Epsom salt is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It is also chemically known as magnesium sulfate. It looks similar to table salt but is quite bitter and unpalatable and is often dissolved in baths (1). It’s called a salt because of its chemical structure. The “Epsom” part is a place in England where it’s found in natural springs. As early as the 17th century there are records of people taking advantage of its natural beneficial properties. It was once the most popular medicinal remedy in England. In water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when we soak in an Epsom salt bath, these get into our body through our skin. (2,3)
Epsom salt helps stabilize mood and relieve stress, anxiety, and depression. Some researchers even claim that taking magnesium increases serotonin production in the brain. Serotonin is a happiness or relaxation hormone (4).
Experts have found that magnesium helps our brain neurotransmitters that induce sleep and reduce stress. This makes adequate magnesium levels in the body essential for sleep and stress management (5).
In a separate study, experts have found that magnesium may also help our body produce melatonin, a hormone that promotes sleep (6).
How Can We Benefit From Epsom Salt?
Put 300 grams of Epsom salt into a bathtub filled with very warm water — not hot, but comfortable to the touch. Soak the body for at least 15 minutes to start experiencing the mental and physical benefits of Epsom salt.
Other Benefits We Can Enjoy Form Using Epsom Salt
People use Epsom salt baths as a home treatment for (7):
- Arthritis pain and swelling
- Bruises and sprains
- Fibromyalgia, a condition that makes muscles, ligaments, and tendons hurt and cause tender points throughout the body
- Ingrown toenails
- Psoriasis, a disease that causes red, itchy, scaly skin
- Sore muscles after working out
- Soreness from diarrhea during chemotherapy
- Sunburn pain and redness
- Tired, swollen feet
It may help reduce the risk of cardiovascular disease and improve digestion/bowel movement. Furthermore, it is also a great natural exfoliant, an effective natural face cleanser, and a moisturizing handwash.
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