Are you interested in improving your overall health, physical appearance, and state of mind? What if you could do so frequently in the comfort of your own home? And what if you could do all of this for just a few bucks?
This is not a scheme, trick, advertisement, or miracle drug (I know, you've heard this all before, but reserve your judgement until you read through the end. You won't be disappointed!). The benefits of Epsom salts have been known for years, but it seems as though the reason most people don't use this technique more often is simply because it seems to be too good to be true.
But take my advice - once you try it and feel the benefits, you will wonder how you ever lived without it.
Saline Springs of Epsom
Epsom salt derives its name from a small town in southern England, which was famous throughout parts of Western Europe for it's saline springs. The people of Epsom developed a way to collect the salty mineral deposits from the springs through a process of boiling the liquid, and filtering out the solid deposits. This precious mineral source was used as a cure-all for countless ailments, from constipation to fever to difficulty breathing and many more. Shockingly, Epsom salt can still be used today for many of the same benefits, and often in the same manner it was used when first discovered in the mid-1600's.
Crash Course: Magnesium Sulfate
Epsom salt, which is sometimes also referred to by it's scientific name, magnesium sulfate, has countless benefits to the human body. The magnesium in the Epsom salt regulates the activity of over 325 enzymes in the body, reducing inflammation.
Magnesium is also known to be essential in the way your body processes calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.
Bubble Your Troubles Away!
There are many uses for Epsom salt, but one of the most loved methods of using this natural cure-all is by adding about 2 cups to a warm bath. The best way to allow this product to really work its magic on your system is to soak for at least ten minutes, and ideally no more than 45.
According to several health and beauty experts who advocate the benefits of this technique, bathers are encouraged to add between 1/2 to 1 cups of baking soda to your bath. Baking soda has well-known purification properties, and can help to cleanse and balance your body as you soak.
As A Pain Reliever
Epsom salt is probably most often used to treat muscle aches and physical pain. Athletes often soak in a warm bath with Epsom salts after training or game days.
Physicians often recommend bathing with Epsom salt for relief from muscle cramping, including after childbirth.
It also has been shown to reduce swelling and bruising. This is especially helpful in the treatment of bug bites, sunburn, and poison ivy.
Foot odor? No problem. Soaking your tired, aching feet in a warm bath with Epsom salts not only relieves the pain and pressure, but has also been shown to be a highly-effective and all-natural odor eliminator.
Epsom salt baths are able to relieve a number of stress-related issues.
The magnesium in Epsom Salt helps the body produce a chemical called serotonin, which is a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.
They can even sure a hangover! The ill-feeling associated with the morning after drinking too much the night before, aka "hangovers," are caused by the toxicity of alcohol breaking down within your body. To ease this particular pain, the sulphate found in an Epsom salt bath can flush out these toxins, and induce a sense of relaxation.
Whether from a hangover or other cause, the sulfate in Epsom salt can also ease nausea, bloating and fatigue by draining out those toxins.
Epsom Salt for Weight Loss
Now, keep in mind, this technique may help in achieving your weight loss goals, but the pounds may not come flying off with one relaxing bath - diet and exercise are still important!
For the best results, I suggest adding one tablespoon of ground ginger to your bath - ginger increases your body temperature, and the added heat can make you sweat, rapidly flushing out toxins and leaving you feeling wonderful.
The magnesium sulfate which will be absorbed through your skin in this type of bath works to pull toxins from your body. Scientific and health studies have shown that the build-up of toxins and harmful materials in the body can contribute to weight gain over many years. Health experts have argued that removing these toxins from your body through this kind of bath may help jump-start your weight loss!
How To Make Your Bath
There are many variations on this recipe for beauty, weight loss and stress relief - try them all and customize your own!
- 2 Cups Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)
- 1/2 - 1 Cup Baking soda
- 1-2 Tablespoons of ground ginger (if you're interested in the above-mentioned weight-loss technique)
- A few drops of your favorite essential oil (Optional)
Although the oil is optional, I do recommend it, as many scents have calming and soothing properties. Some of my favorites include lavender, eucalyptus and lemongrass oils.
Follow the instructions for Epsom salt carefully, as with any product, and do not use if you are pregnant, have high blood pressure, kidney stones or kidney disease, diabetes or heart disease.
'Me-Time' Your Way
Christy Maria on September 04, 2015:
I do not have baths a lot because I feel like I am always on a time crunch, but when I do I love using salts/bath bombs/ etc. My mom uses Epsom Salt in her baths to help her back problems and she claims it works!
Kay Plumeau (author) from New Jersey, USA on July 28, 2015:
That must be so nice with herbs and flowers! I'll have to try that soon!
Diana Burrell-Shipton from Hubbard, Ohio, USA on July 28, 2015:
Love soaking in the tub - can't any longer due to bad legs and miss it so much.
I do still make many bath salt blends though and they feature my homegrown herbs and flowers + Epsom salts... :)
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 18, 2015:
My pleasure KMS. I need an epsom salt foot bath real soon.
Kay Plumeau (author) from New Jersey, USA on May 18, 2015:
Thanks for your feedback! I've really enjoyed adding them to baths as well but I was surprised at how many other benefits they had. Thank you for reading!
Kristen Howe from Northeast Ohio on May 15, 2015:
Great hub, KMS. I use Epsom salt for food baths. I never thought it would be healthy for other reasons. Thanks for the tips. Voted up for useful!
Kay Plumeau (author) from New Jersey, USA on January 27, 2015:
I would highly recommend it! Especially during the winter, it really helps when you feel a cold coming on, and it's a great way to relax. I hope you get to enjoy it yourself! Thank you for reading.
Sally Gulbrandsen from Norfolk on January 27, 2015:
Really interesting article. I would love to try this sometime soon. Thanks for sharing the benefits of Epsom Salt.
Kay Plumeau (author) from New Jersey, USA on October 16, 2014:
Thank you! And yes sometimes it is the old remedies which work the best, with the least amount of side effects - if any. Thank you for your readership, and I've really enjoyed your articles as well.
toknowinfo on October 16, 2014:
Wonderful wonderful article! Epsom salt is an old fashioned remedy that I remember my mother using. Thanks for all the info proving why epsom salt is so good to use. This is a great hub. Thanks for all the useful information.