Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts)
Epsom Salts – chemically known as magnesium sulfate – are named after the spring in Surrey, England where the naturally-occurring mineral was discovered in the water. A must have natural remedy for every home, Epsom salts may be used topically or taken internally.
- Relax Your Body: Epsom salts dissolved in warm water – like those in an Epsom salt bath – are easily absorbed through the skin where they immediately go to work inside our bodies. The magnesium ions break apart from Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline. Magnesium also plays a critical role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated without causing feelings of restlessness or anxiety.
- Relieve Pain and Cramping: Epsom salts absorbed through the skin also work to relieve muscle tension, pain, and inflammation in joints. Submerge yourself in a warm Epsom salt bath to alleviate tension headaches or soothe abdominal cramps. Tired and sore feet will also benefit from the therapeutic warmth of an Epsom salt soak.
- Muscle and Nerve Function: Aside from relieving tension, pain, and cramping, Magnesium sulfate has several other positive effects on the human body. It aids in many enzymatic functions, helps to regulate fluid retention in cells, and facilitates the body’s use of calcium to transmit chemical signals throughout the nervous system.
- For Arterial Health: Epsom salts may help to improve circulation and prevent serious cardiovascular illness by decreasing inflammation and protecting the elasticity of arteries. Healthier arteries means less risk of blood clots, plaque build-up, and damage to arterial walls. Try soaking in an Epsom salt bath three to four times per week to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve your cardiovascular health.
- Regulate Blood Sugar: Both magnesium and sulfate help to improve the body’s ability to produce and use insulin. Regular intake of Epsom salts – either orally or transdermally – may help to regulate blood sugar, lowering the risk of diabetes and improving your overall daily energy levels.
- Relieves Constipation: One of Epsom salt’s more popular uses is as a saline laxative. Dissolve two tablespoons of Epsom salts into a cup of warm water and drink. Note, this remedy should not be used more than once per day. If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is always recommended to consult with a physician.
- Helps to Remove Splinters: To dislodge a stubborn splinter, simply soak the affected body part in warm water and Epsom salts for a few minutes. Magnesium sulfate will reduce the inflammation around the wound and soften up the splinter, making it much easier to remove.
- Soothe Sprains and Bruises: Anti-inflammatory Epsom salts can be used to alleviate the soreness from sprains and bruises. Just add two cups of salts to your warm bath water and soak away the ache.
- Keep Feet Healthy: It’s pretty common knowledge that soaking your feet in Epsom salts is good for soothing away aches and pains. But did you know that it can also help to treat athlete’s foot and toe nail fungal infections? Simply add a half cup of Epsom salts to warm water and soak your feet for as long as you want (or until the water gets cold) to alleviate the itching and burning and help heal feet faster.
- Ease Discomfort of Gout: Add a couple of tablespoons of Epsom salts to hot water and soak body parts affected by gout. Magnesium sulfate quickly soaks through skin and into the swollen, aching joints to help alleviate pain and inflammation.
- Exfoliate Your Skin: By rubbing a handful of Epsom salts over damp skin, you can easily remove dead cells, helping your skin to look healthier and feel softer. Use this treatment on hands, feet, and everything in between.
- Natural Face Cleanser: At night before bed, mix a teaspoon of Epsom salts with your regular cleanser.
- Remove Styling Product Build-up: To remove build-up of hairspray or other styling product from your hair, mix one cup each of Epsom salts and lemon juice into a gallon of water. Cover and let the concoction sit for 24 hours before using. Then simply pour over hair and leave it on for about 15 – 20 minutes. Follow up with a wash and condition as usual.
- Add Volume to Hair: To add body to your hair, try mixing equal parts all-natural, sulfate-free deep conditioner and Epsom salts. Warm the mixture to slightly above body temperature then work through hair. Leave in for 15 – 20 minutes then rinse. Feel free to follow up this hair treatment by waving your hair around your face (like the people in those television commercials for chemical hair products) and remember: Laughter is a great natural remedy for all kinds of things!
- Wash Pots and Pans: Pour a small amount of Epsom salts into those really-dirty dishes before you scrub them. The abrasive texture of the salt crystals will help to remove stuck-on food more easily without hurting your cookware.
- Clean Tile and Grout: Mix equal parts Epsom salts and liquid dish detergent to create a super effective tile and grout cleaner. Apply this mixture to dirty or stained surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen, or even outside and allow it to soak in for a minute or two. Then scrub away the loosened grime and rinse clean.
- As a Hand Wash: Mix equal parts Epsom salts and baby oil to create a moisturizing hand cleanser. Store this mixture in bottles next to all of the sinks around your home and use regularly to keep hands soft and clean.
- Removes Detergent Build-up: Over time, laundry detergent and other contaminants may build up inside machines. Use Epsom salts to remove this unwanted gunk and keep your washer running more efficiently. Fill your empty washing machine with hot water, add a quart of clear vinegar and one cup of Epsom salts, let the machine agitate for about a minute, then stop the cycle and let the solution soak for about an hour.
- In The Garden: Magnesium sulfate may be used to fertilize your plants, green up your lawn, remove unwanted insect pests, and prevent slugs among other things.