Epsom Salts in Your Bath
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Epsom Salts in Your Bath

Epsom salts, also known as Magnesium Sulfate (MgSO4), originated in a mineral spring located in Epsom, England and have been used for centuries. This inexpensive soaking solution can be used by people from 6 years of age and older. The only people that should not use Epsom salts are diabetics because of your skin's absorption properties. Available in almost any supermarket or drug store, this item should be in every medicine cabinet.

The most important thing to remember about Epsom salt bathing is that it can be exhausting because of its detoxification process. Please be sure you set a timer or have someone keep track of the time you keep while soaking. 20 minutes should be your maximum soaking time, no matter what the reason you are in this solution.

If you worked hard in the yard or at the gym, have a lot of bruises sustained while playing a sport, landing wrong during a walk, or a minor sprained ankle, one of the best ways to ease out those sore muscles is to soak yourself in the tub. Pour in one cup of Epsom salts under a warm, running tap. Soaking in Epsom salts can greatly reduce swelling. You can use just a bowl or tub for a foot, hand, or elbow.  Very slowly stretch or rotate the injured area, there's no rush, and you don't want to injure yourself any further! You should start feeling relief in about 5 minutes and that relief will last approximately 4 hours. You should be able to safely soak once every day. However, if you find yourself soaking more than three days in a row, you might have a serious muscular injury or arthritis. In that case, you may want to visit a physician. Remember to soak for only about 20 minutes.

If you have dry skin and have tried every bath oil under the sun, try Epsom salts! Try adding a cup of sesame oil and a half cup of sea salts to your Epsom salts and see what a difference it makes. You can use a soft bristled bathing brush to slough off the skin after 5-10 minutes, but don't scrub yourself too hard. Stress can cause dry skin, so try this additional tip: add several drops of Eucalyptus, Vanilla, or Lavender oil for a soothing aromatherapy effect.

Make your own custom bath therapy mixture using the following amounts of each ingredient:

  • 1 cup Epsom Salt
  • 1 cup sea salt
  • 10-20 drops of essential oil
  • add 8-10 drops of your favorite food coloring for a splash of fun

Shake up your mixture well, and store in a clear apothecary jar with a tight-fitting lid.

According to studies done at the McKinley Health Center, University of Illinois soaking in Epsom salts can greatly reduce the itching sensation of genital herpes and shingles. The Epsom Salt Council also has more information on other practical applications using Epsom salts.

Since using Epsom salts is a great way to detoxify your system, it can also be used as a relief to the symptoms of multiple X-rays and radiation chemotherapy. The warm water draws the toxins out of your system as well as your skin. Another benefit of using Epsom salts in the bath is that due to ionic action, your skins do not "prune" (wrinkle) as much as in plain bath water.

Epsom Salts are packaged in small pint-sized boxes, in 4 lb. (the size of a quart of milk) containers, and even up to 25 lb. bags. You can expect to spend $2.00 or less for the 4 lb. size.

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