Friday, February 6, 2015

The Beauty and Benefits of Epsom Salt

Photo by Cynthia Maddox

Sarah was complaining for several months of leg pains. Of course, this is a fairly common complaint for children. Old folks called it growing pains. My Mama did and if you're from any where south of the Mason-Dixon your's did, too. The doctor explained it as expansion of the growth plates in the leg. Whatever the reasons, I vaguely recall the pain from my own past.

I remembered the remedy that Mama and all my great aunts suggested and bought a very large bag of Epsom Salts. I put about two cups in a tub of hot water and popped her into it. We did two baths a week and the pain disappeared. Once I stopped using the salt, the pain came back but not very quickly and when it did, we just did another bath and it left again. In the last three months the pains have all but disappeared. 

Long ago, Epsom Salts was virtually a cure-all and if you looked at some of the material on its uses, it would appear that it still is a miracle working substance. The high content of magnesium is the reason it works. Sitting in a tub of Epsom salt is like soaking in a magnesium bath that you absorb by osmosis - through your skin. It feels wonderful. The water has an interesting feel once the salt is dissolved and you're skin feels different afterward. There are other nutrients in the salt as well. 

My own doctor suggested Epsom salt baths for my fibromyalgia/RA pain. When I use it, I have less pain in my feet and legs. If I had a big enough tub, I'd soak up to my chin in it. My children think I need a hot tub but January soaks in the back yard are not appealing to me.  Still, I dream of a sauna with a hot tub. 

When looking for information about how much Epsom salts to use in a bath I ran across a website that seems to have all you need to know about it. Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits There are others but I just wanted the short version. Of course, they're selling their brand of salt but frankly, you can buy it at Walmart in large bags. I now have about an 8 lb bag under the sink. 

The site includes suggestions for use. I suspect you could create salt scrubs with Epsom salt. The large crystals are pretty and glitter in the light but they are fairly hard so you'd need a mortar and pestle to grind them into smaller pieces for scrubs. The benefits would be worth the extra work. 

Do remember not to use soap in the salt bath. The information I read indicates soap interferes with the action of the salt. This makes sense since soap leaves a residue on the body that would prevent absorption. I don't like tub baths so I usually just soak in the salt bath and get out. 

Sarah actually likes the salt baths now and ask for them. You should try it if you have any kind of muscle pain. 



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