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Benefits of Epsom Salt

Monirupa Shete
Epsom salt has countless healthful benefits. This substance has been useful for almost everything from relaxing the nervous system, curing skin problems, aching limbs, back pain, healing cuts, muscle strain, treating cold, and congestion to drawing toxins from the body.
Most of us have had stress-related problems some time in our lives, and we have learned to deal with them in different ways. But how many of us have tried soaking in a tub full of hot water with a few cups of Epsom salt, to ease that stress? Not many surely.
Now, this is definitely not some breakthrough research. The wonders of Epsom salt have been well-known for hundreds of years now. The salt derives its name from a bitter saline spring at Epsom, Surrey, England. But don't mistake Epsom salt as the plain table salt. Table salt is sodium chloride and is an entirely different substance from Epsom salt, which is made of two components - magnesium and sulfate.
Interestingly, unlike other salts, Epsom salt has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind, and soul. Here we have listed some of the magical properties of Epsom salt for you.

Health Benefits

Eases Stress and Relaxes the Body

Stress drains the body of magnesium, and Epsom salt is considered to be a natural stress reliever. When dissolved in warm water, magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body.
  • The salt draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, and relaxes muscles.
  • The magnesium helps to produce serotonin (a mood-elevating chemical) within the brain, that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation.
  • Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells.
  • Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week makes one look better, feel better, and gain more energy.
  • Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline.
  • It lowers blood pressure, creates a relaxed feeling, improves sleep, concentration, and helps muscles and nerves to function properly.

Relieves Pain and Muscle Cramps

Epsom salt has been a long-time natural remedy for a number of ailments. An Epsom salt bath is known to relieve inflammation and pain, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma, and migraine. In addition, it has been known to heal cuts, reduce soreness from childbirth, and relieve colds and congestion.

Helps Muscles and Nerves Function Properly

Studies show that magnesium is an electrolyte, and ensures proper functioning of muscles, nerves, and enzyme. It is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium in cells.

Helps Prevent Blood Clots and Hardening of Arteries

Epsom salt is also believed to help prevent heart disease and strokes by lowering blood pressure, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots, and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.

Makes Insulin More Effective

This salt also increases the effectiveness of insulin, helping to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

Relieves Constipation

Numerous studies have revealed that Epsom salt can also be used to treat constipation. The salt acts like a laxative. It increases the water content in the intestines, and can bring about temporary relief from constipation. 
However, it is strictly warned that Epsom salt should not be used to relieve constipation without the consultation of a physician, as it may prove to be harmful in some cases.

Removes Toxins

The porosity of the skin renders it vulnerable to many toxins that get absorbed easily. Adding Epsom salt to the regular bath water triggers the process of reverse osmosis, and through it, removes the harmful toxins from the body.

Relieves Athlete's Foot

Athlete's Foot is a condition, wherein the skin of the affected area starts scaling and itching. Epsom salt is known to provide relief to the ones suffering from this fungal infection.

Treats Toenail Fungus

Toenail fungus can be effectively treated by soaking the affected area in warm water, containing Epsom salt. Best results are seen when this particular process is followed three times a day.

Eases Problems Related to Gout

The condition of gout is highly painful, and Epsom salt is known to provide much relief to the sufferer. Soaking in a hot bath containing about 3 teaspoons of Epsom salt, for about half hour, can help reduce the discomfort and inflammation due to gout.

Beauty-related Benefits

Exfoliates Dead Skin

Try massaging handful of Epsom salt, mixed with a tablespoon of bath oil or olive oil, and rub all over your moist skin to exfoliate and soften your skin. Then sponge down. This could prove to be a real quick-fix beauty tip you've ever known.

Removes Foot Odor

Try soaking your aching, tired feet in a tub of water with half a cup of Epsom salt; this will not only make your feet feel better, but also removes feet odor. Epsom salt neutralizes odor and softens skin.

Clarifies Hair and Removes Hair Spray

Continuous use of hair products can form a layer of deposits on the hair strands, rendering them dull. A mixture of lemon juice, water, and Epsom salt can be used as a pre-wash cleanser, to add shine to the hair. Also, the same mixture removes hair sprays.

Removes Blackheads and Clears Pores

Epsom salt is known to cleanse the skin by removing blackheads and whiteheads. It also clears the pores, giving the skin a healthy look and feel.

Household Uses

Cleans Tiles: Epsom salt is said to be excellent in cleaning tiles. Adding it to the regular liquid detergent can help clean the tiles effectively.

Prevents Slugs: Spraying Epsom salt near/around the house entry points effectively stops slugs from entering the house.

Benefits in Gardening

Essential to Plant Health: Plants need nutrients like magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium Sulfate crystals, when added to the soil, provide vital nutrients to prevent loss of green color (magnesium is an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule). Epsom salt makes the primary nutrients in most plant foods (nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium) more effective.
Works as an Insecticide: Epsom salt is a natural insecticide that removes pests from your plants, and thus helps in maintaining their health and beauty.

Where to Find Epsom Salt

Now that you're aware of several benefits of Epsom salt, it is imperative to know about some places, where you can get them. Most of the drug stores in USA sell Epsom salt as a naturally-occurring laxative. For large-scale commercial or industrial uses of Epsom salt, it is necessary to seek permission of governing bodies in the respective states.
Although, Epsom salt is FDA approved, it is important to read the instructions on the package before use. Moreover, consulting your family doctor is also advisable, in case you have some medical complications.
So, whether you like a relaxing soak or wish to enhance your beauty effortlessly, making Epsom salt a part of your daily routine can add a whole lot of goodness to your way of life.