Epsom salt may look like salt, but it’s actually magnesium sulfate, a mineral compound (1). Epsom salt can be used to fertilize your garden and nourish your skin. It’s also commonly added to baths to help create a feeling of relaxation and promote muscle recovery. Readily available at almost any pharmacy and inexpensive to buy, Epsom Salt is a home remedy ingredient you should always have on hand. Here’s why.
Powerful Benefits of Epsom Salt
As its name suggests, Epsom salts contain magnesium, which is absorbed through the skin when applied topically.
This mineral is a cofactor to over 300 enzymes in the body. Among other things, it contributes to energy production, reduces inflammation and helps regulate your levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D, and other key nutrients in the body.
It’s known to play a role in the treatment of asthma, depression, diabetes, fibromyalgia, hearing loss, arrhythmia, heart failure, high blood pressure, migraines, osteoporosis, eclampsia, PMS and colorectal cancer (2,3).
Sulfate, on the other hand, is important in promoting liver detoxification. Combined in a hot bath, the chemicals help produce serotonin, the “happy hormone” that promotes a feeling of calm and relaxation (4).
The use of Epsom salt baths can be used to treat the following conditions (5):
- Arthritis pain and swelling
- Bruises and sprains
- Fibromyalgia, a condition that makes your muscles, ligaments, and tendons hurt, and causes tender points throughout your body
- Ingrown toenails
- Psoriasis, a disease that causes red, itchy, scaly skin
- Sore muscles after working out
- Soreness from diarrhea during chemotherapy
- Sunburn pain and redness
- Tired, swollen feet
How To Use Epsom Salts
Most Epsom salt packaging recommends using 2 cups of Epsom salt in a well-filled bath and soaking for 12-15 minutes.
However, David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS recommends that the quantity of salt you use should correlate with your body weight. He also suggests soaking for 20-40 minutes. The first 20 minutes pulls out toxins while the next 20 allows the body to absorb the minerals.
Here are the quantities of Epsom salt he recommends (6):
- Children under 60 lbs: ½ cup
- Individuals between 60-100 lbs: 1 cup
- Individuals between 100-150 lbs: 1½ cups
- Individuals between 150-200 lbs: 2 cups
- For every 50lbs more – add an additional ½ cup of salts.
To boost detoxification, use a dry brush for 5 minutes or so to move along lymph and open your pores. Add ½ cup of raw unfiltered apple cider vinegar for an extra-deep detox.
For a relaxing bath, add a few drops of essential oils like lavender and add a few tablespoons of baking soda. To hydrate skin, add a generous amount of coconut oil.