Health & Beauty: Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits You Probably Didn’t Know About

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Epsom salt. Image from http://kololk.com/

Epsom salt is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulphate. It resembles common table salt, except that it is bitter, unpalatable which makes it unsuitable for food. Long known as a natural remedy for ailments such as constipation, fibromyalgia, and insomnia the salt continues to gain recognition for its wide range of benefits to the human body. This list outlines the uses and benefits of Epsom salt in terms of health, beauty, gardening and as a household ingredient.

  • Health Benefits
  1. Integrative medicine

For hundreds of years, Epsom salt has been used as a salt bath for healing-oriented purposes, that considers both physical and mental health. Check out 8 foods that promote mental health. When the salt is added in water, it releases magnesium and sulfate ions which draw toxins from the body while promoting health benefits of the skin and the mind.

  1. Stress reliever

When we undergo stress, magnesium levels in our bodies decrease while adrenaline levels increase. The magnesium ions present in Epsom salt replenishes magnesium levels in our body, enhancing the production of serotonin. Serotonin is an important chemical and neurotransmitter in the body that regulates our mood, stress, and social behaviour. It is also responsible for inducing sleep and a calm, relaxed sensation, which curbs depression, anxiety and other mental health-related issues. In addition, magnesium also facilitates the production ATP (adenosine triphosphate) which boost energy levels and stamina.

To get stress relieving and energy-boosting benefits; put 300 grams of Epsom salt into a bathtub filled with hot water. Do this thrice a week for a healthy and energetic feel.

  1. Pain reliever

Epsom salt is used to treat fibromyalgia an ailment associated with pain and fatigue. Unlike Arthritis, Fibromyalgia causes widespread pain and discomfort around the body affecting the soft tissues instead of the joints. Epsom salt can be used to relieve this pain, which affects the neck, back, skull hence curing ailments like headaches and migraines. Find out the foods that treat and prevent migraines.

  1. Muscles relaxer

Epsom salt is highly recommended for people suffering from chronic fatigue syndrome since it can also be used to relax muscles and relieve muscle cramps. Magnesium as a component of Epsom salt is responsible for regulating electrolytes in the body promoting normal body functioning.  Electrolytes are important in the body as they regulate how muscles and neurons function as well as rebuild damaged tissue.

  1. Get rid of fungus

Use Epsom salt to address issues such as athlete’s foot, foot odour, toenail fungus, splinters, sprains and bruises.

For effective use, soak the problem areas for about 30 minutes in a bath of hot water mixed with Epsom salt.  To cure toenail fungus, soak the affected areas thrice in a day.

Side effects; although Epsom salt is listed as a laxative, (a reason why most people use it to treat constipation), it should be used in moderation. Consult medical advice before ingestion as an overdose or improper use could result in diarrhoea, an upset stomach or bloating. Other symptoms include nausea, drowsiness and headache.

Epsom salt. Image from http://kololk.com/
  • For Beauty Purposes
  1. Exfoliator

Magnesium sulfate is a natural exfoliator as well as an emollient.

To use Epsom salt as an exfoliator, mix a handful of the salt with a tablespoon of olive oil then rub gently on wet skin. Rinse thoroughly, then moisturize. You can also add a tiny amount (1/2 teaspoon) of Epsom salt to your facial cleanser, then gently massage into the skin for maximum cleansing and exfoliation. Rinse with cold water, then moisturize.

Find out the 7 ways to deal with breakouts.

  1. Epsom Salt Uses as a household ingredient

Like table salt, use Epsom salt as a hack to keep away snails and slugs. Sprinkle it near entry points for effective use.

Epsom salt can be used to clean tiles. Mix equal parts of the salt and detergent, then use the mixture to scrub tiles.

To make a handwash; mix the salt with baby oil to make an effective hand wash. This hand wash will keep your hands moist considering that Epsom salt is also used for exfoliating purposes. Find out; more baby oil hacks will make your life easier. 

  1. For gardening purposes

If you have a kitchen garden, you can use Epsom salt as a fertilizer. Since it is rich in magnesium and Sulphur, it will serve as a nutrient as well as enhance the effectiveness of other primary nutrients (potassium, nitrogen and phosphorus) in plants. The salt can also be used as an insecticide to get rid of insects.

  1. For healthy-looking plants

Magnesium is not only a vital nutrient to plants but also an essential element in the chlorophyll molecule. Epsom salt can be used to prevent the yellowing of plants, which commonly happens to grass.

Add 2 tablespoons of the salt to 3 litres of water, then sprinkle on your plants/grass for a healthy green look. For maximum benefit and use; sprinkle Epsom salt to house plants, vegetables and flowers once a week.

Speaking of gardening check out 5 great plants to grow in your kitchen garden.

Featured image via Kolok

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