What is so good about Epsom salts?

To be honest Epsom salts pretty much look like ordinary table salt but is actually a compound of magnesium and sulphate.  Ahh, now it makes total sense why it is also known as magnesium sulphate. Back to magnesium – it is involved in a lot of functions within the body.  It is a co factor for over 300 enzyme systems that regulate biochemical reactions within our bodies; it ranges from protein synthesis to blood pressure regulation.  I know it’s pretty amazing right!

Magnesium is super easily depleted by stress, consumption of processed and/or refined foods or an overuse of medication and antibiotics; sadly, one or even a combo of these factors feature in daily life for most people.

The good news is that both magnesium and sulphate are readily absorbed through the skin, making an Epsom salt bath a fabulous way to soak up the benefits (see what I did there – soak/benefits).

Try it a minimum of 1-2 times a week, just 1-2 cups of Epsom salts in a bath or if you don’t have a bath do a foot soak just ½ cup Epsom salts to a bucket of water.  It is amazingly good for you!

PROTIP: if you are soaking your feet, throw a few marbles into the bucket for a foot massage.  Move your feet a little, back and forth is great for a gentle massage.

OK, so what are some of those benefits?

Relieves pain and muscle cramps

It’s big relief for muscle tension, cramps, pain or just inflammation in joints.  In other words, perfect for people who exercise a lot or experience arthritic pain/swelling.

Eases stress

Yup, we have all heard a bath is relaxing and provides stress relief, but to get a bit ‘sciencey’ on you the magnesium ions break apart from the Epsom salt molecule.  This is relieving the stress because it is promoting the production of serotonin which reduces the effects of adrenaline.

You use insulin better

Yup, it helps your body to produce and use insulin more effectively.  It is helping to regulate your blood sugar, which in turn lowers the risk of diabetes.

Relieves constipation

Magnesium is a natural laxative.  Try soaking in an Epsom salt bath each night before bed.  There may be other causes or issues, but this is a gentle start.

Toxin elimination

It’s the sulphates which help to flush out the toxins from your cells, so your body can eliminate them.

Headache relief

Sometimes magnesium deficiencies can cause headaches.  Try to increase magnesium rich food in your diet, THINK: dark leafy greens, nuts and seeds, oily fish, avocados, figs and bananas.  Additionally, having a soak in an Epsom salt bath will increase magnesium absorption.  There may be other reasons, but again this is a nice starting place.

Trouble sleeping

Try a bath, this can relax the body and mind, which in turn can help you to fall asleep – remember the serotonin I mentioned before?  It helps to produce melatonin AKA the sleepy hormone.  I love a couple of drops of lavender to help me along the land of nod, but you do you and choose what helps you relax.

There are many benefits to an Epsom salt bath, or if you like just to a foot soak – you will still reap the benefits in so many ways.  Honestly it will not rectify a magnesium deficiency, however it is pleasant way to increase your magnesium intake a little, plus will potentially relieve some symptoms – try adding Epsom salts into your weekly self-care routine.

Published by Shân

I am incredibly passionate about food and its healing power – it is pretty amazing how what you eat affects how your body works! In fact, I was so fascinated, I went & got myself a degree in it – a Bachelor of Health Science (Nutritional and Dietetic Medicine). Now in all honesty I don’t eat or live a perfect lifestyle, nor will I ever pretend I do. Realistically I know you won’t be perfect either. And that’s OK. As a Clinical Nutritionist I focus on what we eat and how this has an impact on our health and wellness – everyday.

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