Epsom salt: how Epsom salt affects health and beauty

Epsom salt is a real trend in the field of beauty and healthy lifestyle, and the scope of its application is truly impressive.

The content of the article

Epsom salts are an affordable and harmless product for relieving muscle pain, relieving stress, and even losing weight. We have looked at all the nuances of using Epsom, as well as the pros, cons and side effects of this tool to improve well-being.

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate. It is a chemical compound consisting of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It takes its name from Epsom, Surrey, UK, where it was originally discovered.



Promotes quality sleep and stress reduction

Adequate levels of magnesium in the body are needed to improve sleep and reduce stress, probably because magnesium helps the brain produce neurotransmitters that improve these factors. Magnesium also helps produce the «sleep hormone» melatonin.

Low magnesium levels can negatively impact sleep quality and stress levels. But in the case of Epsom salts, it is more likely that the calming effect is due simply to the relaxation caused by taking hot baths.

Helps with constipation

Magnesium is often used to treat constipation. Magnesium is most commonly taken orally to relieve constipation in the form of magnesium citrate or magnesium hydroxide. However, taking Epsom salt is also believed to be effective, although not well understood. In a number of countries, Epsom salts are on the list of approved laxatives.

Salt can be taken orally with water, according to the instructions on the package. Adults are usually advised to take 2-6 teaspoons (10-30 grams) of Epsom salts at a time, mixed with a glass of water. The laxative effect occurs after 30 minutes — 6 hours. However, be aware that epsom salts can cause unpleasant side effects such as bloating and loose stools. Epsom salts as a laxative should be used occasionally, in emergency situations. And it is better under the recommendation of the doctor.

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Exercise efficiency and recovery

It is believed that taking Epsom salt baths can help reduce muscle soreness and cramps after workouts and get in shape for new physical activities faster.

Of course, magnesium does help the body to tolerate exercise more easily, as well as absorb glucose and lactic acid. In addition, relaxing in a hot bath does reduce muscle pain, but there is no reliable evidence that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin.

People who are professionally involved in sports tend to have a deficiency of magnesium in the body. And most often, doctors prescribe them to take magnesium supplements inside. If you’re looking to boost your magnesium levels, it’s best not to get the full benefit of hot Epsom salt baths. Start taking magnesium supplements, but only after consulting a specialist.

Reducing pain and swelling

Another common claim is that Epsom salt helps reduce pain and swelling. Many people report that taking Epsom salt baths improves symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis.

Magnesium baths are considered beneficial in these cases, as many people with fibromyalgia and arthritis are deficient in magnesium. And by the way, one study in 15 women with fibromyalgia found that applying magnesium chloride to the skin could be helpful in reducing symptoms. However, these results are considered too small and not well-tested to support evidence of benefit from Epsom magnesium salt concentrate.


Safety and Side Effects

While Epsom salt is generally safe, there are several negative effects that can occur if used incorrectly, all of which relate to the ingestion of salt.

First, as we have already said, magnesium sulfate can have a laxative effect. Its use can lead to diarrhea, bloating, or indigestion.

If you are using Epsom salts as a laxative, drink as much water as possible to reduce GI discomfort. Also, never take more than the recommended dose without first consulting your doctor. Some cases of magnesium overdose have been reported when people took too much Epsom salt. Overdose symptoms include nausea, headache, dizziness, and skin redness. In extreme cases, an overdose of magnesium can lead to heart problems, coma, paralysis, and death. But this is unlikely if you take the remedy in the appropriate amounts recommended by your doctor or indicated on the package.

If you experience signs of an allergic reaction or other serious side effects after taking Epsom salt, contact your doctor immediately.

How to use Epsom salt

Here are some of the most common uses for Epsom salt.

Bath with salt

Most often, Epsom salts are added to bath water. Pour 2 cups (about 400-500 grams) of Epsom salts into hot water and take a bath for about 15 minutes. As we’ve said before, hot baths can be relaxing, but there’s currently no conclusive evidence for a greater benefit from Epsom salt baths.

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the beauty

Epsom salt can be used as a cosmetic product for skin and hair. To use it as an exfoliator, simply take the granules in your hand, moisten and rub into the skin.


And again, more about this method. Epsom salts can be taken orally as a magnesium supplement or as a laxative. Most brands recommend taking 2-6 teaspoons (10-30 grams) of Epsom salts per day, mixed with water. Children usually need 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 grams). However, it is undesirable to use the supplement without a doctor’s recommendation — especially in an amount above the norm.

If you want to try taking Epsom salt by mouth, start the process slowly. Try 1-2 teaspoons (5-10 grams) at a time and gradually increase the dose as needed.

Remember that everyone’s magnesium needs are different. You may need more or less than the recommended dose, depending on how your body reacts to the supplement and what exactly you are using it for.

Also, when using Epsom salts internally, make sure you use pure Epsom salts that do not contain any flavoring or coloring agents.

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