Epsom salt is best known as a component of bath salts, but it offers a wide range of uses, from soothing sore muscles, to the benefit of health and improve a gardener's crops to household cleaning, beauty enhancement and more.
It was discovered in the 17th century, first distilled from water from a bitter saline spring in Epsom, Surrey, England.
What is Epsom salt?
Epsom salt is different from traditional salt in that it is actually a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, and is technically known as magnesium sulfate.
It's made up of tiny, colorless crystals that look like table salt, but that's actually a whole different thing, because table salt is made up of sodium chloride.
Magnesium sulfate is a mineral that many of us miss because levels have declined over the past three to four decades around the world.
The lack of this important nutrient in our body is due to a combination of issues including overgrowth of farmland which leaches essential minerals like magnesium and other trace minerals from the soil, overuse of prescription drugs , consumption of processed foods and fast food, and more.
All of these things take their toll, depleting our bodies of magnesium, which is one of the reasons Epsom salt can play an important role in improving health.
It is also a natural anti-inflammatory and exfoliator that can be used to treat muscle pain and dry skin. Soak in a hot bath with a cup of Epsom salt, to take advantage of its recognized therapeutic and healing properties, inside and out.
This article reveals twenty of the best ways to use your Epsom salt pot.
1. Relax your body
Epsom salts dissolved in hot water - like those from a Epsom salt bath - are easily absorbed by the skin where they will immediately act inside our body.
The magnesium ions separate from the Epsom salt molecules and begin to relieve stress by promoting the production of serotonin and reducing the effects of adrenaline.
Magnesium also plays a vital role in the production of energy in cells, helping us to feel invigorated without causing feelings of restlessness or anxiety.
To find out how to make your own Epsom salt bath and nine reasons why you should bathe in one today, read our recent article here.
2. Relieve pain and cramps
Epsom salts absorbed through the skin also work to relieve muscle tension, pain, and inflammation in the joints.
Soak in a warm Epsom salt bath to relieve tension headaches or soothe abdominal cramps. Tired and sore feet will also benefit from the therapeutic heat of an Epsom salt bath.
3. Muscle and nerve function
Besides relieving tension, pain and cramps, magnesium sulfate has several other positive effects on the human body.
It contributes to many enzymatic functions, helps regulate water retention in cells, and makes it easier for the body to use calcium to transmit chemical signals throughout the nervous system.
4. For arterial health
Epsom salts can help improve circulation and prevent serious cardiovascular disease by decreasing inflammation and protecting the elasticity of the arteries.
Healthier arteries mean less risk of blood clots, plaque buildup, and damage to artery walls.
Try soaking in an Epsom salt bath three to four times a week to reduce stress, lower blood pressure, and improve your cardiovascular health.
5. Regulate blood sugar
Magnesium and sulfate both help improve the body's ability to make and use insulin.
Taking Epsom salts regularly - by mouth or transdermally - can help regulate blood sugar levels, lower your risk of diabetes, and improve your overall daily energy level.
6. Relieves constipation
One of the most popular uses of Epsom salt is as a saline laxative. Dissolve a teaspoon of Epsom salts in a cup of lukewarm water and drink it.
Note that this remedy should not be used more than once a day.
If symptoms persist for more than a few days, it is always recommended to see a doctor.
7. Helps remove splinters
To dislodge a stubborn shine, simply soak the affected body part in lukewarm water and Epsom salts for a few minutes.
Magnesium sulfate will reduce inflammation around the wound and soften the glow, making it much easier to remove.
8. Soothe sprains and bruises
Anti-inflammatory Epsom salts can be used to relieve pain caused by sprains and bruises.
Just add two cups of salt to the hot water in your bath and release the pain.
9. Keep your feet healthy
It is common knowledge that soaking your feet in Epsom salts is good for relieving aches and pains.
But did you know that it can also help treat fungal infections of athlete's foot and toenails?
Simply add half a cup of Epsom salts to the hot water and soak your feet for as long as you want (or until the water turns cold) to relieve itching and burning and help heal feet faster.
(Further reading: Top 10 natural remedies for nail fungus)
10. Relieve the discomfort of gout
Add a few tablespoons of Epsom salts to hot water and soak the parts of the body affected by gout.
Magnesium sulfate quickly penetrates through the skin and into swollen, painful joints to help relieve pain and inflammation.
11. Exfoliate your skin
By rubbing a handful of Epsom salts on damp skin, you can easily remove dead cells, helping your skin look healthier and smoother.
Use this treatment on the hands, feet and everything in between.
12. Natural facial cleanser
The night before bed, mix a teaspoon of Epsom salts with your regular cleanser for an easy daily treatment or use this recipe for an exfoliating mask, compliments of preparenessmama.com:
Apply the mixture to the face for 15 minutes then rinse with lukewarm water for excellent clarifying skin care.
13. Dislodge blackheads
Use Epsom salts to remove dead skin and oil from your pores.
First, you'll want to exfoliate to remove any dead skin from the outside of blemishes.
Then mix a teaspoon of Epsom salts and four drops of iodine in half a cup of hot water.
Stir until the salts are completely dissolved and allow the mixture to cool until it is still hot, but not hot.
Massage the mixture into the blackhead affected skin, let it dry completely, then wash your face with lukewarm water and pat dry with a clean cloth.
(Further reading: 12 quick natural remedies for blackheads backed by science)
14. Remove the build-up of styling product
AT remove accumulation hairspray or other styling product for your hair, mix one cup each of Epsom salts and lemon juice in one gallon of water.
Cover and let the concoction sit for 24 hours before using.
Then simply pour into the hair and leave it on for about 15-20 minutes. Follow up with a wash and condition as usual.
15. Add volume to hair
To give your hair some body, try mixing all-natural equal parts, sulfate free deep conditioner and Epsom salts.
Heat the mixture to slightly above body temperature, then work through the hair. Leave on for 15 to 20 minutes then rinse.
Feel free to go through this hair treatment by waving your hair around your face (like the people in those TV commercials for chemical hair products) and remember: laughter is a great natural remedy for all kinds of things!
(Further reading: 28 best herbs for hair growth)
16. Wash pots and pans
Pour a small amount of Epsom salts into these really dirty dishes before rubbing them.
The abrasive texture of the salt crystals will help remove stuck-on food more easily without damaging your cookware.
17. Clean tiles and grout
Mix equal parts Epsom salts and liquid dish detergent to create a super effective product tile and grout cleaner.
Apply this mixture to dirty or stained surfaces in the bathroom, kitchen or even outdoors and let it soak in for a minute or two.
Then rub the loose dirt and rinse.
18. As hand washing
Mix equal parts Epsom salts and baby oil to create a hydrating hand cleanser.
Store this mixture in bottles next to any sinks around your house and use regularly to keep hands soft and clean.
19. Eliminate detergent build-up
Over time, laundry detergent and other contaminants can build up inside machines.
Use Epsom salts to remove those unwanted dirt and keep your washer running more efficiently.
Fill your empty washing machine with hot water, add a quart of clear vinegar and a cup of Epsom salt, let the machine agitate for about a minute, then stop the cycle and let the solution soak for about an hour .
20. In the garden
Magnesium sulfate can be used to fertilize your plants, green your lawn, kill unwanted pests, and prevent slugs, among other things.
Buy Epsom Salt
Looking to buy a bag of Epsom salt to use in your home? Here are four great options available on Amazon.
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Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better alimentation is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases ( such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease ), and longevity.
Healthy children learn better. People with adequate alimentation are more productive and can create opportunities to gradually break the cycles of poverty and hunger.
Malnutrition, in every form, presents significant threats to human health. Today the world faces a double burden of malnutrition that includes both undernutrition and overweight, especially in low- and middle-income countries.
WHO is providing scientific advice and decision-making tools that can help countries take activation to address all forms of malnutrition to support health and wellbeing for all, at all ages.
This fact file explores the risks posed by all forms of malnutrition, starting from the earliest stages of development, and the responses that the health system can give directly and through its influence on other sectors, particularly the food system.
It’s easy to get confused when it comes to health and alimentation. Even qualified experts often seem to hold opposing opinions. Yet, despite all the disagreements, a number of wellness tips are well supported by research. Here are 27 health and alimentation tips that are actually based on good science.
The effective management of food intake and alimentation are both key to good health. Smart alimentation and food choices can help prevent disease. Eating the right foods can help your body cope more successfully with an ongoing illness. Understanding good alimentation and paying attention to what you eat can help you maintain or improve your health.
Food and alimentation are the way that we get fioul, providing energy for our bodies. We need to replace nutrients in our bodies with a new supply every day. Water is an important component of nutrition. Fats, proteins, and carbohydrates are all required. Maintaining key vitamins and minerals are also important to maintaining good health. For pregnant women and adults over 50, vitamins such as vitamin D and minerals such as calcium and iron are important to consider when choosing foods to eat, as well as possible dietary supplements.
A saine diet includes a lot of natural foods. A sizeable portion of a healthy diet should consist of fruits and vegetables, especially ones that are red, orange, or dark green. Whole grains, such as whole wheat and brown rice, should also play a part in your diet. For adults, dairy products should be non-fat or low-fat. Protein can consist of lean meat and poultry, seafood, eggs, beans, legumes, and soy products such as tofu, as well as unsalted seeds and nuts.
Good alimentation also involves avoiding certain kinds of foods. Sodium is used heavily in processed foods and is dangerous for people with high blood pressure. The USDA advises adults to consume less than 300 milligrams ( mg ) per day of cholesterol ( found in meat and full-fat dairy products among others ). Fried food, solid fats, and trans fats found in margarine and processed foods can be harmful to heart health. Refined céréales ( white flour, white rice ) and refined sugar ( table sugar, high fructose corn syrup ) are also bad for long-term health, especially in people with diabetes. Alcohol can be dangerous to health in amounts more than one serving per day for a woman and two per day for a guy.
Nutrition is a critical part of health and development. Better nutrition is related to improved infant, child and maternal health, stronger immune systems, safer pregnancy and childbirth, lower risk of non-communicable diseases ( such as diabetes and cardiovascular disease ), and longevity.
There are many high-quality, free guidelines available for healthy eating plans that give more details on portion size, total calorie consumption, what to eat more of, and what to eat less of to get healthy and stay that way.
Even if you are getting enough to eat, if you are not eating a balanced diet, you may still be at risk for certain nutritional deficiencies. Also, you may have nutritional deficiencies due to certain health or life conditions, such as pregnancy, or certain medications you may be taking, such as high blood pressure medications. People who have had intestinal diseases or had sections of intestines removed due to disease or weight loss surgery also may be at risk for vitamin deficiencies. Alcoholics are also at high risk of having nutritional deficiencies.
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Vitamin D deficiency may affect the health of your bones, making it difficult for you to absorb and use calcium ( another mineral that you may not be getting enough of ). Although you can get vitamin D by going out in the sun, many people with concerns about skin cancer may end up with low levels of vitamin D by not getting enough sun.