Epsom salt, discovered in England in the 17th century, is a simple, inexpensive and accessible remedy for many health conditions. Commonly used to relieve sore muscles, constipation or to treat sprained ankles, Epsom salt has numerous other uses.
Epsom salt is also known as “magnesium sulfate.” Its chemical formula is MgSO4, which means it is comprised of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen, three essential elements required by the human body.
Epsom salt is classified as an anti-inflammatory, anticonvulsant, laxative, and a trace mineral.1
How is Epsom Salt Used?
Transdermal means “across the skin.” Epsom salt baths or foot soaks are two common ways to use Epsom salt transdermally. The Epsom salt, diluted in water, absorbs through your skin while you soak. Some people will even begin to taste the salt in their mouth when they soak in Epsom salt baths.
Epsom salt is also taken by mouth. Constipation is a common reason to take Epsom salt by mouth. Epsom salts are also used orally for gallbladder cleanses. It is also one of the cheapest ways to supplement the body with magnesium.
Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salt) is given by IV in hospitals to treat certain conditions including seizures, barium poisoning, rapid heartbeat, and brain swelling.2
Magnesium Sulfate is given to mothers in preterm labor as a neuroprotectant for their babies.3
It is also given to pregnant women to stop preterm labor.4
Hospitals will sometimes use magnesium sulfate in a nebulizer to deliver it to the lungs to treat patients with asthma.5
How Can Epsom Salt Help Me?
Not only is Epsom Salt delivered to the body in a wide variety of ways, but it also is beneficial in a wide range of health problems. Magnesium and Sulfur are two essential minerals needed for many body functions. Because Epsom salt provides these two minerals to the body, it benefits numerous conditions, such as:
- Leg Cramps
- Racing Heart
- Atrial Fibrillation
- High Blood Pressure
- Preterm Labor
How to Use Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt Bath
If you are new to Epsom salt, perhaps the best place, to begin with, is an Epsom salt bath. This is a pleasant and straightforward way to benefit from Epsom salt.
Add a ½ cup of Epsom salt to a tub of warm water. Soak in the bath for 15 minutes. Most people will not experience side effects from this amount. In fact, it is common to use as much as 2 cups of Epsom salt in a bath.
Epsom Salt Foot Bath
If you do not have access to a bathtub or don’t care for baths, an Epsom salt foot soak will also deliver the nutrients to your body.
Add 1/2 cup Epsom salt to a large basin of warm water. Soak your feet in this solution for half an hour.
A foot soak will also bring relief to tired and sore feet, athlete’s foot, plantar fasciitis, heel spurs, and ingrown toenails. A foot soak is easy to do after work while you are unwinding from the day.
Where Can I Buy Epsom Salt?
Pharmacies, grocery stores, and dollar stores carry Epsom salt. Do make sure that the only ingredient in the package is magnesium sulfate. Sometimes Epsom salt is packaged as a single use bath additive which also contains essential oils or other ingredients.
Epsom salt products with added ingredients should never be used internally.
Epsom Salt Side Effects
Epsom salt is used as a laxative, so naturally, more Epsom salt than your body needs can give you loose stools. Oral doses are more likely to cause loose stools, though in sensitive people, an Epsom salt bath can cause the same effect.
Other side effects from Epsom salt include dizziness, low blood pressure, nausea, and hives.
To reduce your risk of side effects, start with a smaller dose and increase the amount you use slowly if needed. If you do get loose stools, cut back on the amount you take until you are relieving yourself at a comfortable rate.
Have you use Epsom Salt as a home remedy? Did you use it in a bath or take it orally? Please send us some feedback!
Continue reading to see how Earth Clinic readers have used Epsom salt to improve their health.