What Are the Health Benefits of Soaking in an Epsom Salt Bath?

  • Medical Reviewer: Dany Paul Baby, MD
Medically Reviewed on 6/17/2022

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt made from a combination of sulfate and magnesium in rock formations. The health benefits of soaking in an Epsom salt bath include increased relaxation and reduced muscle pain and inflammation.
Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt made from a combination of sulfate and magnesium in rock formations. The health benefits of soaking in an Epsom salt bath include increased relaxation and reduced muscle pain and inflammation.

Anytime you are in search of an old fashion remedy for many medical annoyances, Epsom salt is always brought up in the conversation. Epsom salt is a popular universal remedy for a lot of ailments. It is used for a variety of complaints from stress to soreness. It is also affordable and easy to find.  

Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt. It is a combination of sulfate and magnesium in rock formations. It is named for the town of Epsom, which is located near London, England. This is where the reported discovery of the salt occurred 400 years ago. 

It does somewhat look like table salt, but it has a bitter taste and should not be eaten. Usually, it is dissolved in a bath for therapeutic use. It is available as a powder, suspension, crystal, spray, and foam.

It is so useful because it is an inexpensive, safe, and readily available form of magnesium and sulfur, which the body needs to function. However, the majority of Americans do not get enough of either in their daily intake, which can become the cause of a lot of health issues.  

Magnesium regulates the function of over 300 body enzymes, and a lack of magnesium can cause problems with hyperactivity, heart problems, high blood pressure, and more. 

Sulfate is useful in the flushing of toxins from the body. It is important for joint, skin, and bone health. 

How does Epsom salt work?

Researchers and those who use integrative medicine appreciate the fact that magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin, so Epsom salt baths are simple, safe, and easily increase levels of essential minerals in the body. An Epsom salt bath can be made by dissolving a cup or two of salt in warm bath water. 

Athletes like the ability of Epsom salt to ease joint and muscle pain. It can be used as an exfoliant and cuticle softener in beauty regimens and has uses in crafting and gardening as well.

What are the benefits of Epsom salt?

Though there isn’t much scientific data to support some claims, the healing powers of Epsom salt are widely reported and traditionally passed down. Usually, it is dissolved and the mineral content reaps the benefits.

Relief of muscle pain: Epsom salt has been used for the relaxation of muscles, and pain relief of the neck, back, shoulders, and head. Resting your head in Epsom salt helps with headaches or migraines. It can also help to relieve tension after a vigorous workout. 

Relief of stress: Many feel that the properties of the Epsom salt help to relieve stress, depression, and anxiety. It can also be a mood stabilizer. Many believe that the ingredients increase serotonin, which causes relaxation and happiness production in the brain. 

Reduction of inflammation: Many experts agree that Epsom salt is beneficial in reducing inflammation of the organs. This could aid in the improvement of digestion and bowel movements. This could also aid in the reduction of cardiovascular disease.  

How is Epsom salt taken internally?

People who use Epsom salt without a prescription may like the ability to use it as a laxative. For use, the powder should be dissolved in 8 ounces of water and added to drops of lemon juice to reduce the bitter taste. It should be drunk at least two hours before or after other medications. 

For constipation:

  • Adults and children over 12 should take 2 – 6 level teaspoons a day as one dose or divided into two. Dissolve the powder in 8 oz of water. If taken as divided doses, separate them by 4 hours. Use no more than 2 doses a day.  

Where does Epsom salt come from?

Previously known as epsomite, the Epsom salt name comes from the town of Epsom, an English town where it was found bubbling from an underground spring. Cow herder Henry Wicker discovered the spring in the 1600s when his cows refused to drink from the water spring. He soon found that wading through it, though, caused the cows' wounds to heal quicker. People began to talk about it, and that was how the Epsom salt use tradition began and led to the long list of potential benefits enjoyed today. 

Are there any harmful effects of Epsom salt?

Usually, there aren’t many side effects to Epsom salt, but salt baths are not recommended for people with:

  • Open wounds
  • Skin infections
  • Severe burns
  • Severe swelling

Drinking Epsom salt can cause side effects like diarrhea, especially when used as a detox. Moreover, there are not many studies that show that ingesting Epsom salt is particularly safe or beneficial. Swallowing it could potentially lead to rapid and exaggerated changes in digestion and bowels. This could eventually lead to severe dehydration and discomfort.  

The particular rate of incidence is not known, but misuse could lead to:

Medical attention is not typically needed. Side effects could go away as your body adjusts to the Epsom salt. 

Please seek medical attention if any symptoms persist or worsen.  


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Medically Reviewed on 6/17/2022

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