Epsom Salts – Wellness and Goodness in a Milk Carton
Epsom salts is a pure and natural mineral found in our mother’s earth. It’s been successfully used for hundreds of years for many ailments and health maladies. What’s not to love about it’s healing properties!
If you haven’t been using this product, you’re missing out because there are so many unexpected and good ways to use it!
This salt is a truly mystical mineral. Before it was discovered, people regularly sought out rich mineral springs that were known to have miraculous healing properties. By the 1600’s the Epsom mineral springs became even more popular with the establishment of spas. One such individual that profited on the spring was a naturalist, Nehemiah Grew (1628-1711). He coined the term and named the mineral after a nearby town called Epsom, in Surrey England.
What is Epsom Salt?
Although Epsom salt looks like a salt and tastes like a bitter salt, it is not actually a salt. It is instead a mineral formed by nature in hot springs, that are rich in magnesium and sulfur, or magnesium sulfate. In small percentages, it also contains amounts of naturalized chloride, boron, and iron.
In its unadulterated state, magnesium sulfate is called anhydrous magnesium sulfate, meaning it has no water. It is better known in chemistry circles as heptahydrite or epsomite and is one of the only soluble sulfur minerals on earth. The ES you use at home has been slightly altered to become a useable product.
Since sulfate and magnesium are both readily absorbed through the skin, it’s an ideal solution for the human body. Magnesium regulates the activity of hundreds of active enzymes, increases muscle and nerve function, reduces inflammation, and prevents hardening of the arteries. Sulfates flush toxins, improve the absorption of nutrients, and eases pains of all kinds.
Where Does it Come From?
Epsom salts is found on limestone cave walls and on the timbers and walls of numerous in sulfide, coal, and metal mines around the globe. It can also be found in deposits from hot springs and volcanoes such as on Mt. Vesuvius in Italy. Epsomite forms large sedimentary beds found in some astonishing marine salt deposits in South Africa. It is also naturally occurring in the desert of Central Australia, the Sahara Desert of Africa, and the Atacama Desert of Chile.
In the United States, it can be found on lake beds on Kruger Mountain, in Washington; the Kalkar quarry, in California; the White Caps mine, in Nevada; the Carlsbad Caverns, in New Mexico; the Majuba Hills mine, in Nevada; and in Bisbee, Arizona.
Epsom salt is usually sold in thick milk carton-like containers, which prevents moisture from seeping into it. If it gets too moist, it can glob together and may be hard to break apart. For that reason, it’s best to store it away from sources of constant moisture, such as in a closet or food pantry. It has a shelf life of four to five years and stores well under all conditions except for high humidity. It has an neutral - alkaline pH of 6.6-7.9, which means your body will love it!
Epsom Salts - How to Use It to Improve Well Being
To soothe sore muscles, cramps, aches, or strains; to heal cuts, wounds, blisters, rashes, or sores; to calm cough or congestion, or to relieve pain of many sorts, including headaches, use this salt as a bath.
Mix 2 cups of Epsom salts in a warm bath and soak in the solution for a while. Since Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin, it does a world of good for most any type of problem or discomfort. It can also be used to relax bronchial problems, such as asthma.
*Tip - Light a couple of candles in the bathroom to make the experience even more relaxing!
If you don’t have a bathtub in your home, you can also make a hot compress by adding one cup of the salt into a large pan of slightly hot water and dipping a washcloth into it. Hold onto the affected area until it cools and repeat the process. If the mixture gets too cool, heat it up in the microwave, which should not destroy/alter its contents.
Too soothe aching feet, mix 1/2 cup of Epsom salt in a small tub/bucket of warm water. Adding essential oils like rosemary or lavender can further extend the healing properties. It will soften rough skin/cracked heels and can neutralize any foot odor issues you might have.
To exfoliate the skin, mix 2 cups Epsom salts into warm bath water. While you're bathing, take handfuls of the salt (some will settle on the bottom of the tub), and rub it into your skin. If you’ve ever used dead sea salt scrubs before, you know how silky and smooth this will leave your skin. Add a drizzle of oil (like olive or coconut) to the bath if you like the idea of exfoliating and moisturizing at the same time.
Alternately, you can also use ES when you make your own body scrubs.
*Note – Do NOT leave the salt on your skin after you get out of the bath. Rinse your skin well in the shower after each use.
To de-stress and re-energize, soak in a bath of the salt (same recipe as above) at least 3 times weekly. Since the salt is absorbed thru the skin, magnesium gets into the bloodstream quickly, which helps produce seratonin, the feel good neurotransmitter.
Magnesium also relaxes and reduces irritability by counteracting adrenaline spurts, calms pent-up emotions, improves sleep patterns, increases concentration, and helps muscles and nerves to function more efficiently. Magnesium has also been known to help your body produce more ATP, (adenosine triphosphate), which is the energy source found in all cells.
ES is the perfect natural laxative for occasional constipation. It’s effective because it’s magnesium content helps draw water into the colon.
To use as a laxative, mix 2 - 6 tablespoons of the salt into a tall glass (8 ounces) of warm water and drink or sip until gone. If you don't like the bitter taste, add a bit of lemon juice to the water. Bowel movements can be expected within 1/2 – 6 hours.
Although this product is safe for most people, consult your physician before usage: if you are on a magnesium-restricted diet, have kidney disease, are presently taking other medications, are sick or vomiting, or you’ve noticed a sudden change in bowel habits.
Detoxification is another perk of ES by eliminating impurities through the pores of the skin or through the intestines. Mixing two cups of ES in a warm bath also helps pull toxins and some heavy metals out of the body via reverse osmosis transport.
ES helps improve neuro-muscular function by regulating the electrolyte exchange in your body, which helps ensure proper functioning of enzymes, muscles, and nerves. Magnesium also plays a vital role in the absorption of calcium, which acts as the main conductor of electric impulses that assist muscular function.
To get more ES in your system, I like to sprinkle a small amount of salt into my water throughout the day. Using it this way helps you get both more magnesium and sulfur in your diet. This is a very efficient way to use the product since most of us worker bees don’t have time to take a long relaxing hot bath more than once a week, if even that.
Additionally, ES can also be added to other drinks like coffee, tea, or juice!
ES improves blood circulation and the health of the heart by preventing blood clots and hardening of the arteries. In turn, this can lower your risk of heart disease or a heart attack.
ES may help reduce your risk of developing Type I or Type II diabetes. How? When magnesium and sulfate are at optimum levels, it increases the effectiveness of insulin in the body.
As a cosmetologist, this next benefit really caught me by surprise however, it does make sense! Adding a pinch of ES to your shampoo can help cut oils. This is a fantastic and easy fix if you have oily hair!
Additionally, adding a small amount to your shampoo or conditioner can help increase the thickness of the hair, which is a real advantage for anyone with thin hair.
If you get a splinter and can’t get it to budge, soak the affected area in warm epsom salts, (or use hot compresses), which helps to bring the splinter to the surface faster.
Lastly, I have long been told to add a tablespoon of ES to the root system of my tomato plants specifically, when I was ready to put them in my garden. This helps their root system become stronger and ensures they'll last longer. Magnesium assists chlorophyll development in plants and sulfur helps plants absorb nutrients more efficiently. (Sulfur will also help keep snakes away!) In this way, ES should be beneficial for most all types of plants.
Western medicine teaches us to seek out help from a physician for many ailments. However, Eastern medicine teaches us to treat the cause, not the symptom. Epsom salts is a cheap and easy way to cure and relieve many conditions in the comfort of your home!
Always consult your physician before using natural remedies, especially for anyone with preexisting conditions or anyone currently taking prescription medications. Although many efforts are made to ensure that the advice given on this site is professionally sound, the advice is not intended to replace a mutual relationship with a medical provider.
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