Are you one of those individuals who always looks to make their bathing experience that little bit better?
If that's you, you might want to consider adding a chemical compound to your bath known as Epsom salts.
The benefits of Epsom salt baths are plentiful, and they're pretty rejuvenating to have.
They're not a new phenomenon either; in fact, it's believed that a hot bath with Epsom salt has existed since the 16th century.
To know more about using Epsom salt and its benefits, keep on reading.
What are Epsom salts?
Epsom salt is known by its scientific name of magnesium sulfate. It's a chemical compound that contains sulfate ions, oxygen, and magnesium sulfate. The salt is named Epsom because they were first discovered in an English town called Epsom.
If you just look at Epsom bath salt, you might mistake it for table salt as they have a similar appearance. However, if you were to taste, they taste entirely different and have a slightly different chemical structure.
How do Epsom salt baths work?
To fully understand the health benefits of adding Epsom salt to your bath, you first need to know how it works. First of all, when magnesium sulfate is added to water, it dissolves, and as a result, magnesium ions and sulfate ions disperse.
Then once in the water, it's readily absorbed through the skin, providing your body magnesium chloride and sulfate, each essential mineral that can help your body to function correctly. At present, there's not a lot of medically reviewed information out there to support it; however, many people have reported the personal benefits of an Epsom salt bath.
Benefits of Epsom salt baths
While there's little scientific evidence from healthcare professionals and still a lot of clinical trials to be conducted surrounding Epsom salt and its benefits, many individual users report the following:
Epsom salt baths is known to contribute to healthy magnesium levels; in a way, they're kind of like a magnesium supplement. Epsom salts are also believed to provide better magnesium absorption than actual oral magnesium supplements. However, this is subjective based on people's experiences, and there's not enough scientific evidence to support that it helps those with a magnesium deficiency or people with low levels.
Get your detox on
As Epsom salt contains magnesium, the bath might act as a detoxifier. Often it's believed that an Epsom salt bath can stimulate your body's detoxifying process and help you heal at a quicker rate. In addition to this, magnesium helps headaches as many medical clinics provide magnesium through an IV drip to treat migraines. So having an Epsom salt bath can help you detox and reduce your risk of headaches.
Make your skin softer and smoother
Epsom salt water can help soften dry skin, tough skin, ease itchy skin and help alleviate the pain surrounding some skin conditions such as psoriasis and eczema. Research also supports this, as in 2005, a study was run that discovered that the magnesium in dead sea salt was seen to contribute to reducing dry skin and inflammation.
Help get over certain diseases
Epsom salts might have similar health benefits to what would happen with an intravenous drip. Some people note that an Epsom salt bath can help reduce the risk of premature birth, reduce the likelihood of seizures occurring due to several conditions, reduce the risk of preeclampsia and eclampsia.
Reduce pain caused by inflammation
There are also claims that Epsom salts can help reduce severe skin inflammation, pain, and swelling. Many people tend to mention that having frequent Epsom salt baths can also help reduce the likelihood of symptoms occurring from conditions like fibromyalgia and arthritis.
Improve your sulfate levels
Once the Epsom salt dissolves into your bath, it releases sulfate that can be absorbed into your skin easily, increasing your levels. Sulfate is essential to helping your cells grow and develop at a better rate.
It can help constipation
Magnesium sulfate can help treat constipation when required if taken orally. The reason for this is that magnesium helps lure more water into your colon, which can stimulate your bowels to move more. In addition to this, Epsom salts can be taken by mouth with water, but do note that it produces an extremely bitter taste.
Also, there's not a lot of scientific studies to back this up; however the FDA fully approves of Epsom salt as a laxative. Usually, grown adults are recommended to take 2-6 teaspoons around 10-30 grams of Epsom salt at a time, dissolved in around 237ml of water. If taken correctly, on average, it can take approximately 30-60 minutes for its laxative effect to kick in.
Epsom salt can volumize your hair
Alongside your hair care routine, Epsom salt might help better your hair care routine. If you suffer from oily hair, this chemical compound might help make it more volumizers. The magnesium levels can also help define if you have dry hair and strengthen your scalp. This solution is a lot more affordable than typical hair care products on the market.
Relieve bed bug bites and bee stings
Epsom salt serves as multiple natural remedies for a range of things. One of which is that this mineral compound can relieve itching from bed bugs and bee stings. This is because they can reduce inflammation and help exfoliate your skin and act as pain relief.
A cheap mani-pedi while you bathe
A good Epsom salt bath can prevent you from going to the beauty parlor frequently, as it can double up as a fantastic and affordable mani-pedi. After all, if you're planning on soaking your whole body for some time, you might as well wiggle your fingers and toes in there too! Then after a good soak, clean them, file them and then soak.
Improve your facial
Due to its exfoliating properties, Epsom salt can also double up as a fantastic facial to keep the pores on your skin clean and fresh. However, you should add Epsom salt to a preexisting face mask to help the exfoliating process.
Sometimes the fun idea is to slip into a nice hot bath and put a mask on to help get those pores clean. If you add a little Epsom salt to it, you can use the detox and exfoliating properties to make your mask more effective. Your body gets detox and exfoliation, so why not your face too?
Epsom salts can also help promote relaxation, relieve stress, and better your sleep quality. This is because magnesium levels are vital for a good night's sleep and stress. This is partly because magnesium sulfate triggers your brain to make neurotransmitters like melatonin that help reduce stress and make you more sleepy.
On the contrary, if you have low magnesium levels, it could negatively impact your body, struggling with your sleep. To counteract this, some users of Epsom salt love having salt baths as they've noticed a change in their stress reduction and sleep.
Relieve Muscular Cramps
Sometimes Epsom salt baths can help ease up muscle soreness and remove cramps. It's not unusual that magnesium is helpful for recovery and exercise performance. Part of the reason magnesium is beneficial is that it helps your body make lactic acid and glucose. Well, magnesium by oral supplement supports muscle and nerve function; however, there still needs to be more medically reviewed studies to support if bath salts do the same.
Epsom salt may also help ease up many health problems related to your feet. In particular, they have been known to reduce swelling and ease up symptoms arising from athlete's foot, toenail fungus, ingrown toenail, gout, and more. Epsom salts aren't guaranteed to remove this, but they can certainly help ease the pain associated with them instead of keeping them in a sweaty sock or shoe all day long.
Once Epsom salts are absorbed through the skin and magnesium is in your bloodstream, Epsom salts may help lower your blood pressure and help symptoms associated with cardiovascular disease. Part of the reason for this is Epsom salts can be relaxing to bathe in, and as a result, your stress levels are often reduced, lowering your blood pressure.
Most of the time, Epsom salt contains very few side effects; however, some may arise if you don't use it properly or have any other symptoms. First of all, if you take Epsom like oral supplements, you may find yourself experiencing a laxative effect. If this happens, you could find yourself experiencing symptoms of bloating, upset stomach, and diarrhea.
Therefore if you plan to use it as a laxative, ensure you drink plenty of water to eliminate digestive discomfort. But, before taking the right dosage, speak to your doctor first for the correct dosage before you take an Epsom.
Sometimes people with sensitive skin may develop a skin rash or get dermatitis. Similarly, if you plan to have a salt bath, you should be cautious if you have any of the following conditions
- If you have kidney disease
- Are pregnant
- Have heart disease
- If you're a child
If you have any of the above, you must speak to a doctor first before having a bath. Also, if you plan on drinking Epsom salts, there is a risk of you experiencing the following:
- Blurry vision
- Irregular heartbeat
- Change in bladder
- Muscle weakness
- Extreme fatigue
Contact your doctor first if you experience any of these. There have been cases where people have taken an overdose of magnesium where they've experienced headaches, lightheadedness, and flushed skin. You must inform your doctor, though, as serious cases could lead to heart problems, paralysis, coma, and death.
How To Make an Epsom Salt Bath
Once sprinkled into the water, Epsom salts quickly dissolve into the water, causing magnesium and sulfate ions to be absorbed into your skin. However, the amount of water and the ratio matters in order to have the best warm bath. Therefore to make a good Epsom salt bath, you'll want to try one of the following concentrations:
- 2 cups of Epsom salt for each gallon of warm water
- 1.5 cups of Epsom salt for a gallon of warm water
- 1 cup of Epsom salt for every 1 gallon of water
- 2 cups of Epsom salt to pour into your bathtub water
Then, once you've decided on the ration and mixed the Epsom salt in well, you'll want to soak in the bath for at least 15 minutes to help reduce inflammation, aching muscles, and help with joint pain. It's important that you ensure the water is not hot, as it could trigger more swelling instead of easing it.
Can you put too much Epsom salt in a bath?
Most of the time, Epsom salt is ok to place in a bath. On the contrary, if you place too much to dissolve in water, then you could find yourself at risk of life-threatening side effects. Therefore you must have enough water in a bowl, bathtub, food basin, or bucket to help it dissolve properly.
How often should you do an Epsom salt bath?
To really feel the benefits of an Epsom bath, you should think about bathing at least three times a week. Plus, to have optimum comfort, you won't want to have a full stomach from eating, and you should be hydrated before stepping into the bath as Epsom salt can easily dehydrate you due to the temperature change.
Epsom Salt and Your Metabolism
Ultimately, there's no medically reviewed information that supports Epsom salt speeding up your metabolism. However, some people mention that the amount of Epsom salt consumed can increase the amount of water in your intestines, triggering more bowel movements. Similarly, it's important to know they won't cause drastic weight loss. However, they might reduce inflammation, making it more comfortable and easier for you to exercise.
Overall, Epsom salts are a fantastic support for mental physical, and mental health conditions. Once they're dispersed in a bath, they can help with stress relief, make you feel more relaxed, reduce swelling, help with skin problems, volumes hair, ease sore muscles, reduce symptoms of bad foot health, and more.
It's not always guaranteed that you will experience these benefits as there's still research needed to be done in the scientific field to support this.
On the contrary, they can cause certain side effects like diarrhea, bloating, upset stomach, dizziness, and more, depending on how they're consumed or used. Therefore, if you plan to use Epsom salts, make sure you speak to a doctor first if you're pregnant, plan on giving it to your child, and have heart problems or kidney disease. Other than that, Epsom salts are incredibly affordable and easy to use; if you're interested in using them, check out our range today.