5 Benefits of Epsom Salt

What is Epsom Salt

Epsom salt is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It gets its name from the location it was first discovered; Epsom in Surrey, England. Although it has a similar make up of table salt, it is very different than the salt we use on our food.

You can find Epsom salt online and in most stores. It is usually found in the pharmacy or cosmetic section. It dissolves rather quickly in water releasing magnesium and sulfate ions that are very beneficial to us. When we soak in Epsom salt, our bodies absorb these much needed ions in a process called osmosis.

Now that we know what Epson salt is, let’s take a look at some of the benefits it has to offer. 

Epsom Salt Benefits

Provides Us with Magnesium

Magnesium benefits the heart and nervous system and many of us don’t receive enough of it. Magnesium is the fourth abundant mineral in our bodies (calcium being the first).

We can get magnesium either through consumption or through the skin. It is thought that it is more beneficial for us to intake magnesium through the skin with a nice Epsom salt soak.

Soothes skin

Do you suffer from dry, cracked or rough skin especially in the winter months? An Epsom bath soak may be able to help. By soaking in a tub with warm water and Epsom salt, you can have smoother and softer skin.

Epsom salt naturally exfoliates dead skin cells away from your body allowing new, radiant skin to show through. If you suffer from itching skin from poison ivy, bug bites, eczema or psoriasis, Epsom salt can help soothe that as well (check with you physician first).

Reduces Soreness and Pain

Epsom salt is known to have anti-inflammatory properties that can help reduce swelling. It also detoxes the body to help it get rid of toxins that can cause the inflammation.

By reducing inflammation, it can reduce swelling, stiffness and pain the inflammation can cause. Epsom salt can also help those who suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout and psoriatic arthritis.

Helps With Exercise and Performance Recovery

As mentioned above, Epsom salt has anti-inflammatory properties that can reduce inflammation. It can also reduce soreness and relieve cramps- important factors for exercise performance and recovery.

It is well known that when we have adequate levels of magnesium in our system, it can be helpful for exercise. This is due to the fact that magnesium helps our bodies use glucose and lactic acid.

Promotes Foot Health

Unfortunately, sometimes, we can get athletes foot or ingrown toenails infections. But luckily for us, Epsom salt can help treat these ailments by either taking a warm bath with Epsom salt or using a foot soak in warm water.

By doing this, we can heal our feet faster, reduce itching and reduce foot odor.

5 Benefits of Epsom Salt

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Ways to Use Epsom Salt

Epsom Salt as an Exfoliant

Place some Epsom salt in your hand, dampen it and gently massage it into your skin.

Moisturizing Bath Soak

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius). Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the running water. This helps it dissolve faster releasing the magnesium and sulfate ions into the water.

Next, add ½ cup of olive oil to the running water. Move the water around to ensure the oils and Epsom salt are fully incorporated in the water. 

Soak in the tub for at least 15 to 20 minutes. Remember to rinse off any residue after your soak.

Be careful when getting in and out of the tub. The oil makes the tub very slippery. You can use a towel or a bathmat in the tub to avoid slipping. 

Detox Bath

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius). Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the running water of your bath. 

You can add 3-4 drops of tea tree which is known to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic.

Soak for 15- 20 minutes. To make it more relaxing, you can add lavender or peppermint essential oils for the aromatherapy benefits- relaxation and mood boost. 

Rinse off any residue after your soak. Be careful when getting in and out of the tub. The oil makes the tub very slippery. You can use a towel or a bathmat in the tub to avoid slipping. 

Detox Bath With Epsom Salt

Bath Soak for Skin Inflammation and Irritation

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius). Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to the running water of your bath. 

You can add 3-4 drops of tea tree which is known to be antimicrobial, anti-inflammatory and an antiseptic.

Soak for 20 minutes. Rinse off any residue after your soak. Be careful when getting in and out of the tub. The oil makes the tub very slippery. You can use a towel or a bathmat in the tub to avoid slipping. 

Dry or Itchy Skin

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius). Add 1- 2 cups of Epsom salt to the running water of your bath. 

Add 1 tablespoon of your favorite carrier oil such as olive, almond or coconut oil to your bath. Mix the water around to fully incorporate the oils into the water.

Soak for at least 12 minutes 2- 3 times a week. You can also add oatmeal or powdered milk to smooth and moisturize your skin.

Rinse off any residue after your soak. Be careful when getting in and out of the tub. The oil makes the tub very slippery. You can use a towel or a bathmat in the tub to avoid slipping. 

Shower Scrub

Take 1 cup of Epsom salt or sea salt and place it in an airtight container. Add 1/3 cup of coconut, almond or olive oil to the Epsom salt. 

Add 1 tablespoon of vitamin E. Mix the ingredients together to create a thick paste. Apply the scrub to your body using your hands. Rub in gentle, circular motions.

Rinse thoroughly using caution as the bottom of the tub may be slippery from the oil. 

Avoid getting water in the container to preserve the life of the mixture. When you’re finished with the mixture, put the lid on your airtight container and store it in the fridge to prolong its shelf life. Mixture should be good for up to four days.

You can add up to 12 drops of your favorite essential oil to give your scrub more life with aromatherapy. 

Shower Scrub With Epsom Salt

Hair Use

To add more volume to your hair, you can add equal parts Epsom salt to your conditioner. Work the mixture in thoroughly and leave it on your hair for 20 minutes. Rinse and style as usual.

Facial Cleanse

Epsom salt can help cleanse the pores and reduce inflammation of the skin. For this reason, it can make for a great facial cleanser on its own or ½ teaspoon of Epsom salt can be added to your favorite facial cleanser to enhance it naturally. 

Foot Soak for Nail Fungus

Add ½ cup of Epsom salt in a large basin and stir to dissolve the salts. Soak your feet for 12 minutes or 30 minutes for gout relief. Dry your feet thoroughly with a towel.

Repeat 3 times a day to treat nail fungus until your symptoms improve. You can add diluted tea tree essential oil for its antifungal properties. 

Foot Bath for Dry, Cracked Feet

Add ½ cup of Epsom salt to a large basin and stir to dissolve salt. Add a dash of vinegar or a dash of Listerine to the water. Soak your feet for at least 20 minutes. 

Use a the shower scrub noted above or a pumice to remove dead skin and calluses. You can also do this after any type of soak that you do. The Epsom salt and warm bath makes it easier to exfoliate dry cracked heels. 

Benefits of a Foot Bath Soak With Epsom Salt

Muscle Aches

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius). Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the running water of your bath. Soak for 12- 15 minutes.

You can add cinnamon bark essential oil to help ease muscle pain. Cinnamon bark is known to have a warming affect on the skin that some people find soothing to sore muscles. It also has anti-inflammatory properties to help reduce inflammation.

Rinse off any residue after your soak. Be careful when getting in and out of the tub. The oil makes the tub very slippery. You can use a towel or a bathmat in the tub to avoid slipping. 

Arthritis

Run a warm bath with a temperature of 92- 100 degrees (33-37 Celsius) and add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the running water of your bath. Soak for at least 20 minutes a day as needed or after exercising. You can add 2- 3 drops of ginger essential oil in your bath. Ginger essential oil has anti-inflammatory properties and anti-arthritic and joint-protective effects in arthritis. 

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Risks and Side Effects

Epsom salt baths are usually safe, even for children, when used correctly. Even though we didn’t mention oral consumption in this article, I wanted to let you know that oral consumption may be dangerous for pregnant women, children and people with chronic ailments such as kidney conditions.

If you are using Epsom salt for the first time, I advise on conducting a patch test before full application to ensure no allergic reactions occur. Be sure to check with your physician if you are pregnant, breastfeeding or have any chronic ailments before using essential oils. Stop use if at any time you experience itchy skin, allergic reactions such as hives or rashes or skin infections. Avoid submerging broken skin in water with Epsom salt.

Summing It Up

I hope this article has helped you better understand the benefits of Epsom salt and you are able to use some of these recipes for your own benefits. As you can see, there are quite a few benefits of Epsom salt and soaking in Epsom salt. Don’t be afraid to test different carrier oils or essential oils to meet your specific needs.

Feel free to share this post with someone who could benefit from it. I will see you in the next article!

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Show off your bath salts, and all your handmade creations, with the Self Verve community by tagging us @Selfverve and using the #Selfverve hashtag on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. We may feature you in our Stories or on our website!

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Disclaimer

The opinions expressed within this article are the personal opinions of the author and are intended for educational purposes only. Self Verve is not responsible for the accuracy, completeness, suitability, or validity of any information on this article. Be sure to contact your physician before trying any of the items stated in the above article. All information is provided on an as-is basis. Self Verve does not assume any responsibility or liability for the same. 

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