Soak in an Epsom Salt Bath For Magnesium & More
Ever considered having regular Epsom salt baths? Epsom salt is not actually salt; it is a mineral compound - magnesium sulfate. It looks like large salt crystals and they easily dissolve in water.
Epsom salt baths are very beneficial
- They are relaxing and therapeutic.
- They provide another form of treatment for skin conditions like eczema and acne.
- They soothe muscle soreness as well as strained or torn muscles and ligaments.
- Epsom salt baths will help with inflammation, bruising and swelling wherever these may occur on your body.
- They help to detox.
The magnesium (and sulfates) factor
Every organ in the body (especially the heart, muscles and kidneys) needs magnesium. This mineral also contributes to the make up of teeth and bones. Magnesium activates enzymes, contributes to energy production, and helps regulate levels of calcium, copper, zinc, potassium, vitamin D and other important nutrients. Sadly, magnesium levels have decreased by 50% in the last fifty years because of changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from the soil and the typical American diet today contains much less magnesium – even going so far as to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies. Researchers have found that many Americans have 5 times as much calcium as magnesium in their bodies, although the ideal ratio for optimum absorption of both minerals is two to one. Enjoying an Epsom salt bath is one way to improve your magnesium levels.
Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate and soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt means your body will absorb magnesium and sulfate through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.
Additional health benefits from good magnesium/sulfate levels
- Improving heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improving ability for the body to use insulin, helping with diabetes.
- Improving nerve function by electrolyte regulation.
- Relieving stress because excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
- Improving oxygen use.
- Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
How to have an Epsom salt bathThe usual advice is to add two cups of Epsom salt to your bath water and soak for at least 12 minutes, three times a week. However, here are more detailed instructions (where the amount of salt you add is based on your weight) from David Jockers DC, MS, CSCS. His table is for a standard size bathtub:
- Children under 60 lbs: ½ cup
- Between 60 to 100 lbs: 1 cup
- Between 100 to 150 lbs: 1½ cups
- Between 150 to 200 lbs: 2 cups
- For every 50lbs more – add an additional ½ cup of salts.
His recommendation for soaking time is firstly, 20 minutes to remove toxins and secondly, a further 20 minutes to allow the body to soak up that invaluable magnesium and sulfate. To enable the detox, Use 5 minutes to do a dry brush rub to remove any dead skin and open up the pores. You can add other ingredients to your Epsom salt bath – extras like essential oils, baking soda, olive oil, coconut oil or apple cider vinegar.
A word of warning
Just be careful when buying your Epsom salts as there are different grades – one is for agricultural use and one for personal. So obviously choose the latter.
If you are pregnant, have open wounds or burns, suffer from cardiovascular disease or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salt.