Epsom Salt is a natural compound that contains magnesium and sulphate. It’s obtained in a solid state and is usually diluted or broken down in warm water to give an “Epsom Salt Bath”. The magnesium contained in Epsom Salt is a vital mineral that’s crucial to the human body, keeping blood pressure normal, heart rate steady, and bones strong.1,2
The “Epsom” name comes from the location in England where it was originally mined. While not actually a true salt like that which comes from the Dead Sea, Epsom Salt is a lighter compound of minerals that are well known to have relief qualities for a wide number of ailments and health benefits.1
Epsom Salt is considerably different from table salt. Epsom Salt’s chemical formula is MgSO4 which shows it can be broken down into magnesium, sulphate, and oxygen. It’s composed of small, colorless crystals and does look similar to table salt. Epsom Salt is completely different, however. Table salt is NaCl which is sodium chloride.1
People have been using Epson Salt baths for centuries. The range of Epsom Salt uses include relief from muscle injuries, arthritis pain and swelling, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, ingrown toenails, sunburn, and insomnia.1,3
Epsom Salt Health Uses and Health Benefits
There are seven generally accepted health benefits from Epsom Salt:1,2,3
- Boosting magnesium levels
- Reducing Stress
- Relieving Constipation
- Eliminating toxins
- Improving blood sugar levels
- Reducing pain and inflammation
- Volumizing hair
Epsom Salt uses are generally in baths. The water should be very warm and the mixture should be 1 – 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a normal-sized tub. Soaking should be done for at least 12 minutes. It might be necessary to soak once for an ingrown nail or daily to get relief from chronic arthritis pain.1
Epsom Salt health benefits have been long known. Some of the ailments which can be relieved through Epsom Salt baths are:
- Anal Fissures - Anal fistulas are the byproduct of an infected anal abscess that has not been properly drained. An Epsom Salt bath will help cleanse and treat the infected area, lessening pain of the anal fissure.
- Swollen Ankles - Ankle swelling is caused by many conditions such as injuries, pregnancy, lymphedema, blood clots, circulatory disease, liver disease, and hormonal changes. The magnesium and sulfates in Epsom Salts help reduce the swelling.
- Dehydration - This is the lacks of fluids in the body which needs at least 3 quarts of water per day to survive. Hydration can only be restored by consuming water however the side effects of dehydration can be eliminated from an Epsom Salt bath.
- Epilepsy - Epilepsy is a brain disorder that causes people to have recurring seizures. It’s a disorder of the brain where neurons send out the wrong signals to the muscles. While there is no cure for epilepsy, the muscular discomfort from seizures can be reduced through an Epsom Salt bath.
- Insect Bites - Stings from wasps, bees, hornets, spiders, mosquitos, and fleas leave the skin and muscles sore, red, and swollen. Depending on tolerance and allergic reaction, many people suffer tremendously from an insect bite. Epsom Salt soaks can significantly reduce the discomfort. The salt can also be topically placed right on the bite mark.
- Muscle Cramps - Sudden, involuntary cramping of muscles is painful and can take a long while to release. Epsom Salt baths are recognized by sports medicine professionals to provide highly effective relief to muscle cramps.
Epsom Salt Side Effects and Precautions
There are few known side effects for Epsom Salt. It’s always used externally, or topically, and not meant to be ingested or inhaled.