What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is the common name given to a special mineral composed by magnesium and sulfate. Its name comes from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England where it was first extracted. Historically, its use has been described since the 1700s. The earliest reports mention its applications as bath salt and as medical treatment. Today, its properties are widely extended until the areas of beauty, garden and household.
Epsom Salt has the important property of being readily absorbed by the skin and mucosa. Because of this, it is considered as an alternative in folk-medicine.
Magnesium is an important component for human body health. It participates in a great variety of processes such as: being an enzymatic cofactor, DNA and proteins production, blood pressure, insulin regulation among others. Throughout this article, the most important properties of Epsom Salt are going to be reviewed. In order of that, you will know why this mineral has reach to positioned in the top ten of best remedies and supplements.
Epson Salt uses and benefits
From its use as bath salt to be used as an antihypertensive, the Epsom salt has a long list of potential effects that are readily applied to great variety of fields. Medicine, gardening and house holding enjoy its properties since ancient times. There are the most important ones:
Epsom Salt in medicine
It was mentioned that magnesium participates in a great variety of biological processes. Because of that, magnesium deficiency, which is not uncommon, has strong negative impacts on human health. Sometimes, it is used as a mineral supplement, in or as a remedy, depending on the purpose.
Epsom Salt, administered intravenous by a doctor, is used to treat arrhythmias from different etiologies. These clinical presentations have been associated in some cases with low concentrations of magnesium in blood. Restoring them has a positive impact in cardiac system, mainly in patients who suffer for congestive cardiac failure.
It has been proposed as an alternative treatment for asthma.
Intravenous or nebulized administration of Epsom salt by a doctor has the ability of reversing the bronchospasm and improving pulmonary function. This effect is the result of the complete airways relaxation due to modifications in calcium transport.
This mineral exerts beneficial effects for both, mother and child. It has shown to regulate blood circulation during cases of preeclampsia and eclampsia. But, it doesn´t have to be used during premature labor. On the other hand, it has been studied a neuro-protective effect in preterm children. Nevertheless, the last needs to be further investigated due to some controversial results.
Epsom salt exerts strong laxative properties. The mechanism involved in this property has been widely investigated. The results suggest that magnesium and sulfate helps to retain water inside de lumen of the intestine. This excess of water promotes the flux inside of it and results in laxation. On the other hand, it has been proposed that the release of certain hormones and inflammatory factors enhance this effect. Nevertheless, it has to be carefully used; high doses are associated with renal toxicity and other harmful effects.
Coagulation and blood circulation:
Epsom salt has anti coagulation properties, reason why it has considered as an efficient antithrombotic agent. Nevertheless, this effect depends on the time of application. It has been tested in cases of acute myocardial infarction, arterial angioplasty and other types of artery occlusion.
Glucose metabolism and insulin:
Its use has been suggested mainly, in type 2 diabetic patients. The results obtained are controversial. Some of them demonstrated that magnesium promotes reduction in levels of blood glucose and improve in insulin resistance. Nevertheless, some others suggest it doesn´t have any effect on insulin. This must be further investigated to finally conclude if it is beneficial or not in this area.
Stress and depression management
Magnesium depletion has been associated with mood disorders and depression. Some clinical studies have been carrier out to find a correlation between magnesium supplementation and mental health. Different clinical cases have been studied. Nevertheless the information is not clear enough. Theoretically if magnesium depression causes mood disorders it restoration will help to improve them. It seems like if we need to wait a little more to confirm it.
Epsom Salt in sports:
Scientific research suggests that Epsom Salt acts as an excellent supplement during sports and physical activity. It improves the time of exercise while it increases glucose levels in blood and reduce the levels of lactate (the molecule responsible of feeling pain during exercise). Enhance of glucose availability and lactate clearance, are a perfect combination of benefits for those who loves to train hard.
Epsom Salt uses in beauty and comfort:
Due to its excellent properties in skin and hair absorption, Epson salt is included in many of the best home-alternatives for beauty and cosmetology.
Mixing it with equal parts of any type of conditioner and washing your hair during 20 minutes makes your hair looks healthy and voluminous. This mix helps to remove grease and harmful products from your hair making it stronger.
Mixing a teaspoon of Epson Salt in a cleaning cream of your preferences creates a lumpy product that helps to clean your face, remove skin debris and make it look perfect and healthy.
If you have some troubles with foot sole hardness try to soak them in dissolution of a teaspoon of Epsom salt in warm water. This combination helps to penetrate skin and to remove dead skin cells and hardness plates.
Cure cracked lips:
Due to many reasons our lips can turn cracked. This situation is also associated with pain and discomfort to talk. Mixing a teaspoon of Epsom salt in Vaseline and covering your lips with this mixture help to cure this situation in less time than expected.
Epson salt is the alternative used more often in salt bathing. Once again it is necessary to say it: It has amazing skin penetration properties. Most of the people combine it with Natural Oils such as Black Seed Oil, Castor Oil or Coconut Oil. Put all this ingredients in a warm water filled bathtub and soak in it by 20 minutes.
Some empirical applications suggest it is an important detoxifier. It helps in removing most of the harmful molecules we have been in contact during all day and exert some anti-inflammatory properties. It can be combined with a wide range of ingredients and obtain a great variety of results.
Epsom Salt uses in household:
Our home is not away from Epsom salt benefits. Unlike other types of salts, Epsom salt exerts some abrasiveness. This property combined with some detergents helps to clean your tile and makes it look just as new.
Epsom Salt uses in gardening:
To keep our plants safe and free of pests is one of the main goals of a garden keeper.
Supplementing our soil with magnesium promotes the production of chlorophyll by plants. This chlorophyll is the molecule responsible of giving a green tonality to leaves and lawn. This effect helps to avoid the process of yellowing and makes your garden looks alive all the time.
On the other hand, fertilizing with magnesium sulfate supplemented soil promotes flourish and production of fruits and vegetables.
Epsom salt is an excellent example of a versatile product that can be applied in many areas getting different results. It is also possible that now, knowing all these properties, we can try to find new applications. It is important to have in consideration that its application in health needs to be supervised by a doctor because making a bad use of it may carry bad consequences. If you are suffering any of the diseases mentioned at the beginning consult your doctor for a best adapted treatment.
On the other hand, if you are a lover of natural alternatives for beauty, Epsom salt, in combination with other natural products, may help you to reach your beauty goals cheaper and safer.
Finally, as an important molecule for live organisms, magnesium sulfate, also exerts a great variety of beneficial effects to your plants.
What else can we expect?
Epsom salt rejuvenates us from inside to outside and all around us.
You can acquire it in pharmacies and natural products stores, enjoy it.