By Stella Holt — Epsom salt isn’t the usual salt on your table, which you’ll keep sprinkling if your food lacks the flavor. From gardeners to athletes, everyone is using it for the multitude of properties it has to offer. Its origin dates back to the time it was obtained from mineral water, but it is mined from various sources nowadays.
The chemical formula for Epsom salt is MgSO4, which means that its active components are magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. But why is it called Epsom? Epsom salt gets its name from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. It’s the place where this compound was first distilled from mineral water. If we’re being precise, then it’s basically a mineral salt. The transparent crystals might fool you at the start, but once you’re accustomed to using it, you’ll know the difference between Epsom salt and the usual salt right away.
Why I’m talking about Epsom salt? It’s a miracle salt. There. I said it.
I had been scrolling through different social media sites, trying my luck to overcome my back pain. Among the crowd of so many to-dos and not-to-dos, I came across Epsom salt. At first, I thought that all the benefits were just exaggerated fluff. But a part of me believed that there’s something about this salt. It’s unique and relieves body ache (it had me on the back pain!)
I followed my itch to discover more about the product and the more I researched it, the more I came to realize the significance of this salt. Then it was the time. I had to treat my excruciating back pain and this was just the thing. Next morning, I rushed to the supermarket and bought the best quality Epsom salt. I came back home and rushed to the kitchen to make myself one of those fancy bath bombs.
Why Use Epsom Salt?
As soon as I took the bath, I felt the pain ceased to exist. My whole body felt so relaxed and even those little paper cuts on my fingers start healing faster. Epsom salt has been one of the mineral salts that have a wide range of benefits, which outweigh its negative impacts. It is known to treat a variety of health issues, such as swelling, body ache, gout, and constipation to name a few. The use of Epsom salt depends on how and where you use it. It’s a salt for everyday use. I’ve shared my bit of the experience and today, I’m going to share some more experiences you can have once you start using Epsom salt.
Epsom Salt Gives Magnesium Levels A Boost
Due to the fact that magnesium regulates more than 300 enzymes in the human body, it plays a crucial role in controlling, regulating, and operating many body functions, such as nerve and muscle control and production of energy and electrical impulses among many others. Studies have reported that magnesium deficiency is linked to several neural diseases, such as a migraine, depression, and epilepsy. Low magnesium levels are caused by severe diarrhea, alcoholism, and malnutrition, leading to hypercalcemia, or high calcium levels.
However, since Epsom salt is an abundant source of magnesium, soaking your feet in an Epsom salt and water mixture helps you increase the levels of magnesium without the need to take magnesium supplements. Via this Epsom salt bath, many health problems can ward off. To be honest, whenever I have swollen feet at the end of the day, all I need is a bucket, some warm water, and a few tablespoons of good old Epsom salt. That just does the trick. Always.
It Detoxifies The Body
While we are schooled about certain organs in the biology class, we sometimes ignore the fact that our skin is the largest organ of our body and the pores of which can help us draw out some toxic compounds. For several centuries, European spas used healing salts (including Epsom salt) for therapeutic purposes. Nifty!
According to Dr. Ray, a member of the American Academy of Anti-aging Medicine (A4M), magnesium from Epsom salt is absorbed to some degree in the skin, due to which it normalizes the magnesium level (in case of magnesium deficiency) and other magnesium-related metabolisms. When you soak in an Epsom salt bath, a process called ‘reverse osmosis’ initiates, which draws out the salts as well as toxins from your body.
Alleviates Pain, Inflammation, and Cramps
Epsom salts are also known to relieve body pain, joint inflammation, and the cramps arising as a result of muscle tension. In relevance to the body detoxification baths, Epsom salts help soothe the body, alleviating the discomfort and swelling in sore muscles, joints, and feet. It also helps in reducing the puffiness around aching feet, bruises, sprains, and injuries related to feet and other body areas (just like it treated my paper-cut fingers!)
Different studies have indicated that magnesium plays a critical role in preventing chronic inflammation that might be building up from a long time. The decrease in the levels of this mineral, as stated before, leads to the increased level of a potential marker of inflammation.
It Eases Constipation
Most people don’t realize that apart from being an active detoxifier, Epsom salt is also a proactive laxative. Due to its natural laxative properties, the FDA has approved it for the treatment of constipation. When Epsom salt enters the body, it induces an increase of water and clears the colon by stimulating the ilium brake. It does so by releasing digestive hormones and neurotransmitters.
Use of food-grade Epsom salt eases the flow of water in the intestine and hence, flushes out the toxins from the body. Plus, it also helps in driving out the gallstones from your gallbladder. However, oral consumption for the treatment of constipation by Epsom salt brings temporary relief and isn’t recommended for long-term usage. In case of an unwanted side effect like itching, hives or irritation, immediate consultation with a physician is highly recommended. In my family, it’s the first-aid laxative and everyone loves to use it.
Epsom Salt Regulates Blood Sugar Levels
The body becomes prone to many metabolic diseases, such as diabetes and cardiovascular diseases, when the magnesium levels drop below the optimum. In this context, scientific evidence implicates that the risk of diabetes reduces if the healthy magnesium levels are maintained. And yes, that brings us straight to the Epsom salt – the ultimate source of magnesium.
Magnesium and Sulfur in the Epsom salt increase the body’s potential to produce and use insulin. It has been noticed that the regulated use of magnesium in the form of Epsom salt (in recommended doses) helps in regulating blood sugar levels and hence, lowers the risk of type-2 diabetes in men and women.
Healthy Skin And Hair With Epsom Salt
Apart from inducing internal health benefits, Epsom salt has popularly been used by several around the world as a part of their beauty regimen. While Epsom salt takes care of your gut and removes toxins from your body, it also gives you healthy, glowing, and radiant skin and hair. You can make Epsom salt bath bombs to relax your muscles, exfoliate your face and body, and even prepare a moisturizing magnesium lotion. Just a pack of this salt gives you the experience and multiplied benefits of a spa and salon.
For hair care, mixing equal proportions of Epsom salt and hair conditioner can soften the hair and increase the volume. It’s a million dollar spa hair treatment you’re ever going to experience. You can take my word for it! I’ve become a fan of Epsom salt for giving me the best skin and hair treatment I’ve had in years!
Keep Your Plants Healthy With Epsom Salt
You must’ve noticed that plant fertilizer contain some fundamental minerals, such as magnesium, sulfur, zinc, chloride and so on. As for Epsom salt, it contains the basic minerals that most plants require, especially the vegetables. Besides the plant growth, there are many other uses of Epsom salt in the garden, such as removing unwanted pests, preventing slugs, and greening up your lawn etc.
I am a gardening freak and it’s one of my favorite hobbies. I can’t just let my plants die of malnutrition! Apart from using organic products for gardening purposes, I keep a separate storage of Epsom salt for my plants as well.
Here’s my tip: Epsom salt is like a growth bazooka for tomato plants. If your tomatoes aren’t healthy, give them a dose of Epsom salt in recommended quantity. Make sure you keep other factors intact, so your plants can get the best environment to grow in.
It Acts As An Active Detergent Remover
Not only does the Epsom salt does wonder for the human body, it also has a lot of benefits for your machines. Does it sound too good to be true? It must and it should. Since your body needs cleansing, your machines need it as well to function soundly.
If you have a washing machine, it usually remains running until your clothes are washed and clean. But the washing detergent may accumulate over time and leave residues in your machine. You can clean up this detergent build-up by simply using Epsom salt and vinegar. Once you run a cycle or two, you’re going to see miracles.
Got A Splinter? Try Epsom Salt
Of all the ancestral remedies passed down from one generation to another, this one has got to be a favorite one. Splinters are pricks that keep poking our skin with sharp ends and refuse to come out. But if you’ve got Epsom salt, there’s no problem at all!
Though the removal of these splinters can be like a chaos for a few, a solution of Epsom salt and warm water can help reduce the inflammation, subside the pain, and ultimately, make the splinter easy to remove. And yes, it works every single time; well, at least for me, it does!
Epsom salt improves circulation
As mentioned before, Epsom salt helps suppress the marker for inflammation and reduces the overall inflammation process. As the process of inflammation reduces, the magnesium in the Epsom salt may help prevent cardiovascular disease and protect the arterial elasticity. Once it helps keep the arteries healthy, the chances for the formation of blood clots and plaque buildup reduces.
It Eases Gout
A gout is a painful form of arthritis, in which uric acid crystals form in the tissues surrounding the joints. The result? Painful joints, swelling, inflammation, and irritation in the affected area. Since Epsom salt is notable for drawing out toxins from the body, it helps ease gout by relaxing the joint and flushing out the uric acid crystals.
No matter how much we depend on man-made products to restore our health and youth, Mother Nature is always reaching out to us in the numerous ways. One of these ways is Epsom salt. Other than the benefits mentioned in the above article, there are myriads of advantages this natural mineral salt has to offer.
However, it is recommended that you take the salt in suggested proportions and quantity. It doesn’t have much side effects, but if it irritates you or doesn’t relieve your situation, you can discontinue its use and refer to a doctor as soon as possible. Like myself, you may find it hard to follow at times, but if you’re determined to make your life healthy, then nothing’s going to hold you back.
Stella Holt is a savvy blogger who has dedicated her exceptional skills solely to writing, reading and discovering everything new. Since her passion keeps peaking and touching new heights, Stella has narrowed her writing and blogging career towards writing for the healthcare industry, where she writes about patient care, related illnesses, medical ethics, the current healthcare system and so on. Currently, she pens projects for St. Michael’s Urgent Care Unit in Hattiesburg. When not blogging and writing, Stella can be found gardening in her backyard or playing with her cats, Rosy and Chika.