The Surprising Benefits of Epsom Salt
Here at the Bath Fairy, we are always looking for new ingredients to add to our products; especially those with positive health benefits.
With integrative medical specialists often recommending Epsom salt for its physical and mental health benefits, we just had to add it to our products, and create some of our own!
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom Salt; otherwise known as magnesium sulfate, is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It gets its name from ‘Epsom’; a town in Surrey, England, where Henry Wicker, a local cowherd first discovered it. He noticed the ‘bitter water’ in his wells had remarkable healing properties, after the wounds on the animals that waded through, healed more quickly.
So what are the benefits?
Most of the reported benefits of Epsom salt are attributed to its magnesium; a mineral that most people do not get enough of. Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation, helping muscle and nerve function, and preventing artery hardening. When Epsom salt is dissolved in water, it releases magnesium and sulphate ions, allowing the body to absorb the minerals through the skin, serving important bodily functions. The sulphates help to improve the absorption of nutrients, easing migraines, and flushing out toxins.
1. Helps muscles and nerves function properly
Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring healthy functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.
2. Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots
Epsom salt is believed to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots, and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.
3. Eliminates toxins from the body
The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Adding Epsom salt to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it.
4. Reduces Stress
Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. The magnesium in the salt helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy.
5. Promotes Sleep
Magnesium ions help you relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. It also helps your brain produce neurotransmitters that induce sleep and helps in the production of melatonin; a hormone that promotes relaxation.
6. Helps with Constipation
Numerous studies have revealed that Epsom salt can be used to treat constipation. It appears to be helpful because it draws water into your colon, promoting bowel movements. Most often, magnesium is taken orally to treat constipation, usually in the form of magnesium citrate or magnesium hydroxide. However, an epsom salt bath is also said to be effective, with the FDA listing it as an approved laxative.
7. Relieves pain and muscle cramps
It is thought that Epsom salt can reduce muscle soreness and relieve cramps, which is why it is popular in exercise recovery. The magnesium helps your body utilise its glucose and lactic acid, relieving inflammation and easing pain.