Epsom Salts - Surprising Health & Beauty Benefits You Should Know

Epsom salts are often my number one recommendation for anyone wanting to include more natural remedies in their life. Not only are they inexpensive, they’re easy to use and offer numerous health and beauty benefits. They can improve magnesium deficiency while helping us to relax and detox at the same time. Espom salts are a must-have in every natural home!


The Salt with Many Uses

Epsom salts were discovered in a saline spring in Epsom, Surrey, in 1618, when a farmer tested water that his cattle refused to drink. It was bitter, and when the water dried it left behind crystals that were found to be an effective laxative. Initially, people travelled from far and wide to drink the water from the area, and Epsom became known as a spa resort. Epsom salts were subsequently distilled from the water. The salts were used as a laxative for the next three hundred and fifty years. Today these salts are mined.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Epsom Salt

Technically hydrated magnesium sulphates, Epsom salts consist of a mineral compound of sulphate and magnesium, both of which are easily absorbed into your bloodstream through your skin. 

Composed of colorless crystals, Epsom salts look like table salt. They are inexpensive and are available at any drug store. The product is easy to store. You need only ensure that they are kept at room temperature in a dry place to prevent clogging.

Although there is little research into the effectiveness of Epsom salts, it has been used for decades as a home remedy for many ailments. You can use them as an organic replacement for many garden products, in the home, and for health and beauty applications. The greatest benefit of these salts is accomplished by adding them to warm water and using this mix as a body soak. This warm salt bath allows the magnesium and sulphates to pass from the water into your bloodstream while drawing salts and toxins from your body.

Why Magnesium?

Magnesium plays an essential part in the operation of more than three hundred and twenty-five enzymes in the human body. It allows the muscles and nervous system to function properly. It improves the flow of blood through the body, allowing the tissues to be more efficiently oxygenated. It reduces inflammation and helps detoxify the body.

The overuse of prescription drugs or a diet of over processed and fast foods, and high sugar, alcohol or caffeine consumption can cause magnesium deficiency. The modern diet generally does not include an adequate supply of magnesium. A lack of magnesium can cause a variety of health problems that include heart disease, strokes, chronic fatigue syndrome, osteoporosis, arteritis and digestive problems.

The Benefits of Sulphates

Sulphate is essential for healthy skin, nails, hair and joints. It flushes the body of environmental toxins, and it stimulates the pancreas to release enzymes for the digestion of food. It has anti-bacterial, anti-fungal and antiviral properties.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Skin

Photo by zulmaury saavedra

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Nails

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Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Hair

Photo by davide ragusa

Uses and Benefits of Epsom Salts

Use Epsom salts to improve your health, to relieve aches and pains, to clean your home and to rejuvenate your garden. The magnesium in the salts helps enzymes in the body to work effectively. It can regulate fluid retention and it facilitates the use of calcium in the transmission of neural messages throughout the nervous system.

Health Benefits of Epsom Salts

A twenty-minute soak in a tub of warm water containing one or two cups of Epsom salts will benefit you in a number of ways. Don’t be tempted to make the water too hot. Throw the salts under the running taps to help with the dilution.

Include a few drops of lavender essential oil for added luxury and aroma or tea tree oil to nourish skin and hair. Do not use soap after the soak and relax for an hour or two afterwards, unless you suffer from arthritis in which case you should keep moving.

Indulge in an Epsom salt soak several times per week to:

  • Relieve muscular aches and pains
  • Reduce stress
  • Relieve migraines
  • Relieve joint pain caused by arthritis or other conditions
  • Improve your cardiovascular system – magnesium regulates the heartbeat and reduces blood pressure. It can also reduce the presence of clots in the bloodstream and prevent hardening of the arteries.
  • Improve sleep – relax in a bath containing Epsom salts half an hour before bedtime to improve sleep.
Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Bath

photo by karla alexander

Use Epsom salts for the relief of several uncomfortable or painful conditions:

  • Relieve the discomfort of styes or conjunctivitis – Make an eyewash by placing one teaspoon of Epsom salts into a cup of hot water. For conjunctivitis relief place a soaked washcloth over the closed eyelids; for styes use as an eyewash. Rinse with cold water.
  • Remove splinters by placing Epsom salts on a plaster and then leaving it in place for a day. Make sure that the salt is in contact with the splinter, which should come out easily at the end of the day.
  • Relieve gout – soak the affected area in a basin of hot water containing two to three teaspoons of Epsom salts.
  • Relieve itchiness or sunburn by the using a tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed with half a cup of cold water, and spray onto the affected area.
  • Treat insect bites and stings – soak the area in a tablespoon of Epsom salts mixed in a cup of warm water for twenty minutes.
  • Retard the development of bruises by using a localized compress.
  • Relieve constipation - Epsom salts are an FDA approved laxative. Follow the instructions on the packaging for internal use.

Claims that Epsom salts have antibacterial and antifungal properties, are not backed by research, but Epsom salts have been known to reduce the symptoms of Athlete’s Foot and toenail fungus. Simply soak the feet in a basin of hot water dosed with a handful of Epsom salts for twenty minutes, twice a day.

Watch the clip below to learn about more of the benefits of Epsom salts:

Beauty Benefits

Epsom salts should form an important part of your beauty toolbox. Epsom salts will leave your skin feeling soft and supple, unlike other salts that dehydrate the skin. Epsom salts will benefit both your hair and your body.

Ideas for Hair and Body:

  • Exfoliate your body - Make a shower paste by mixing Epsom salts with 1/4 cup of olive oil and use as a scrub, or reduce rough patches on your body by rubbing Epsom salts onto wet skin. Use this scrub before self-tan treatment to ensure that you achieve a smooth, natural finish. 
  • Relieve with chapped lips - Make a lip scrub by mixing Epsom salts in petroleum jelly.
  • Gently cleanse and exfoliate the face – Mix 1/2 teaspoon of Epsom salts into cleansing cream to make a deep cleansing exfoliating lotion. Apply to the face and then rinse off, and moisturize. The minerals will draw the impurities from your skin while the exfoliation removes dead skin cells.
  • Remove blackheads – exfoliate to remove dead skin. Mix 4 drops of iodine and 1 teaspoon of Epsom salts in 1/2 cup of hot water. Allow to cool. When warm, massage into the affected area. When the mask dries, rinse off with warm water and pat dry.
  • Increase your hair volume by mixing equal parts of conditioner with Epsom salts, warm it up and massage the warm mixture into your hair. Rinse off after twenty minutes.
  • Relief for Itchy scalp - make a paste of Epsom salts and conditioner and massage into the scalp.
  • Improve greasy hair by adding a little to your shampoo.
  • Remove hair spray build-up by washing your hair with a cleanser made from a gallon of water mixed with 1 cup of Epsom salts and 1 cup of lemon juice.
  • Deodorize your feet by soaking them for ten minutes in a basin of warm water containing 1/2 cup of Epsom salts. This is also great for aching feet.
  • Make a gentle hand wash – mix Epsom salts with baby oil in equal parts.

Find beauty solutions using Epsom salt in the video below:

Home Benefits

Epsom salt is a natural product which can replace harmful chemicals in our homes 

  • Clean burnt food from pots and pans by making a paste of Epsom salts and warm water. Scrub the pots and then rinse.
  • Clean grout – mix equal parts of dish washing liquid with Epsom salts and use as a scrub to clean grout. Allow the mixture to soak for two minutes before rubbing clean and rinsing.
  • Clean your washing machine – over time detergents, dirt, mildew and bacteria tend to build up in the washing machine and can result in unpleasant odors. To clean the machine, mix a cup of Epsom salts with a quart of vinegar. Add to the machine and run it on a hot cycle.
  • Arts and crafts – use the shiny crystals for making DIY Christmas cards, Christmas decorations or for frosting the windows. To frost windows, mix a cup of Epsom salts with 3 tablespoons of dishwashing liquid and mix into a thin paste with water. Apply with a sponge.
  • Keep raccoons away by sprinkling some salts around the trash cans to keep raccoons away.
  • Regenerate your failing battery – make a paste by mixing Epsom salts with warm water and spread onto the battery posts.
  • Make a fabric softener by mixing twenty drops of essential oils with four cups of Epsom salts and 1/2 cup baking soda. Add to the machine at the beginning of the cycle.

Garden Benefits

Epsom salt is a great product for the avid gardener. Used as a fertilizer it can change your garden to a lush, green place with beautiful blooms and sweet and healthy fruits.

Plants require magnesium to produce chlorophyll, and to absorb the sulphur, phosphorous and nitrogen necessary for healthy leaves and fruit. They require sulphur to produce enzymes, amino acids and vitamins.

While some plants can manage on fairly low magnesium levels, roses, peppers and tomatoes, in particular, fail to thrive in soil low in magnesium. Because these Epsom salts are water soluble plants can easily access the salts and they don't build up in the soil like other fertilizers.

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Roses

photo by alex blăjan

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Tomatoes

photo by markus spiske

Pure Health HQ - Guide to Epsom Salts - Peppers

hoto by foodism360

Use Epsom Salt in the Garden to:

  • Transfer plants by sprinkling a little Epsom salts into the plant holes when transferring plants from one bed to another or from one pot to another. The plant will benefit from direct contact with the salts.
  • Rejuvenate failing plants – plants that are magnesium deficient will start to turn yellow or may have unsightly curling leaves. The fruit they produce is generally not sweet. Sprinkle a teaspoon (per foot of height) around the plants to help them to achieve greener leaves.
  • Deter pests – sprinkle onto patios and driveways to repel slugs and snails.
  • Improve yields of peppers by spraying the plants when they bloom, and again ten days later, with one teaspoon of Epsom salts in one gallon of water.
  • Improve tomato yields – mix one tablespoon of salts per foot of plant height diluted in water and spray plants.
  • Achieve a green lawn by adding two tablespoons of Epsom salts to one gallon of water and spray the lawn.
  • Grow healthy pot-plants – mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with one gallon of water, and use it to water the plants once a month. This treatment can be particularly useful for plants that have been potted for a while as salts can build up in the soil around the roots and Epsom salts can help to clear this natural salt build up
  • Grow a beautiful rose garden – Epsom salts are great in a rose garden. They help to increase the number and the size of the blossoms on the rose bush and increase the number of shoots growing from the base increasing the size of the bush. Increases in the production of chlorophyll will translate into greener foliage. Put about 1/2 cup of salts in the soil in the spring before the appearance of buds and another 1/2 cup before the leaves fall. Spray with one teaspoon per gallon of water before the leaves open.

Watch this video for information on how to improve your tomato crop with Epsom salts:

Side Effects and Precautions with Epsom Salts

  • Epsom salt baths are not recommended for pregnant women. 
  • Do not put open wounds into an Epsom salt soak.
  • Drink fluids before climbing into an Epsom salt soak to prevent dehydration and to increase the level of detoxification.
  • If you suffer from cardiovascular disease you should consult your physician before embarking on a course of Epsom salt detoxifications.
  • Follow the usage instructions. Do not overdose, as this can have serious implications for your health.
  • If constipation is accompanied by vomiting, stomach ache or nausea, Epsom salts should not be taken without seeking a doctor’s advice.
  • Taken internally, Epsom salts can impede the absorption of medications such as antibiotics, so medications should not be taken during the two hours on either side of dosing with Epsom salts.
  • Epsom salts can cause side effects such as diarrhea, nausea and stomach ache. They can also cause an allergic reaction.

Epsom Salts - Not Just a Soak

For hundreds of years people have enjoyed the benefits of Epsom salts and today the product still has a huge following of staunch supporters. Epsom salts have many uses beyond just a relaxing warm soak. Most of the benefits are derived from the magnesium that is released when it is dissolved in water. Every household can benefit from the purchase of this inexpensive but versatile natural product. Use it in the garden, the kitchen, or for health and beauty benefits.