In our daily lives, we acknowledge that Iron and Calcium are important minerals for our bodies. However, people tend to overlook that our body also needs a healthy dosage of Magnesium. This is because Magnesium helps the body regulate about 325 enzymes. As a result, it plays an extremely significant role in a lot of bodily functions.
As we know it, most minerals are present in abundance in the soil. However, as a result of industrial farming, soil has become increasingly deficient in Magnesium. But there’s a quick fix to that. The easiest and the most effective way to increase Magnesium in your body is to soak in an Epsom Salt Bath. This is possible because Epsom Salt breaks down into Magnesium and Sulfate when placed in water. Accordingly, when you soak in an Epsom salt bath, these minerals get absorbed into your body through skin. This not only helps relax muscles but also reduces pain and swelling from arthritis and fibromyalgia. The bath also aids in soothing sore muscles for athletes and relieving cramps, thus, improving performance and recovering in general.
The chemical name of Epsom Salt is Magnesium Sulfate. In England there is a region that goes by the name of Epsom. History has it that during a drought in 1618, a local cow cow herder, Henry Wicker drank from a pool of water in Epsom Common. To his dislike, he found the water acidic and bitter. The man noticed that after evaporation of the water, the residue left behind was white in colour. He also realized that drinking the water left behind a laxative effect. This result of this coincidental discovery was that Epsom salt became a desirable cure for constipation for hundreds of years.
A British Chemist and Physicist named Joseph Black, after conducting experiments on the chemical properties of magnesium sulfate, laid down the proposition for magnesium to be classified as an element. Following this, the extreme importance of Magnesium was discovered for every life form on the planet. The element, as we see, is not only necessary for muscle and nerve function but also for the maintenance of a healthy immune system. It is also required to maintain a regular heartbeat, sufficient blood glucose and strong bones.
As a result, Epsom salt baths are not only extremely beneficial but also important. It falls under the category of Integrative Medicine which is known to treat both a person’s mind and body. Integrative Medical Specialists often recommend Epsom Salt Baths for its physical and mental benefits. This is also because Epsom Salt is considered safe and is also easy to use and find.
How Can You Make An Epsom Salt Bath?
At first, it’s advisable to check with your doctor if you suffer from low blood pressure. This is because hot water can temporarily lower your blood pressure. It is also recommended by the Mayo Clinic that adults use two cups of Epsom Salt per gallon of warm water. Quantity greater than that can make the water slippery. It may also cause dryness in the skin.
Following are the recommendations for trying lower concentrations:
- Adding 300 grams (1.5 cups) of Epsom Salt to 1 gallon of water;
- Adding 1 cup of Epsom Salt to 1 gallon of water;
- Adding 2 cups of Epsom Salt to your bathtub filled with water.
After preparing your bath, soak in it for a minimum of fifteen minutes. If you’re using the Epsom Salt Bath for aches and pains then make sure that the water is not very hot. This is because an extremely hot bath may aggravate your condition instead of reducing the swelling.
Other Ways To Soak In Epsom Salt
- Create an Epsom Salt Detox
A Salt Detox Bath will allow for drawing out of the toxins from the body. The removal of harmful toxins from the body helps bring out a balance in the body anatomy. It also helps with relaxation, increased health, gaining relief from sore muscles and weight management.
- Create a Detox Footbath
This allows the pulling out of the harmful toxins from the bottom of your feet.
- Create a Foot Soak for General Use
For general use, you can soak your feet in Epsom Salt to eradicate odour and help with the treatment of infection, if any.
- Make an Epsom Salt Water Compress for Direct Application to Sore Muscles
A Compress will help alleviate pain by direct application to stiff muscles.
Benefits/ Side Effects of Epsom Salt
As stated previously, the amount of magnesium that enters the body through the skin, during an Epsom Salt Bath, is believed to be appropriate for causing a reduction in swelling and relieving aches. Epsom Salts are also thought to be beneficial in soothing the skin and alleviating irritation and itching. As per a study conducted in the year 2005, it was ascertained the magnesium salts are very effective for dry skin and help reduce inflammation. A variety of conditions are treated, on a prevalent basis, using Epsom Salt. These include:
- Itching due to Poison Ivy;
- Skin Irritation and Inflammation;
- Sore Feet;
- Sore Muscles;
- Stiff Joints;
In fact, Epsom Salt is also administered by doctors intravenously because it’s been proven to be effective in the following cases:
- For controlling rapid heartbeat;
- For relieving migraine headaches;
- In order to postpone premature birth;
- For prevention of seizures caused by preeclampsia and eclampsia;
- For reducing the swelling caused in the brain;
- In order to treat barium poisoning;
- For the treatment of muscle spasms and seizures caused by magnesium deficiency.
Although, generally considered safe, one must always consider doing a patch test for skin before using Epsom salt. One must avoid submerging broken skin in an Epsom Salt Bath. Stop the usage if you experience itchy skin, get skin infection or allergic reactions such as rashes or hives.
Although the benefits of Epsom Salt have not been proven scientifically in a great degree. However, the advocates of Epsom Salt strongly propagated for its benefits as describes above. The masses swear by this folk remedy till date because there’s little to no downside to using Epsom Salts in a soak or a bath.
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