good relief for her. If you are suffering from leg pain, arthritis or fibromyalgia, consider using Epsom salt foot soak.
4. Promotes Good Sleep
Adequate magnesium levels in our body is very essential for good sleep. If you are low in magnesium, you’ll find yourself not getting a good night sleep and you will feel lethargic the whole day. Try taking Epsom salt bath before going to bed and very soon you will be sleeping very well.
5. Provides Magnesium
If you are low in magnesium you can consider taking magnesium supplements after consulting a physician. But if you don’t want to take magnesium orally, you can take Epsom salt bath regularly too. Since magnesium is absorbed through the skin, it will help improve magnesium levels in our body effectively.
6. Good For Athletes
One of the common problems that athletes face is muscle soreness and taking Epsom salt bath helps relieve muscle soreness very very effectively. Athletes are also prone to low magnesium levels so taking Epsom salt bath will be effective to increase the magnesium levels too.
Epsom Salt Side Effects
There are no side effects to using Epsom salt in bath soak and food soaks. But if you plan on consuming it internally for treating constipation make sure you have it in the appropriate dosage else it will cause nausea, bloating and headache. Consuming Epsom salt in large amounts can cause very serious problems like paralysis and even death.
Where To Get Epsom Salt?
Many departmental stores in India stock Epsom salt, when you are buying make sure to buy the plain one without any add-ons. You can add herbs and dried flowers according to your choice. You can also buy Epsom salt easily online too, 800 grams costs around 220 rupees.
How To Use Epsom Salt?
Epsom Salt Bath For Eczema, Sore Muscles, Psoriasis, Hemorrhoids
Epsom salt bath is nothing but Epsom salt blend added to bath water. The blend usually consists of dried herbs or flowers mixed with Epsom salt. To make homemade bath salt, remove the petals from pesticide free roses and dry them in shade. Mix the measured out Epsom salt with baking soda well.
Now add the liquid pink food color to it and mix it well till it is evenly mixed. Add the crushed rose petals and the rose essential oil to it and mix every thing together well. Your homemade bath salt is ready, you can read the full recipe here. Epsom salt bath will reduce itching and discomfort caused due to psoriasis, eczema, hives and hemorrhoids.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak For Foot Fungus, Swollen Feet & Foot Pain
Measure out the Epsom salt, baking soda and sea salt. Add the essential oil to the mixture and mix well. The best choices are tea tree oil or any citrus oils as they treat all the infections very effectively. Split the mixture into two and to one part add your favorite food color.
I added red food coloring. Take a tall thin bottle and start layering. Make sure to tap to fill in the gaps completely after each layer else the layers will mix together. To use take a handful of this foot soak mixture and add to warm water and soak your clean feet in it. Remove once the water temperature has cooled down and gently remove the dead cells using a scrubber, wash your feet again, pat dry and apply a moisturizer. You can read the full recipe in detail here.
Epsom Salt Foot Scrub:
Take Epsom salt and crush it lightly in a mortar and pestle, if you use it without crushing, it will be too abrasive on the skin. Now to it add in almond oil, equal amounts of licorice powder and essential oil of your choice, I prefer peppermint essential oil. Mix well and use it as a foot scrub. This scrub will exfoliate dead skin and will leave the foot smooth and soft.