There are a few items in my house that I keep a steady supply of, and one of those items is Epsom salt. (By the way, did you know that it isn’t even really a salt? At least, not like the kind you put on your food. Epsom salt is actually a natural mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. The more you know!)
I always have a big bag of Epsom salt under the sink in my bathroom. The reason I keep it in the bathroom is because I add it to my bath water when I feel like I need a good relaxing soak in the tub. (Why am I adding Epsom salt to my baths? You’ll find out below!) But over the past few years, I’ve discovered many more ways to use Epsom salt that are just as useful! So today I’m sharing my top 10 favorite uses for Epsom salt to spread the good word.
If you have a favorite use for Epsom salt that I haven’t included here, tell me about it in the comments! I’d love to hear from you, and your comment could even be featured in a future blog post.
10 Uses For Epsom Salt
According to the National Academy of Sciences, most Americans are deficient in magnesium, a mineral that helps support many vital bodily functions. If left unchecked, a magnesium deficiency can lead to serious health issues down the road. So how can we get more magnesium? It’s Epsom salt to the rescue!
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 these minerals are both readily absorbed through the skin. (So if anyone gives you a hard time about your long, luxurious soaks in the tub, you can tell them it’s good for your health!)
To do an Epsom salt soak, add 2 cups of Epsom salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the amount of Epsom salt for oversized tubs.) Aim to soak for at least 12 minutes, and DO NOT USE SOAP. Soap will interfere with the action of the salts. Rest for about two hours afterwards, or better yet, take your bath just before bed! You’ll be sure to sleep like a baby!
2. Foot Soak
If you don’t have a bathtub, or just aren’t all that fond of soaking in a tub, try a foot soak instead! Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a basin of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes.
Your body will absorb the magnesium and sulfate through your feet, so you’ll still get the benefits of a full-body soak (but maybe not the relaxation of a good bath!)
3. Ease Constipation
Epsom salt is a natural laxative that can be used to relieve constipation. Dissolve 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt in a glass of water and drink. It will taste extremely bitter, but it works!
4. Hair Volume
A simple Epsom salt treatment will leave your hair feeling soft and full of body! Add equal parts of a deep conditioner and Epsom salt to a saucepan and stir to combine. Place the pan on your stovetop over low heat, just until the mixture is warmed through. Work the conditioner and Epsom salt mixture through your hair, then rinse after 20 minutes.
5. 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.
6. Racoon Deterrent
A few tablespoons of Epsom salt spread around your garbage cans will help deter pesky raccoons, who don’t like the taste of the stuff.
7. Splinter Remover
Dissolve around 1 cup of Epsom salt in a tub of water, and soak the area where the splinter is located. The soak will help to draw out the splinter, making it easier to remove with a pair of tweezers.
8. Slug Deterrent
Sprinkle Epsom salt where you see slug activity and say good-bye to the slugs.
9. Soothe Insect Bites
Use Epsom salt to reduce swelling and itching from insect bites. Make a compress by soaking a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (two tablespoons per cup,) then apply to the skin.
10. Skin Exfoliation
Mix a handful of 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.