When I hear the words “Epsom Salts” about the only thing that comes to mind is soaking my feet. That is honestly the only thing I’ve ever heard it used for….before now.
Since Pinterest I’ve also learned a thing or two about how it is helpful in the garden, but recently I’ve been reading article after article about the myriad of OTHER benefits of this “salt”. By the way…turns out Epsom salt isn’t really a SALT at all, but a natural mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. (Clarification: Well ok…according to BryanR’s comment below…it technically IS a salt…it’s just not SALT….you know…like the stuff you put on your eggs? Don’t put it on your eggs.)
So what’s the big deal? Well, apparently magnesium plays an important role in many bodily functions, like muscle control, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. And that is literally just naming a FEW!
And guess what? According to the National Academy of Sciences, MOST Americans are magnesium DEFICIENT, which can contribute to serious health issues.
OK…enough BAD news…here’s the GOOD news! Doctors say that soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a safe, easy way to increase the body’s levels of both magnesium and sulfate because they are both readily absorbed through the skin
Here is the “prescription” for a therapeutic
Epsom salt bath soak:
Add 2 cups of bath salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the Epsom Salt for an oversized garden tub). Bathe 3 times weekly, soaking for at least 12 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup olive oil or baby oil for moisturizing benefits. DO NOT USE SOAP. It will interfere with the action of the salts. Also, try to rest for about two hours afterwards. (Or better yet, take a bath just before bed! You’ll sleep like a baby!)
If you don’t have a bathtub or just aren’t all that fond of soaking in a tub (in which case I don’t think we can be friends! lol), try a FOOT bath.
Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a basin of warm water, soak feet for 20 minutes.
As good as a nice, long soak in the tub sounds…that is just the beginning when it comes to uses for this humble mineral.
From at-home spa treatments to fertilizing your garden….
here is a list of just SOME of my favorites uses for Epsom Salt:
Muscle Pain and Body Aches. This is probably what Epsom salt is BEST known for…but I found it interesting to know WHY. The magnesium that is absorbed into the skin from the “salt” interferes with receptors in the brain that register pain. So the next time you have body aches from the flu…try an Epsom salt bath!
Constipation. Epsom salt is a natural laxative that can be used to relieve constipation. Mix 1 tsp. in a glass of water. It will taste extremely bitter, but it works.
Reduce swelling and itching from insect bites. Make compresses by soaking a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (two tablespoons per cup), then apply to the skin.
Skin exfoliation. Blend Epsom salt with enough olive oil or baby oil to create a paste. Gently rub it on your face for deep pore cleansing, or use it on heels, elbows and other rough areas. Rinse and pat dry.
Splinter removal. Dissolve about 1 cup of Epsom salt in a tub of water and soak the affected area to draw out the splinter.
Sunburn. A cool bath with 2 cups of Epsom salt reduces pain and has mild anti-inflammatory properties.
Dislodge blackheads – Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3 drops iodine into a half cup of boiling water. Apply this mixture to the blackheads with a cotton ball.
Foot Odor Reduction. Soaking your feet in 2 gallons of very warm water mixed with 1 cup of Epsom salts helps eliminate foot odor caused by bacteria. Exfoliating prior to soaking the feet in salt water makes results faster as well as longer lasting.
Treat toenail fungus – Soak your affected toes in hot water mixed with a handful of Epsom salt three times a day.
Autism Symptoms. Children with autism may have decreased levels of phenol sulfotransferase, or PST. Magnesium sulfate may help to increase sulfate in the bloodstream and to moderate PST levels. Soaking in Epsom salts may provide relaxation and promote calmer behavior, and the magnesium sulfate from Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin during a bath.
Taking Epsom salt baths helps your body detoxify and absorb the magnesium, which is very helpful for depression and anxiety.
Clean hair. Have unusually oily hair? Add nine tablespoons of Epsom salt to a half cup of shampoo to help soak up excess oil and leave your locks clean.
Volumize hair. Warm equal parts deep conditioner and Epsom salt in a saucepan; work the mixture through your hair then rinse after 20 minutes for soft, volumized hair.
Garden Fertilizer. Studies show that Epsom salt may help plants grow greener with higher yields and more blooms. Magnesium helps seeds to germinate, increasing chlorophyll production and improving phosphorus and nitrogen uptake.
Get rid of raccoons
A few tablespoons of Epsom salt spread around your garbage cans will deter the raccoons, who don’t like the taste of the stuff.
Sprinkle Epsom salt where they glide and say good-bye to the slugs.
Believe it or not…that’s just a sample of ALL the different things I found after extensive research. But I think I’ve hit all the highlights. If you have another way that YOU use Epsom Salts…please email me or leave a comment below. I would love to hear about it. :-)