So, what is Epsom salt anyways?
Before writing this article I understood Epsom salt to be something you added to your bath water to help pull toxins from your body.
After doing some research, however, I have come to understand that it is so much more than just that!
Epsom salts are loaded with health benefits and can be used for so many things that make these little crystals a staple one should always keep around the house.
Let me show you why.
What is Epsom Salt?
Believe it or not, Epsom salt is actually not salt at all. Epsom is a mineral compound made of magnesium and sulfate which is named after a spring in Surrey, England.
It is famous for being a natural reliever of aches and pains, as well as helping with many beauty rituals, household cleanings, and even uses out in your garden!
Epsom salts may visually resemble a regular table salt, but do not mistake one for the other as they have completely different uses.
Why are Magnesium & Sulfate Good for Your Body?
Medical studies have proven that both magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through your skin, which is why Epsom salt baths are so popular. But what do magnesium and sulfate actually do for your body?
Magnesium is believed to be one of the most important nutrients for human health because of it’s versatility and the many chemical reactions it’s responsible for in the human body. It helps maintain regular nerve and muscle function, reduces inflammation, promotes high energy levels, and sustains the health of your heart and blood vessels. It helps to relieve sore muscles, congestion, and constipation, soothes sprains and bruises, and even exfoliates the skin.
Side effects from too much magnesium are uncommon since the body generally removes excess amounts on it’s own. Side effects of a magnesium deficiency are centered around fatigue, sleepiness, and irritability.
According to an article by the Universal Health Institute titled, About Epsom Salts (MgSO4·7H2O): “Sulfates serve a wide variety of functions in the body, playing a vital role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the mucin proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. Sulfates also stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are believed to help detoxify the body’s residue of medicines and environmental contaminants.”
What are the Health Benefits of Epsom Salt?
There are many, many documented health benefits of an Epsom salt bath. We have included a few below.
- Soothe sore muscles
- Sunburn relief
- Remove splinters
- Remove foot odor
- Relax the body and relieve stress
- Relieve pain and muscle cramps
- Relieve constipation
- Eliminate toxins from the body
- Improve heart and circulatory health
- Improve absorption of insulin
- Improve nerve and muscle function
- Improve absorption of nutrients
- Ease migraine headaches
- Relieve gout pain
What is Epsom Salt Used For?
Epsom salt is incredibly versatile, not only in the body but around the house as well. Just a few of the uses for these incredible crystals are:
- Full body soaks
- Hair volumizer
- Clean floor tiles and grout
- Fertilize your lawn and plants
- Uproot blackheads
- Remove a buildup of hairspray or styling product
- Wash pots and pans
- Remove detergent buildup
- Deter slugs
How Can Epsom Salt Help My Feet?
As previously mentioned, Epsom salts are great for muscle relief and relaxation. After a long day spent on your feet, wouldn’t it be nice to come home, strip your shoes and socks off, and dip your feet into a warm, pain and stress relieving, toxin pulling, skin exfoliating foot bath? Throw in a foot massage while your at it and you’ll be feeling supremely relaxed in no time.
In addition to sore feet after a long day, stress and overworking your muscles can pull magnesium from your body. When Epsom Salts are put into a foot bath, the salts are absorbed through the skin to add magnesium back into your body. Because the salts relieve inflammation and help sore muscles, they leave your feet feeling more relaxed and pain free.
Epsom salts also exfoliate and soften your feet, leaving them feeling smooth, soft and loose (with all that tight, unsightly dry skin removed).
Epsom salts also eliminate foot odor. The salts are anti-fungal and anti-microbial, meaning they kill the germs and bacteria causing foot odor. And if you suffer from athlete’s foot, using Epsom salts in a foot bath can relieve those symptoms as well.
If you have minor cuts or wounds on your feet, Epsom salts can heal them quickly and help prevent infection. Magnesium has been shown to speed up the healing process for an open wound without any stinging or burning sensation, but instead a soothing one.
How to Create Your Own Epsom Salt Foot Bath
For a foot bath, add approximately 1 cup of Epsom salt to a tub of warm water (amounts may vary depending on the brand you buy — read the directions to determine proper amounts). Relax and soak your feet for at least 12 minutes to feel full relaxation. It is recommended to only do Epsom salt foot baths two to three times per week to avoid having dry or cracked feet. If you have dry feet, use a little less salt and give yourself a foot massage with lotion following each foot bath.
An added benefit of an Epsom salt foot bath is that if you do it right before bed, they are known to help with sleep. The warm water, combined with the salts which reduce pain and inflammation, can have a calming sensation and will help you nod off to sleep faster than usual.
Where to Buy Epsom Salt
The easiest way to buy Epsom salt is through Amazon. They feature an Epsom salt from a company called Epsoak that has 4.9 out of 5 stars with over 2300 reviews at the time of this writing! That is impressive, and makes for some happy shoppers. You can check it out here.
So, what is Epsom salt? In short, Epsom salt is incredible. It’s versatility alone makes it a worthwhile investment and something everyone should keep on hand. When you factor in the numerous health benefits, it becomes a no brainer.
Do yourself (and your feet) a favor and start soaking in Epsom salts asap. You’ll be glad you did.