Why are Epsom Salts so Great?


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“Do you know a cure for me?” “Why yes,” he said, “I know a cure for everything. Salt water.” “Salt water?” I asked him. “Yes,” he said, “in one way or the other. Sweat, or tears, or the salt sea.”

How to take an Epsom Salts Bath:

1. Get your hands on some Epsom Salts.

2. Pour salt in hot bath water (2 cups is a commonly recommended amount).

3. Enjoy.

4. Feel like a baby again.

Why are Epsom Salts amazing?

The two main components of Epsom Salts are magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium helps the body regulate activity in over 300 enzymes. It plays a role in energy production, muscle control, and elimination of toxins.

Many folks are deficient in magnesium these days. Food, environmental factors, and lifestyle all lend to deficiency. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil.

A diet high in fat and sugar further depletes this essential mineral. Too much calcium will deplete it, and yet calcium works the best when there is a good amount of Magnesium. Making sure both are entering the body is important for maintaining balance.

For some who want more magnesium, supplements are a great option.  For others, they do not easily assimilate into the body. Absorption in the digestive tract may not happen, or stomach acid blocks assimilation. A bath with epsom salts is a great alternative or addition to supplements, as the magnesium gets absorbed through the skin.

Sulfate is also important for the body. Sulfates are said to release toxins from the body and form proteins in joints and brain tissue. They also generate digestive enzymes in the pancreas.

According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, Epsom salts contribute to:
• Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
• Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
• Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
• Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
• Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
• Improved oxygen use.
• Improved absorption of nutrients.
• Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
• Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.

Photo: Amalia Versaci


If your feet want a cozy soak, check out the Epsom Salt Peppermint foot scrub.

It’s always a good idea to check on potential dangers.  The main concerns are around ingesting too much internally.  As far as using epsom salts in baths, they lower blood pressure, so if a person already has really low blood pressure it’s good to be aware of this and pay attention.

Happy soaking!


Meredith J. Potter lives in Boulder, Colorado. She enjoys biking, yoga, art, hiking, and exploring her environment.  She supports local agriculture, movement toward a healthier life for the planet, and joyful celebration of life!  A background in education and yoga inform her current perspectives and lifestyle.


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24 Responses to “Why are Epsom Salts so Great?”

  1. Helene Rose says:

    We bathe regularly with Sea Salt / Epsom Salt….
    Definitely works to boost the immune system.

  2. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    I love this article and I LOVE that photo of the little baby. Ridiculously cute!

  3. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Posting to Elephant Yoga on Facebook and Twitter.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  4. Tanya Lee Markul says:

    Just posted to "Featured Today" on the Elephant Yoga homepage.

    Tanya Lee Markul, Yoga Editor
    Join us! Like Elephant Yoga on Facebook
    Follow on Twitter

  5. Where do they get epsom salts? And who thought up the name?

  6. Love Epsom salts baths! Now I know what I want to do this evening!

  7. yogiclarebear says:

    Oh I adore magnesium. If it weren't for magnesium, I would be one constipated Clarebear!!! 🙂

    THREE CHEERS FOR MAGNESIUM!! And you for bringing awareness to it. 🙂

  8. drbinder says:

    Great work, Meredith. I appreciate the links that you provided for everyone. Thank You.

    Posting to Elephant Wellness on Facebook

  9. Jill Barth says:

    My mom adds lavender oil (or dried lavender) to the salts to make a lovely scent. Double benefits, because Lavender's power-packed too.

  10. warriorsaint says:

    Preaching to the choir here, for sure! Nothing better than a good soak with Uncle Epsom. I have always imagined the inventor as a furry-faced chemist in Victorian era England. As a caution though please don't drink it (of course I know you don't drink your bath water) It is a cathartic. Which makes me curious re: all your superlatives from the Epsom Salt Industry Council; is this due to the salt absorbtion through the skin? I find it works best to soften hard water and to keep the fingers tips from shriveling.

  11. SOFLY_Anna says:

    HI Meredith,

    My nutritionist recommended to use Epsom Salt baths. I usually soak once a week for 15 min and I love.
    I was not sure how it works…thank you for putting it all together! Adding your link in my blog.


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  16. Drew says:

    My understanding is that it is beneficial to add around 1C of baking soda to your 2C of Epson salts when you bath. The baking soda will neutralize the toxins the Epson salt pulls out of your system therefore you won't reabsorb the toxins. I read this is especially true for cancer patients.

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  19. SANTHOSH KUMAR says:

    Where I can buy Epsom salt in Oman.

    • meredithjpotter says:

      The scientific name is magnesium sulfate. Perhaps that would help you find epsom salts in Oman. Otherwise, you could look into ordering them in bulk from a supplier nearby. I really don't know the availability in Oman, so happy researching!

  20. Lauren says:

    I worked for a raw food chef in Key West who taught me to take an Epsom salt and peroxide bath when I felt run down or like I was getting sick. Basically, bath water as hot as you can handle it, 2 cups Epsom salt and a “regular” sized bottle of peroxide. I do it and go straight to bed- feeling all tingly and warm, sleep really soundly and wake up the next day feeling like a changed woman. Not sure the science behind it, but it works every time for me!

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