Athletes commonly use it for sore muscles while gardeners sprinkle it on plants to increase their growth. We’re talking about Epsom salt, of course. Epsom salt has a long history of diversified use and benefits for health, beauty, household cleaning and outdoor gardening.
Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy that can be used to treat muscle aches, dry skin and even fight various internal health issues. Unlike other salts, external contact with Epsom salt does not leave the skin feeling dry. In fact, it actually leaves it feeling soft and silky.
Epsom salt derives its name from a bitter saline spring located at Epsom in Surrey, England, where the compound was first distilled from water. It’s different from traditional salts because it’s actually a mineral compound of magnesium and sulphate. It was originally prepared from mineral water, but today it’s mainly obtained from mining operations.
The chemical formula for magnesium sulphate is MgSO4. That means it can actually be broken down into magnesium and sulphate, which is a combination of sulphur and oxygen. The salt consists of small, colourless crystals and looks similar to table salt. However, table salt is completely different from Epsom salt since it consists of sodium chloride.
How does Epsom salt work? It contains magnesium, a mineral that is crucial to the human body’s functioning. Some of the key roles of magnesium include keeping blood pressure normal, heart rhythm steady and bones strong. The other main ingredient, sulphate, is an essential mineral key to many biological processes. It helps flush toxins, cleanse the liver, and assist in the formation of proteins in joints and brain tissue.
Common NameEpsom Salt
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Benefits of Epsom Salts
Boosts Magnesium Levels
Appropriate levels of magnesium are absolutely key to good health, but it is very common to have insufficient magnesium. Alcoholism, severe diarrhea, malnutrition or high calcium levels (hypercalcemia) can all cause hypomagnesemia or low levels of magnesium. By simply soaking your feet or entire body in a bath containing Epsom salts, you can increase internal levels of magnesium naturally without taking magnesium supplements.
Magnesium regulates over 300 enzymes in the body and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions. These vital functions include muscle control, energy production, electrical impulses and elimination of harmful toxins.
Magnesium deficiencies are associated with a number of chronic diseases, including type 2 diabetes, Alzheimer’s disease, high blood pressure, heart disease, stroke and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD). By boosting your internal magnesium levels through external use of Epsom salt, you can help improve or ward off many avoidable health ailments.
Everyone has heard of the recommendation to have a good soak in a warm bath after a rough day. Whether it’s rough mentally, physically or both, a hot (again, not too hot) bath is such a great way to relieve stress. If you want to amplify the stress-reducing benefits of a nice, long soak, then add a cup or two of Epsom salt to your bathwater. Not only does the magnesium help relax your muscles, but it can also help relax your mind.
According to research from the University of North Carolina, hypomagnesemia enhances stress reactions. Further studies show that magnesium has a profound effect on stress and neural excitability. Magnesium salts, such as Epsom salt, can reduce stress and may improve neuropsychiatric disorders.
Magnesium is critical to the production of energy in cells. By increasing magnesium, you can feel revived without feeling restless. It’s a much more calm energy as opposed to how people feel revived from caffeine consumption.
The sulphates in Epsom salt assist the body in flushing out toxins. That provides a heavy metal detox from the body’s cells. By adding minerals like magnesium and sulphate to your bathwater, it sparks a process called reverse osmosis, which literally pulls salt out of your body and dangerous toxins along with it.
As part of a healthy weight loss plan, detox baths with magnesium sulphate and baking soda are sometimes recommended. This doesn’t mean that Epsom salt weight loss is really “a thing,” but since the salt can discourage water retention and promote elimination (more on that next), it’s not a bad idea to add it to a holistic weight loss approach.
Featured in Epsom Salts in Healing Bath Salts.