Epsom salts are pure mineral compound made from magnesium and sulfate. It has plenty of benefits ranging from health to beauty to household. For this particular post, we will be focusing on its health benefits.
COMBAT MAGNESIUM DEFICIENCY
Deficiency in magnesium is due to diets high in processed foods. This can lead to numerous health risks, including high cholesterol, atherosclerosis (where plaque builds up inside your arteries), high blood pressure, heart attacks, strokes, kidney problems, inflammatory conditions and nervous disorders. Soaking in Epsom Salts can combat this deficiency since the salt can be absorbed through the skin and help replenish magnesium stores. You can also supplement your diet with magnesium-rich foods, including kelp, dark chocolate, almonds, tofu, and seafood.
FIGHT OFF COLDS AND THE FLU
If you feel a cold coming on, doctors recommend soaking in Epsom salt to help your body rest, recover and detoxify. Dr. Theresa Ramsey, cofounder of the Center for Natural Healing in Arizona, says that soaking in Epsom salt helps spur a process called vasodilation, which increases white blood cell production and helps the body fight illnesses quicker. Dr. Margaret Philhower says that the magnesium in Epsom salt also helps to relax muscles and alleviate body aches. Dr. Mao, a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine, says that the sulfur in Epsom salt helps kill bacteria and fungus.
REDUCE INFLAMMATION AND ITCHING FROM SUNBURN, BUG BITES, AND RASHES
According to Dr. Joe Matusic, a pediatrician in Charleston, W.Va., and an assistant clinical professor of pediatrics at the Charleston division of the West Virginia University School of Medicine, Epsom salt can help soothe common summer ailments that itch or burn the skin. This includes mosquito bites, bee stings, mild sunburn, poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac. To apply, either create a compress with a washcloth, cold water and Epsom salt, or take an Epsom salt bath. Epsom salt works by drawing the moisture out of lesions caused by rashes, and reducing the swelling caused by bites or stings.
SOOTHE SORE FEET AND FIGHT FUNGAL INFECTIONS
To reduce foot odor, soothe dry skin, and decrease swelling, Dr. Jeffrey Bowman, an award-winning foot doctor, recommends soaking your feet in Epsom salt. It helps ease muscle and joint pain, swollen and inflamed feet, foot and toe fungal infections, and odor and skin problems. He says that Epsom salt acts as a wicking mechanism to help draw out infections from the superficial surface area and prevent them from growing larger.
ALLEVIATE PREMENSTRUAL SYNDROME (PMS) AND HORMONAL MIGRAINES
According to Dr. Taz, who has served as the medical expert for CNN Headline News and has been featured on The Dr. Oz Show, magnesium is a foundational micronutrient for the hormone pathways. As a result, a magnesium deficiency could be a contributor to many common women’s health conditions, including PMS, hormonal migraines, endometriosis, and polycystic ovarian syndrome. To help alleviate the symptoms of these women’s health conditions, Dr. Taz recommends eating magnesium-rich foods like leafy greens, almonds, and dark chocolate, taking a magnesium supplement or soaking in Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate.
EASE MUSCLE ACHES AND JOINT PAINS
If you suffer from strains, sprains, or arthritis, Dr. Mao, an award-winning doctor and best-selling author, recommends soaking in Epsom salt. He says that the magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through the skin, and the magnesium helps improve blood flow and relax your muscles and extremities. Marni Sumbal, an exercise physiologist and board-certified sports dietician, also recommends soaking in Epsom salt after a workout because it helps to repair muscle damage and offset delayed inflammation. Pain expert Vicky Vlachonis recommends a Salt & Pepper bath for chronic pain that includes two cups of Epsom salt and three to five drops of aromatherapy black pepper oil. She says this bath helps soothe muscles, heal the mind, and lead to a deeper sleep.
A magnesium deficiency can lead to restless nights. Wellness guru Chris Johnson recommends Epsom salt baths and foot soaks to his clients to restore magnesium levels in the body. He says he has clients who after soaking in Epsom salt sleep through the night for the first time in years because it helps to relax their muscles. Carolyn Dean, M.D. N.D., one of the nation’s top natural physicians says the reason Epsom salt helps you sleep is because the magnesium relaxes muscles, improves digestion, balances blood pressure, and in turn, gives you more energy.
Excess adrenaline and stress are known to drain the body of magnesium. A deficiency in magnesium can reduce your levels of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of wellbeing and relaxation. One of the ways to boost your magnesium levels is to soak in Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate. Jeff Halevy, a fitness expert, recommends Epsom salt soaks along with meditation and yoga to help reduce stress. Dr. Susan Albers says the water therapy of soaking in an Epsom salt bath helps quiet and relax the body, as well as center you and help you make better choices.