You could be wondering why Epsom salt is called a “salt”. Well, we call it a salt because it’s composed of small, colorless crystals that resemble table salt. However, its health uses and effects on the body are much different.
Epsom salt isn’t like the salt we use to season our foods that consists of sodium chloride. Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate, a pure mineral compound. Here are 12 uses:
1. Decrease inflammation after a work out
Athletes have long used ice baths after workouts to decrease inflammation. For an effective cold-water plunge, add Epsom salt. Its natural anti-inflammatory properties can help keep muscles healthy after you’ve been working hard at the gym.
2. Reduce swelling and increase circulation
Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt with a cup of cold water and soak a cotton washcloth in the solution. Apply to affected area. Experts say joint pain, swollen feet, foot and toe fungus, and foot odor can all be improved with a 15- to 20-minute warm Epsom salt foot soak.
3. Remove dead skin
Always find yourself fumbling for lip balm? Try giving your lips a deeper treatment using Epsom salt. Combine a few tablespoons of salt with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline), apply the solution to the lips, and gently rub it in. The solution helps remove dead and/or dry skin and will leave your lips looking fuller and healthier.
4. When you feel an illness coming on, boost your immune system by taking a warm bath with Epsom salt. It can help relax muscles, easing muscle aches and promoting healing sleep. Plus, it may even boost the body’s white blood cell production, which can help you fight infection.
5. For sunburn
Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great tool for alleviating mild sunburn irritation. Take an empty spray bottle, mix two tablespoons of Epsom with one cup of water and spray on the affected area. Your days of dealing with messy aloe are over!
6. To help relieve common insect bites, just mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt with one cup of water, dip a cotton washcloth in the solution, and apply to the affected area. If you have severe swelling or trouble breathing following a bee sting, seek emergency medical attention.
7. Acne — Epsom salt has antibacterial, antifungal and antiviral properties making it a fantastic natural treatment for acne. Blackhead removal — Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt, 3 drops iodine and half a cup of boiling water. Dab this solution to your blackheads with a cotton ball to help naturally extract them.
8. Boosts hair health
If your hair’s looking weighed down or just greasy, then adding Epsom salt to your conditioner can help give your hair that boost while nixing oil at the same time. All you have to do is mix equal parts of Epsom salt and your conditioner in a bottle. Then, once a week, use this mixture after shampooing. You can leave the conditioner in for 10 to 15 minutes before rinsing with cool water. (This is the perfect time to shave your legs!).
9. Headache relief — Evidence shows that that soaking in an Epsom salt bath can relieve headache symptoms.
10. Bedtime bath for kids — Because of its ability to soothe skin and relax muscles, Epsom salt can also contribute to a good night’s rest. Add one cup of Epsom salt to your kids’ evening bath to help them sleep more peacefully.
11. Relieve constipation
Pour 236ml of drinking water into a glass, mix with 1 to 2 tsp. of Epsom and drink the mixture for immediate relief of constipation. Mixing directions are also found on most Epsom salt packages, consult your physician before trying this.
12. Hydrate your skin
An Epsom salt bath will surely leave your skin feeling hydrated and rejuvenated every time. What I like about the tried and tested bath is how it leaves my mind and body feeling calm and relaxed. According to research, the high magnesium in Epsom salt helps reduce your levels of the stress hormone, cortisol. Just add three or four cups of Epsom salt with 10 drops of an essential oil to your bathwater. Soak in for as long as you like!