Magic of the Epsom Salts Bath

It’s NOT just for use after a long day at work or a lovely day in the garden!! The Epsom salts bath is probably the most simple of all bathing rituals ~ pure Epsom salts in warm water. It may not sound very exciting. It doesn’t bubble or have a pretty scent. It IS, however, very GOOD for you.  It’s easy, by the way to enjoy a non-chemical, scented version if you prefer. Stay tuned!

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What is Epsom Salt?
Well, it’s not actually a ‘salt’ per-se, but a naturally occurring mineral combination of Magnesium & Sulfate. There are posts all over the internet regarding the many possible uses for this special compound ~ gardening, house-cleaning, beauty issues & health too.

For this post, of course, it’s all about HEALTH. Research has shown that both Magnesium & Sulfate are easily absorbed through our skin, which helps us to enjoy fabulous health benefits. You may be surprised at the long list below and be tempted to pick up some Epsom salts today and jump into a warm bath!

HIGHLIGHTS:
Magnesium has the ability to help muscle & nerve function, reduce inflammation, improve circulation + prevent atherosclerosis.
Sulfates stimulate pancreatic enzymes,  help to improve the absorption of nutrients,  can ease migraine headaches, encourage the flushing of toxins.

Here’s a list by researchers from the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:

  • Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
  • Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
  • Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
  • Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
  • Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
  • Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
  • Improved oxygen use.
  • Improved absorption of nutrients.
  • Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
  • Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

Studies have shown that both magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt baths an optimum bathing choice to encourage healing. Magnesium is the second most abundant element in our body and helps to regulate over 325 enzymes.
Most of North Americans are ‘magnesium-deficient’, having reduced by 50% in the last 100 years due to changes in our diet and in the agricultural system. (i.e. industrial farming and over-use of soil)

The diet of mainstream North America contains too much salt, sugar, fat and excess protein which can deplete Magnesium from our bodies. Advertisements for Calcium are everywhere and a big focus courtesy of the pharmaceutical industry. We need Calcium ~ don’t misunderstand, but often we have an excess of it. (It is thought that the best ratio is 2:1 –> Calcium:Magnesium. Most North Americans have 5 times more Calcium than Magnesium.  Unfortunately, research shows that Magnesium supplementation is not very effective as Magnesium is not well absorbed through our digestive system. (stomach acid, certain foods, or drugs or body imbalances)

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The ANSWER?
Studies show that we can increase our Magnesium levels by soaking in
EPSOM SALT BATHS!!

 If you can manage the time, experts recommend 3 Epsom salts baths every week for the best results.  I encourage people to have these baths and alternate with “hot & cold shower” hydrotherapy for optimum health.

BASIC BATH:

Add 2 cups of Epsom Salts to a warm tub of water. Enjoy 15-20 minutes, topping up with warm water when necessary.

Soothing Scented Detox BATH

2 cups epsom salts
1/2 cup baking soda
10 drops lavender essential oil (optional)

As above. Enjoy the added benefits of soothing baking soda and the scent of pure Lavender essential oil

MORE HEALTHY BATHING ideas to follow!         What is YOUR favourite bath???

Share your favourites in the comments section below.. It’s easy to do. Love to hear from you.

Today starts a mini-series of life-enhancing bathing ideas!!!

Epsom Salt Bath

 

 

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51 Comments

    • Hello Kathy.
      Magnesium Sulfate is not a Sulfite. I am not a chemist, but my understanding is that those who have sensitivity to sulfites would not have a problem with a sulfate. “Different chemical components” totally. I hope that this is helpful. I’ve not personally heard of anyone who cannot use Epsom Salts. Please let me know if you find out different information. Thanks sincerely.

  • Thanks for this great reminder about Epsom Salts. I regularly bang on about Magnesium deficiency, but I’d forgotten about Epsom Salts. Hope you won’t mind if I mention this post in my blog!

    • Thanks Joy~ Yes, please.. Spread the word. It’s such a beneficial habit and Magnesium such an important mineral!
      Green Wishes to you –

        • Hello there. I buy Epsom Salts from health food stores + reputable pharmacies.
          It should have “Magnesium Sulfate” on the label, and that’s it.

          • There are no chemicals unless you are talking about products which start out with Epsom salts and for whatever reason, have chemical scents or chemical compounds added to the salts. This is a common problem. Buy the good stuff and add your own essential oil REAL scent if you like scented! It’s easy!
            Good wishes, Carol

  • Can you please site your sources. The research I’ve read about Epsom salt baths says that very little magnesium is actually absorbed through the skin. Not enough to make a difference. However, there is a lot of anecdotal evidence to support your claim. I would love to get my hands on the clinical studies that proves its benefits, because being a massage therapist, I get asked about these baths all of the time. Any info would be greatly appreciated! Thanks

  • I’m wondering how often do you need to take an epsom salt bath to get the most benefit and how long does it take to see a difference.

  • “In chemistry, salts are ionic compounds that result from the neutralization reaction of an acid and a base. They are composed of related numbers of cations (positively charged ions) and anions (negative ions) so that the product is electrically neutral (without a net charge). Magnesium sulfate (or magnesium sulphate) is an inorganic salt (chemical compound) containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O), commonly called Epsom salt, taking its name from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. Epsom salt occurs naturally as a pure mineral. ”

    So chemically Epson Salt is a true salt.I never realized some other the other benefits you mentioned. Thanks for the article.

  • I’ve recently had surgery, the Whipple procedure. For those who don’t know what that is, it’s a procedure where the lower part of the stomache, duodenum & head of the pancreas has been removed. The fact that epsom salts stimulate the production of pancreatic enzymes, could this provoke attacks of pancreatitis? Since my surgery in January 2013, I have suffered through many attacks……. twice after bathing with epsom salts…..

  • I use Epsom Salts (I buy the Walgreens all natural) combined with a few sprigs of mint and eucalyptus stuffed into the toe of an ankle sock panty-hose. Really helps keep the congestion at bay, clears out the sinuses, and just feels and smells SO good! Combined with the lights of a few candles, and the jets in the Jacuzzi tub, yeah, it sends a simple soak into a whole new universe of relaxing!

  • I suffer many health issues due to post polio and fibromyalgia. I am never free of pain night or day. However, I have been using epsom salt in my bath water and it is truly amazing how much it has helped. Even my deformed feet get relief.

  • Can I use the Epsom salt bath to ease my aching knees and my swollen ankles even though I am six months pregnant? I am assuming it is safe.

    • We used damp epsom salts directly on my moms knees and layed a damp rag on top of them with a heating pad over that and it healed her knees of the swelling and the fluid after a hip replacement. Do it regular. Miracles worked with epsom.

  • Interesting find – by my wife.
    A month ago I was officially diagnosed with atrial fibrillation..
    Now, as the saying goes, desperate times call for desperate measures.

    My brain keep asking – if Epson salt is such ‘good stuff’, why has NO ONE in the medical profession ever suggested that I try this. I can still picture 8-10 people hovering around the monitor (strategically placed out of my viewing)as I was having a deep cut in my arm repaired. They were apparently greatly entertained as they watched my arrhythmia on the screen. They (doctors) all grabbed the ball – and ran. Yes, they had a live one on the table.
    Do you know something that the medical profession wants to keep a secret?
    Looks like I’m on my own here (except for my wife).

  • I do this almost daily.. and have been for at least the last 12-15 years.. I just pour the ES into my tub and add 3 or 4 drops of Lavender EO into the water.. Its a nice relaxing soak about 30-45 minutes before bed..

  • I love Epsom Salt baths. They are very beneficial to me. Especially with lavender essential oil. So relaxing…..
    Thanks for the great article.

  • JUST FOUND THIS SITE. YES, EPSOM SALTS IS EXCELLENT FOR THOSE ACHING MUSSELS & A SIMPLE REMEDY FOR SO MANY CONDITIONS. 1ST HEARD ABOUT ITS WONDERFUL HEALTH VALUE FROM A FLIGHT ATTENDENT OVER 20 YRS. AGO. MY FEET WERE SWOLLEN + MY LEGS SO TIRED AFTER A LONG FLIGHT. SHE INFORMED RE THE BENEFTS OF EPSOM SALTS & WAS USING IT DAILY AFTER LONG FLIGHTS. SO, I STARTED & YES IT DID WORK & TODAY I AM AN AVID PROMOTER. MY PARENTS ALSO STRONGLY BELIEVED IN ITS BENEFITS & ALWAYS HAD A DAILY FOOT SOAK. SO GLAD I CAME UPON THIS SITE TODAY AS I LEARNED NEW INFORMATION. I NEVER ONCE HEARD THE MEDICAL PROFESSION SUGGEST THIS GREAT THERAPY. THANK-YOU

  • I found some lavendar epsom salts at the Dollartree store…it is a one pound bag…I open a new bag and it looks about three quarters full so I fill it up to the top with baking soda and reseal the bag and shake it around….I use about a third of it per bath. It really helps with aches and pains from fibromyalgia and arthritis. I find soaking in that usually 45 min to an hour really helps my aches and pains. I also have water jets and air jets that I run for usually I guess around fifteen to twenty minutes in a walkin tub….it really helps me. I used to have to put some type of muscle rub on pretty much daily and reapply it…now muscle rub stuff is few and far between so it is definitely helping…just straight epsom salt baths help too without the essential oils smell and baking powder….

  • Soaking in my Epsom salt bath right now! Helps my swollen feet and my back and my hip! I have rheumatic fever with swollen joints and my pregnant daughter bought some for her viscious hemorrhoids… One soak later and they were gone!!! Yes, the vascular benefits cannot be denied.

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