Epsom salt baths are one of the common OLD SCHOOL remedies for treating minor aches and pains. However, there is a huge controversy among many regarding the effectiveness of this therapy. Do Epsom salt baths really work?
I have been using it most of my life and have found some amazing results, which I’m going to share with you all here. So, without any further ado, let’s explore if Epsom salt baths really work or not.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, was originally discovered in a town named Epson, located in Surrey, England. It is basically a chemical compound that’s made up of sulfur, magnesium, and oxygen.
Though it’s named as a salt, it’s completely a different type of compound than the common salts such as table salt.
The reason for which it’s called salt is that the chemical structure is similar to salt. Also, the appearance is similar to salt, which gets easily dissolved in water.
Epsom salt is commonly known as a bath salt for being widely used in baths. However, the taste of Epsom salt is totally different from table salt.
It is not suitable as an edible salt because the taste is distinctively bitter, and the nature is unpalatable. Yet, some people who have magnesium deficiency dissolve Epsom salt in water and drink it because of some health benefits associated with it.
The effectiveness of consuming Epsom salt is still not that well researched.
Why Take Epsom Salt Bath?
Many people believe in trying home remedies instead of taking medicines, and this is the main reason why Epsom salt is widely used for baths. As I’ve mentioned above, an Epsom salt bath can benefit those individuals who are suffering from inflammation, body aches, and minor pains.
Since Epsom salt dissolves in water, the magnesium and sulfates in it are considered to get absorbed into human skin as well. Overall, Epsom salt is easy to find, easy to use, and less expensive.
Here is an awesome video that expounds upon the therapeutic benefits of using Epsom salts:
The History of Epsom Salt
Epsom salt was produced for the first time by boiling the mineral water that popped up in the Epsom town. In 1618, a drought took place over there, and Henry Wicker, a local cow herder, went down to drink water when he found the taste bitter and acidic.
The water had a laxative effect on him, and as soon as it evaporated, he noticed a white residue. Following this discovery, Epsom salt has been widely used in that region to cure constipation and other diseases.
In 1755, Joseph Black, a physicist, and chemist, had some great experiments on the formation of magnesium sulfate. He suggested that magnesium sulfate can be used as an element to treat some common ailments.
Nowadays, Epsom salt can be easily found in limestone caves and mines. Hence, the chances of Epsom salt being obsolete is minimal even if the water from the Epsom walls gets limited.
How Epsom Salt Works
Though Epsom salt is most commonly used for baths, it is also consumed as a laxative or as a magnesium supplement. Some people also apply it to their skin as a cosmetic. As Epsom salt dissolves in water, it releases sulfate and magnesium ions. S
o, the concept is that magnesium and sulfate will be provided by Epsom salt when the particles will get absorbed in your skin. The magnesium and sulfate will improve your bodily functions, helping you to control pain and inflammation.
However, there is no proper evidence that the magnesium and sulfate from Epsom salt actually get absorbed in the human body through their skin.
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt Bath
Many healthcare professionals and users believe that Epsom salt can work as an alternative treatment when it comes to treating multiple health conditions. Here are some common health benefits of Epsom salt:
- Ensures Magnesium: As one of the most essential minerals, magnesium can improve the overall conditions of your heart and nervous system. Though there is no available evidence, Epsom salt bath can provide you with enough magnesium if you are suffering from a deficiency.
- Reduces Stress: Lower magnesium levels can affect stress to some extent, and hence, taking Epsom salt bath has been observed as a process of stress management.
- Promotes Sleep: Melatonin is a hormone that promotes sleep and helps you to maintain a proper sleep cycle. Epsom salt can help your body to produce enough melatonin.
- Cures Constipation: Epsom salt has been used for centuries to cure constipation in adults. Though consuming Epsom salt is the best way, taking a bath can also be beneficial.
- Recovers Pain: Many users claim that Epsom salt baths can hugely help them to combat physical pains. It is one of the biggest advantages of taking an Epsom salt bath.
- Reduces Swellings: Patients with diseases like arthritis and fibromyalgia have benefited from Epsom salt baths as they had magnesium deficiency.
- Increases Performance: Since an Epsom salt bath cures pain and inflammation, it can increase your overall performance and activities.
Where to Buy Epsom Salt from?
Epsom salt is easily available, and you can either buy it from your local grocery store or online. Epsom salt is also available in many drug stores. These are the places where you will find Epsom salt. Epsom salt falls into the category of pharmacy and cosmetic.
How to Make Epsom Salt Baths
Making an Epsom salt bath is much easier than it might seem. You just need two ingredients: Epsom salt and warm water. As a general rule, you need to use cups of Epsom salt in each gallon of warm water. The mixture will be slippery and may also dry your skin.
Hence, you can apply a moisturizer after taking the shower. Also, since you need to get accustomed to the solution first, you can make a lower concentration, which I’m going to suggest below.
Here are some suggestions on making lower concentrations of Epsom salt:
- For one week, mix 1 gallon of warm water with 1 cup (150 grams) of Epsom salt
- The second week, mix 1 gallon of warm water with 1.5 cups (300 grams) of Epsom salt
- Then, you can start using the solution of 1 gallon of warm water with 2 cups (300 grams) of Epsom salt
Before you take the bath, you need to soak the Epsom salt in warm water for at least 15 minutes. If your purpose of taking the bath is to cure your aches and pains, you need not use too hot water. It might worsen your pain and inflammation rather than reduce the symptoms.
There are some alternative ways of taking Epsom salt bath:
- You can create a detox bath
- You can take a foot soak
- You can apply the saltwater directly as a compress to cure pain
How Long Does It Take for Epsom Salt to Start Working?
Epsom salt starts to work after 30 minutes of taking the bath. However, if it doesn’t show you any results, you can wait up to 6 hours for it to start functioning. If you still don’t see any results, you can consider taking another bath the same day.
Here, you need to make sure that taking more than two showers daily is not recommended. Since Epsom salt is a natural ingredient, it may not show you any results overnight.
Hence, the best way to ensure a good result is to consistently take the bath for a few days. After that, you can expect its long-term benefits.
Side-Effects of Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt doesn’t contain any chemical substance and hence, is considered safe for adults. The chances of side effects from Epsom salt are negligible. However, some users have noticed a few side effects of the solution, which are mentioned below:
- Skin itching or irritation
- Hives, rash, and allergic reactions
- Skin infection
In case you see all these symptoms, stop taking an Epsom salt bath instantly.
Things to Know Before Taking Epsom Salt Bath
Here are a few things that you need to check before taking an Epsom salt bath:
- Make sure you do not have low blood pressure. Hot water can lower blood pressure further and hence, is not suitable for people who have already low blood pressure.
- Make sure you are above 18 years of age. Otherwise, you should not take an Epsom salt bath unless your doctor recommends it.
- Consult your doctor before taking an Epsom salt shower if you are pregnant or a nursing mother.
- If you are suffering from a serious health condition or a chronic disease, consult your doctor before taking an Epsom salt shower.
- Keep a moisturizer handy before taking the shower because it can make your skin dry.
- Never take an Epsom salt bath if you have an open injury because the salt can make the wound worse.
Do Epsom Salt Baths Really Work?
Here comes the most anticipated section of the whole article. Though there is no clear evidence of whether an Epsom salt bath can ensure any health benefit, it can give some amount of relaxation when you are feeling tired or stressed.
Studies have been conducted by many organizations and groups to prove that it actually works, those were based on questionnaires, and hence, the results are based on personal experiences and opinions. There has been no scientific evidence on the fact that Epsom salt bath really works for all adults.
If you take my opinion, Epsom salt bath has worked for me hugely, and I can suggest it to people who are suffering from pain, inflammation, and constipation. Though I cannot say whether it will work for you just as it has worked for my body, I can only share my personal experience. I started taking the bath by mixing the salt with warm water in my bathtub.
My purpose was to cure back and calf muscle pain that occurred as I exercised for long hours.
For the first week, I only felt relaxed, but there was seldom relief from my pain. After one month, I started to get results and continued with it. I took the bath for two months, though occasionally after the pain dissolved. Nowadays, I take the bath if only my pain occurs on some days.
I hope my opinion on whether Epsom salt really works will help you to get the best results from the process. However, make sure you consult your doctor before starting to take the bath even if you don’t have any serious health issues. Also, maintaining a healthy lifestyle alongside is essential if you want to make the most of it.