Epsom salts are known scientifically as Hydrated Magnesium Sulfate.
- Magnesium stimulates nerve and muscle function, limits inflammation, and improves oxygenation and blood flow through the body. Most Americans are deficient in magnesium which, according to the National Academy of Sciences, contributes to heart disease, stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number of other ailments.
- Sulfates are also very important, playing a role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins, digestive enzymes, and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract.
Also, magnesium and sulfate stimulate detoxification pathways in the body. When you soak in a hot Epsom salts bath, reverse osmosis moves toxins out of the body and pulls magnesium and sulfate inward through your pores. Avoid using soap during an Epsom salt bath as it may interfere with these processes. I shower at the end to remove salts and essential oils. I dunno if this is necessary, but my skin is really sensitive and rashy, so I don’t take chances.
HOW MUCH: Dissolve 1⁄2 cup of Epsom salts in water for every 50 lb of body weight.
WARNING: You should not take Epsom salt baths if you are severely dehydrated. If you have large wounds or burns, are pregnant or suffer from cardiovascular or kidney disease, consult your doctor to see if it is safe to begin an Epsom salt bath regimen. Don’t assume any of these conditions rules it out. I have kidney disease and my doctor recommended it. Also, don’t worry about your girlie parts; it doesn’t sting and it is safe to get your whole body down into the water!
NOTE: Some Epsom salt manufacturers add fragrance. Beware of these! Read the label before purchasing. If the fragrance is a natural essential oil, it will say so. If the fragrance is a synthetic, the label will say fragrance and/or perfume. These synthetic fragrances are made from hydrocarbons and other chemicals known to be harmful to your health. My preference is to get the plain stuff and dribble some essential oils on my bath water right before climbing in.
GARDENING: Epsom salt is also great for your garden. It helps speed up plant growth, increase a plants nutrient uptake, deter pests, increase flavor of fruit and veggies, plus increase the output of vegetation. See Best Plants article below for specifics.
SPLINTERS: If you can’t get a hold of the splinter, soak the affected area in 2 tbsp of Epsom salt in a cup of water. The splinter will move out of its own accord.