Last week I had a doozie of a headache! It actually lasted 2 days and NOTHING I did would get rid of it. The only thing that came CLOSE was a blend of essential oils. But even that couldn’t conquer this monster migraine!
My son Erik came over to visit on the evening of day two of my headache dilemma and when he heard about my persistent pain he asked if I was taking any magnesium supplements. He said he’d recently read that taking magnesium may help prevent migraine headaches or at least shorten their duration. Apparently people who have migraines tend to have lower levels of magnesium.
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This got me thinking about a post I did last May about how important magnesium is to our overall health! It turns out that 80 percent of the U.S. population suffers from magnesium deficiency causing all kinds of health issues. Unfortunately, taking a magnesium supplement isn’t necessarily the answer because it is not easily absorbed through the digestive tract.
Which finally (sorry it took so long!) brings this blog post to the title of this post….the humble epsom salt bath!
Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, epsom salt is rich in magnesium which just so happens to be easily absorbed through the skin.
Before I wrote about the remarkable benefits of magnesium, I believed the writing on the front of the bag of epsom salt that says it’s a LAXATIVE and a SOAKING AID. Prior to that post I’d only used epsom salt for soaking my tired, sore feet.
Since that time I have used epsom salts for skin exfoliation (see my recipe for Lavender Coconut Oil Scrub HERE), as a garden fertilizer, and in the occasional bath, but it wasn’t until my monster headache of last week that I started realizing the preventive benefit of regular soaks in the salt.
Now every time I decide to take a nice, hot bath, without fail, I add a cup of epsom salt to get my boost of magnesium and hopefully avoid horrendous headaches in the future! So far, so good!
Here are a few OTHER benefits of The Humble Epsom Salt Bath:
An epsom salt soak increases sulfate levels in the body as well as magnesium. Sulfate is needed for proper liver detox, which is so important in our ever toxic world!
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!
A cool bath with 2 cups of epsom salt reduces pain and has mild anti-inflammatory properties.
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.
To make my epsom salt soaks even better, I like to kick them up a notch by adding essential oils.
Fill your bathtub, add 1 – 2 cups of epsom salt, and then add 6 – 7 drops of your favorite essential oil.
Here are a few suggestions:
Lavender for relaxation and a good night’s sleep
Rosemary to soothe tired and aching muscles
Bergamot to chase away the blues
Peppermint for a pick-me-up
I hope that some of this information is helpful….especially to my fellow headache sufferers. Now go take a bath!
What is your favorite way to use epsom salts?