We know the importance of consuming iron and calcium for our bodies, but we tend to forget about magnesium. Magnesium helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an essential role in coordinating and organizing many bodily functions.
Magnesium deficiency accounts for high rates of osteoporosis, stroke, heart disease, digestive maladies, chronic fatigue, and arthritis.
Epsom salt is an easier way to get your magnesium intake.
What Is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is named after a saline spring found in the borough of Epsom, England. But it is not actually salt—it’s a naturally-occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. According to studies, magnesium and sulfate are both absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt bath one of the easiest and most ideal ways to enjoy its health benefits. Sulfate helps with nutrient absorption, flushes toxins, and helps ease migraine headaches. Sulfate also stimulates the pancreas to generate and digest enzymes that are thought to help detoxify the body from environmental contaminants.
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Bath
1. Eases stress and relaxes the body
When the body is stressed, the magnesium levels decrease and adrenaline levels increase. When Epsom salt is dissolved in warm water, it is absorbed through the skin and increases the level of magnesium in the body. Magnesium helps produce serotonin—a mood-elevating chemical in the brain which creates a calm and relaxing sensation.Studies have shown that magnesium increases energy and stamina by encouraging production of adenosine triphosphate, which is sort of like an energy currency.
Bathing in Epsom salt at least three times a week will help you look better, feel better, and provide you with an extra boost of energy. Magnesium lowers the effects of adrenaline and helps reduce irritability while improving sleep patterns and concentration.
2. Relieves pain and muscle cramps
Epsom salt baths are known to ease pain and relieve inflammation from injuries and conditions. In addition, they have been known to heal open cuts and reduce soreness from childbirth for women. Try, for example, soaking your feet in warm water mixed with half a cup of Epsom salt. It will soften the skin and get rid of foot odor.
3. Helps muscles and nerves function properly
Research shows that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in the body, which ensures proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes.
4. Helps prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots
According to studies, Epsom salt is believed to improve hearth health and prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation and protecting the arteries.
5. Makes insulin more effective
An adequate amount of magnesium and sulfate levels can help increase the effect of insulin in the body; this can help lower one’s risk of developing diabetes.
6. Relieves constipation
If taken internally, Epsom salt can act as a detoxifying agent to cleanse the colon. The salt will act as a laxative as it increases the water in the intestines and provides temporary relief of constipation. Consult your doctor first before you decide to take Epsom salt for constipation relief.
7. Eliminates toxins from the body
Since skin is highly porous, adding Epsom salt to your bathwater can pull salt and other harmful substances out of your body.
How Epsom Salt Baths Work
If Epsom salt is used on a regular basis, it can improve symptoms of conditions such as gout, athlete’s foot, sprains, nail fungus, and bruises. Those who are dealing with chronic diseases or chronic pain should consider adding Epsom salt to their baths on a regular basis.
Do not use Epsom salts if you are pregnant, dehydrated, or have open wounds or burns on your skin.
Aim to soak in a warm Epsom salt bath for at least 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes will remove the toxins from the body; the body will absorb the minerals in the bath water for the last half of the bath.
How much Epsom salt you should add to the bath water is dependent on weight:
- Children under 60 pounds: Add 1/2 a cup of Epsom salt to a standard-sized bath.
- Adults between 60 and 100 pounds: Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your bath.
- Adults between 100 and 150 pounds: Add 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.
- Adults between 150 and 200 pounds: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.
Jockers, D., “The remarkable health benefits of Epsom salt baths,” Natural News web site, November 2, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/042753_Epsom_salt_baths_remarkable_health_benefits_detoxificatin_technique.html.
“Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits,” Salt Works web site, http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp, last accessed July 28, 2015.