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Epsom salts are a welcome addition to health and wellness routines. They can be an effective home remedy for health issues like dry skin, sore muscles and migraines. Here are some common uses for Epsom salt and the benefits you can gain as part of your health routine.
Is Epsom Salt Really Salt?
You have probably asked yourself this question at least once in your life. Some first encounter it in their mother’s kitchen cupboard. Hidden among the other kitchen ingredients that could be food but gain most of their purpose as beauty and health secrets. Others encounter it at a wellness spa or as a DIY bath bomb recipe for sore muscles/soft skin. There’s a reason why people have been using it for its health benefits for centuries.
And although people call it ‘salt,’ it’s actually just a mixture of magnesium and sulfate that occurs naturally. It’s selling power is that both parts of the compound can be absorbed by your skin easily, which means the health benefits can be felt almost instantly.
Magnesium is essential for healthy body function. It’s essential for bone health, regulates nerve and muscle function, improves blood flow and can prevent chronic diseases and migraines.
Sulfates work to improve the way your body absorbs nutrients and can ease headaches and help your body flush out toxins. Together, they work to reduce pain and inflammation while revitalizing your body.
What Are the Most Common Uses of Epsom Salts?
Here are some of the most common health uses of Epsom Salts:
- Muscle Relief
Magnesium is often used as a supplement to reduce inflammation and speed up muscle recovery. A randomized trial in the Journal of Strength and Conditioning found that 350mg of magnesium daily can reduce muscle soreness in people who are magnesium deficient but enjoy exercise.
How does it work? Magnesium reduces soreness after vigorous exercise by reducing calcium uptake, which may help your muscles relax after making movements that contract the muscles. Magnesium also activates Vitamin D in your body, preventing muscle pain and weakness.
- Dry Skin Treatment
Epsom salts can aid in treating symptoms of psoriasis and eczema. The National Psoriasis Foundation recommends Epsom salts as an integrative approach to relieving symptoms like itching and scales. They suggest soaking in a warm bath for 15 minutes with dead sea salts or Epsom salts for relief.
- Stress Relief
When you are stressed, the magnesium levels in your body decrease. Why TC. You can counteract the effects of stress with a warm Epsom salt bath that will replenish magnesium levels through absorption in your skin. A warm bath generally helps to lower cortisol levels because it helps you slow down and relax. With Epsom salts added, you may also experience a decrease in irritability and an increase in relaxation since Epsom salts can reduce the effects of adrenaline on your body.
- Heart Health Support
A Clinical Pharmacology study shows that magnesium sulfate can protect coronary artery disease patients from atherosclerosis – which is the build-up of plaque in arteries that increases risk of stroke and heart attack. This shows the potential of Epsom salts to support heart health and to improve blood circulation.
- Foot Health
Some praise Epsom salts for their ability to neutralize odor and reduce pain from achy and tired feet. It can also soften the skin on your feet when combined with scrubs and oils.
Uses for Health and Wellbeing
Generally, a warm relaxing bath has several benefits like lowering blood pressure, improving sleep and healing your skin. Why not add Epsom salts?
The time you will spend soaking depends on what you want to treat. For soft skin on your feet, try 20 minutes. If you want relief for sore muscles a 12-minute soak is best. For stress relief and relaxation, an hour will do you good.
To make the bath:
- Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to the spout as you run the bath.
- Make sure the water is warm, not hot. You should be able to dip your feet and hands without feeling uncomfortable.
- You can add essential oils to your bath for extra relaxation.
You can also make an Epsom salt paste for smaller areas.
Who Can Use Epsom Salts?
Generally, anyone can use Epsom salts. However, if you have any health conditions, it’s a good idea to seek medical advice first. If you are pregnant or have kidney function issues, look for different ways to treat any of the issues mentioned above. It’s also not recommended for children under six years old.
While experts and DIY-ists recommend Epsom salts, it’s yet to be studied extensively as a medical treatment for some health issues.
It also helps to know what the side effects of magnesium overdose can look like so you know if you need to seek treatment. Seek help if you notice any of these symptoms:
- Blurry vision
- Shortness of breath
- Weak muscles
- An increase in urination
Can You Use Epsom Salts for Other Purposes?
You may be surprised at other ways you can use Epsom salt. Some of these include:
- Squeaky clean bathroom tiles: Use equal parts dish soap and Epsom salts for a good scrub.
- Removed build-up from washing machines: Read your manual to see the correct cyle for cleaning your machine. Add Epsom salt to the water and run the cleaning cycle.
- Plant fertilizer: If your plants need some extra nourishment, Epsom salts can make nutrients like phosphorus, nitrogen and potassium more effective. Sprinkle some salt as needed to help your plants stay healthy. You can also prevent your lawn from yellowing by adding 4tsps salt to a gallon of water and using it to water your grass.
Although there is limited scientific evidence to prove Epsom salt’s effectiveness in treating health issues, it can still be part of a relaxing and healing routine for your body and skin. There are enough anecdotes to prove it, so it’s worth a try. You can also use it to spruce up your plants or get an extra clean for tiles.
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