(Natural News) That box of Epsom salt on your grandmother’s bathroom shelf proves that her generation knew a thing or two about natural healing.
Epsom salt – which you’ll find for next to nothing in any drug store – is one of the most inexpensive and versatile natural remedies around. Adding Epsom salt to your bath is not only great for treating sprains or soothing tired muscles but also provides the body with several other major health benefits.
Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) is a naturally-occurring mineral compound that got its name from a spring in Surrey, England where the salt was discovered to be present in the water.
When you bathe in a solution of Epsom salts, your body absorbs magnesium, sulfur and sulfate – all of which are beneficial nutrients often found lacking in the average person’s system – through the pores of your skin. At the same time, toxins leave your body in a process resembling reverse osmosis.
These minerals absorbed by the body during an Epsom salt bath are helpful in treating muscle pain, bruises, gout, toenail fungus and athlete’s foot, but there are even more important health benefits associated with Epsom salts.
Magnesium and sulfate deficiencies can contribute to heart problems, high blood pressure, hyperactivity and other health issues. “Magnesium deficiencies are very common globally, and the need for magnesium is increased by stress and a number of different health disorders,” says Leo Galland, M.D., director of the Foundation for Integrated Medicine. “An Epsom salt bath is an excellent stress reliever, it relaxes muscles and it’s another source of magnesium.”
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“Magnesium is necessary to help stimulate blood circulation, to increase the oxygen levels in your body and boost your muscle, and sulfates help boost your joint and nerve health, while also enhancing your skin, detoxifying your body, and reducing inflammation.”
And aside from relieving muscle pain, soreness and many other physical ailments, Epsom salts also fight stress by promoting serotonin production and lessening the effects of adrenaline.
To get the full benefits of an Epsom salt bath, it’s recommended that you soak in the tub for around 40 minutes. During the first 20 minutes, toxins are released and during the second half of the bath, the magnesium and sulfates are absorbed through the skin.
Standard Epsom salt measurements for use in a bath range from a half cup for persons under 60 pounds to two and a half cups for those over 200 pounds.
A few words of caution: DO NOT take Epsom salt baths if you are pregnant, suffer from cardiovascular disease, are dehydrated or have open sores on your body. If you have any doubts or questions, be sure to speak to your doctor before using Epsom salts.
The beneficial effects of an Epsom salt bath can be enhanced by adding a half cup of olive oil to the water, or by adding “heat” with the aid of cayenne pepper or ginger, which will cause you to sweat more and release even more toxins during the bath session.
Epsom salt also has a number of uses as a beauty aid and a general household cleaning product. It’s an effective hair volumizer, exfoliant, face cleanser, and splinter and blackhead remover.
Use Epsom salts to clean stubborn pots and pans, tile and grout, and soap buildup in your washing machine. Or, you could try mixing Epsom salts with baby oil to make a moisturizing hand cleanser.
Epsom salts are even useful in the garden as a fertilizer and pest repellent.
Your grandmother was right all along – no household should be without a handy supply of inexpensive, all-natural Epsom salt. It’s one of nature’s best all-around health and beauty aids.