Epsom salt is vastly underrated. Most of us associate it with a relaxing bath, but did you know that epsom salts have all sorts of amazing health benefits—as well as beauty, household and gardening-related uses?
Epsom salt has been used for hundreds of years as a natural remedy for a number of ailments. Unlike other ‘salts’, Epsom salt has beneficial properties that can soothe the body, mind and soul.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. 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 helping to prevent artery hardening. Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches.
Why Epsom Salt Baths?
Epsom salt baths are the easiest way to enjoy the health benefits of magnesium and sulfate, as both minerals are readily absorbed through the skin. After a deep massage treatment, we often give our clients a packet of Epsom salts because it draws the lactic acid out of the body, reducing achiness. For the same reason, these baths are great after a big workout or long run.
The key is to use water that’s as hot as you can bear (unless you’re pregnant) and at least one cup of Epsom salt. Another important tip: drink two glasses of water while you’re in the tub to assist in the flushing process.
Benefits of Epsom Salts
There are many reasons why Soma Studio recommends Epsom salt baths to our clients. Some of the countless health benefits include:
- Relaxing the nervous system
- Drawing toxins from the body
- Soothing back pain & aching bodies
- Easing muscle strain
- Reducing swelling & inflammation
- Alleviating skin problems
- Treating colds and congestion
- Relieving symptoms of athlete’s foot
It’s also a natural emollient, exfoliator and hair volumizer. Around the house and garden, Epsom salt can be used to soften towels, clean bathroom tiles, deter slugs, fertilize plants and keep your lawn green.
Where to Find Epsom Salts in Vancouver
Any pharmacy such as Shopper’s Drug Mart or London Drugs should carry plain Epsom salt. If you become a convert, you can find it in bulk at Costco and select stores.
To up the relaxation ante, try naturally scented bath salts such as lavender, mandarin, sandalwood or ylang-ylang. These can be found at bath and body care stores such as Escents Aromatherapy – or it’s easy to make your own.