Taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath offers health benefits that have led many people for years to make soaking in the tub a regular routine. Epsom salt baths are fantastic for relaxing and detoxing your body and getting the health benefits of magnesium, but if you don’t have time to take a bath, you can get the same benefits by doing an Epsom salt foot soak.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salts are a naturally occurring pure mineral compounds made of sulfate and magnesium. They were named after a saline spring in Surrey, England, where they were first discovered.Advertisement
There are many extraordinary uses for Epsom salt, however it is most commonly added to a hot bath or foot soak where the salt penetrates into the skin to reduce stress, detox the body and even promote weight loss.
Advocates or using Epsom salt claim that the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt are natural substances that help in many bodily functions, including the removal of toxins, such as metabolic wastes and pollutants. However there is still little scientific research regarding the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt.
Epsom Salt Bath Benefits
When Epsom salt is added to a hot bath, magnesium and sulfate are broken down and readily absorbed through the skin where they penetrate into the blood stream. Through a process called reverse osmosis, Epsom salt pulls harmful toxins out of the body through the skin and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter.
Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body so make sure you are aware of the hidden warning signs of low magnesium levels. Magnesium supports nerve and muscle functions, reduces inflammation, and it improves circulation throughout the body.
Sulfates are needed to maintain and build healthy joints as well as nervous and skin tissue.
The Benefits of Epsom Salt Foot Bath
Using Epsom salt foot soaks regularly can improve athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, sprains, gout, muscle soreness and bruises. It may also be able to restore immunity as it pulls out harmful toxins from the body and reduces inflammation.
Other benefits of Epsom salt baths include relief from:
- Stiff joints and tight muscles
- Arthritis pain and swelling
- Soreness from diarrhea
- Swollen and tired feet
- Complications from sunburn
- Ingrown toenails
- Insulin sensitivity
- Poor circulation
Epsom Salt Bath Recipe
If you’re suffering from chronic pain, migraines, stress or other general aches, you may want to hop in the tub for some relaxation time.
Try this ultimate Epsom salt detox bath recipe for all your general care needs:Advertisement
- 1-2 cups of Epsom salt (you can change the amount according to your body weight – read the next section below)
- 10-20 drops of lavender essential oil (optional)
- 1 cup of baking soda (optional)
- 1/3 cup of apple cider vinegar (optional)
Fill the bathtub up with warm water. Do not make the water so hot that you will not be able to sit in it.
Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt directly in the water and soak for approximately 15-20 minutes up to three times per week. Don’t use Epsom salt in a hot tub, whirlpool, or other tub with jets unless the manufacturer says it’s okay.
Some sources recommend soaking in Epsom salt bath for about 40 minutes in order to allow your body time to get rid of the toxins and fully absorb the magnesium, while other sources recommend soaking for no more than 30 minutes. In any case, start gradually and see how you feel.
Essential oils in your Epsom salt bath
You can also add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil such as eucalyptus or lavender to the bath for extra relaxation and medicinal benefits.
It’s recommended to dissolve the essential oils with a base carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba, apricot kernel or evening primrose before adding them to the bath water. These carrier oils nourish and invigorate the skin as well. Mix in your bath a few drops of essential oil in one tablespoon of base oil. You can learn more about essential oils and their uses in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy.Advertisement
Apple cider vinegar in your Epsom salt bath
For added detoxification and benefits add apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is an excellent skin softener and rebalances your skin’s pH. It’s also an effective natural cure if you’re suffering from a fungal or microbial infection, due to its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. Add in 1/3 cup of ACV.
Baking soda in your Epsom salt bath
Some people like to add 1 cup of baking soda to their Epsom salt bath due to its fantastic cleansing ability as well as anti-fungal properties. Baking soda also leaves the skin very soft and helps soothe irritated skin.
Be sure to properly hydrate with water as the combination of Epsom salts and warm water will pull a lot of toxins from the body. Standing up too quickly after the bath may result in dizziness. You may want to sip on water with lemon throughout the duration of your Epsom salt bath to help support the detoxification process while also staying hydrated.
How Much Epsom Salt to Use According to Your Weight
I found a few references claiming that the quantity of Epsom salt you use should correlate with your body weight.
Here are the quantities of Epsom salt to use in your bath according to your weight:
- Children under 60 lbs (27 Kg): ½ cup to a standard size bath
- Individuals between 60-100 lbs (27 kg- 45 kg): 1 cup
- Individuals between 100-150 lbs (45 kg – 68 kg): 1½ cups
- Individuals over 150 lbs (68 kg): 2 cups
Epsom Salt Foot Soak Benefits
Your foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 120 ligaments, muscles and nerves. With so many opportunities to experience pain, it is no wonder that approximately 75 percent of people in the United States are plagued with foot pain.
A foot soak with Epsom salt pulls toxins from the body while reducing inflammation and body aches. If you suffer from painful bunions, corns and calluses, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, flat feet or tarsal tunnel syndrome, consider taking a warm Epsom salt foot bath two or three times per week.
Epsom Salt Foot Bath Recipe
Fill up a large bucket with hot water. Add ½ cup Epsom salt to the bucket and soak feet for 10 minutes at a time. Be sure to take foot baths even when your feet are not in pain to reduce the likelihood of sore feet later.
Other Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits
You do not need to soak in a tub to experience the benefits of Epsom salts. Use them to whiten your teeth and improve mouth health by brushing your teeth or gargling with a mixture of Epsom salt and water.
Because of their rough exterior, Epsom salts make excellent exfoliators. Combine Epsom salts with olive oil or jojoba oil and scrub on your face, hands or body. Rinse with warm water and you should experience softer skin, improved absorption of facial products afterwards, and removal of blackheads.
You can also combine Epsom salt with your natural conditioner to thicken hair, add volume, soften hair or treat a dry scalp.
Internally, Epsom salt is a laxative that can help promote regularity. It is not recommended that you take Epsom salts internally often. Check with your doctor before using it to treat constipation. For more information read my article about the best natural laxatives.
As a cleanser, Epsom salts can be used to get rid of soap scum on tiles. You can also use it to whiten your floors, keep raccoons out of your garage and even fertilize your lawn! For recipes and more details, read the article about the most extraordinary uses of Epsom salt.
Where to Buy Epsom Salt
You can buy Epsom salt in most pharmacies and health stores. You can also find it in Amazon here.
Did you know that Epsom salts can be used to help you lose weight?
Most of us wouldn’t mind relaxing in a tub full of warm water and coming out a few pounds lighter. Epsom salt can be used to help you lose weight.
A research published by British biochemist Rosemary Waring found that blood levels of magnesium and sulfate rise after taking an Epsom bath. These minerals can help get rid of toxins, heal skin issues and de-stress, all of which help you lose weight!