Recently I was on the phone with a girlfriend complaining how my back hurt from too much yard work. My friend asked me if I was going to take a soak in the tub with some Epsom salts. She said she used them all the time when she her muscles were bothering her. I must admit that I’d forgotten all about Epsom salts.

I have always kept Epsom salts on hand, but they’d gotten pushed to the back of the cabinet and I forgotten they were there. So, I dug them out and had a nice soak — much to the relief of my sore back.

It was while I was soaking that I got to wondering about Epsom salts and why they’re so good for so many things. Oh sure, there are lots of fancy products out there that look pretty, smell great, and cost a lot that work great too, but  I wouldn’t be surprised if many of them contain Epsom salts.

Here’s some of the things that you can use Epsom salts for:

  • 2 cups of Epsom salts in a nice warm bath tub can help relax muscles, pull toxins from the body, relieve itching, soften your skin and, because of the magnesium in the Epsom salts, leave you feeling relaxed with a sense of well-being.
  • 1/2 cup of Epsom salts in a foot tub with water will ease aching feet, soften skin, and leave your feet smelling better too.
  • 2 cups of Epsom salts, 1/4 cup of petroleum jelly, and a few drops of lavender oil make a great cleanser for the skin. Use the mixture to gently scrub away dry skin patches.
  • Sprains and bruises can be helped by soaking in water and Epsom salts. Soak for no more than 20 minutes. For best results follow up with an ice pack, again for no more than 20 minutes.
  • Got a splinter? Soak the area in Epsom salts because it will draw the splinter out so you don’t have to dig it out.

Just how does Epsom salts work? Well it is nothing more than magnesium sulfate, found in many geological areas. The Enzyme Stuff web site has this to say about magnesium sulfate: “The magnesium and sulfate in the salts are absorbed into the body through the skin. Because the sulfur is already in the sulfate form, it does not need to be converted like other forms of sulfur do. Sulfate is thought to circulate in the body up to about nine hours. Any Epsom salts left on the skin may continue to be absorbed as long as it is still on the skin, offering continuous ‘timed-released’ input into the bloodstream – like medications given through skin patches. Many people on a typical ‘modern’ processed diet are very deficient in magnesium as well, which Epsom salts also supply in a highly available form. Main effects of insufficient magnesium are hyperness, irritability, anxiety, and muscle twitching or spasms. So the salts may provide two-way assistance.

Want some more information? Check out the Epsom Salt Industry Council web site. They’ve got tons of information!