Epsom Salt WORK
Another tool that integrative medical specialists often recommend for its physical and mental health benefits is Epsom salt. While no clinical trials have confirmed the benefits of Epsom salt, many healthcare providers promote it for its ease of use, reasonable price and minimally invasive delivery. To learn more, we turn to integrative medicine specialist Naoki Umeda, MD.
The idea is that when you pour Epsom salt into warm water, it dissolves the magnesium and sulfate and allows it to be absorbed into your body through your skin. Centuries of user testimonials claim wonderful benefits from using Epsom salt this way.
Despite the lack of available scientific data, tales about the healing power of Epsom salt have been circulating for centuries, says Dr. Umeda. Users typically dissolve Epsom salt in bath water to release magnesium and sulfate ions and reap the benefits.
While some experts suggest that stress relief comes from the warm bath itself, others believe Epsom salt helps stabilize mood and relieve stress, anxiety and depression. In fact, some claim that taking magnesium increases serotonin (happiness or relaxation hormone) production in your brain.
Epsom salt is used to relax muscles and relieve pain in the shoulders, neck, back and skull. For example, by relaxing the muscles surrounding your skull, the magnesium in Epsom salt may help release a headache or migraine. This benefit can also aid sore muscles in the recovery period after a workout.
Despite the name, Epsom salts aren't like the stuff you put on your fries. They're called salts because of their chemical structure. The "Epsom" part is a place in England where they're found in natural springs.
They're not the same as Dead Sea salts, a blend of minerals found only in the Dead Sea in the Middle East. The water and light there supposedly help with skin diseases, arthritis, and other health problems.
In water, they break down into magnesium and sulfate. The theory is that when you soak in an Epsom salts bath, these get into your body through your skin. That hasn't been proven, but just soaking in warm water can help relax muscles and loosen stiff joints.
For a standard-sized tub, use the amount suggested on the package, usually 1 to 2 cups, or the amount recommended by your doctor. Don't use Epsom salts in a hot tub, whirlpool, or other tub with jets unless the manufacturer says it's OK.
For hundreds of years, this salt has been used to treat ailments, such as electrolyte abnormalities, constipation, and eclampsia. Unfortunately, its effects on many other conditions are not well researched (1).
Proponents of this theory point to an unpublished study in 19 healthy people. The researchers claimed that all but three of the participants showed higher blood magnesium levels after soaking in an Epsom salt bath.
It can also be added to conditioner and may help add volume to your hair. For this effect, combine equal parts conditioner and Epsom salt. Work the mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes, then rinse.
The chemical formula for magnesium sulfate is MgSO4. That means it can actually be broken down into magnesium and sulfate, which is a combination of sulfur and oxygen. The salt consists of small, colorless crystals and looks similar to table salt. However, table salt is completely different from Epsom salt since it consists of sodium chloride.
Without a doubt, one of the most common Epsom salt uses is its inclusion in a bath. Combining Epsom salt with baking soda and lavender oil makes for a simple, easy bath recipe to help you calm down, relieve tension on your muscles, and recover all-around both mentally and physically. Check out our Homemade Healing Bath Salts recipe.
Recommendations of how much Epsom salt for bath water can vary. For an Epsom salts detox bath, add at least two cups of Epsom salt to bathwater and soak for 40 minutes total. The first 20 minutes give your body time to remove toxins from your system, while the last 20 minutes allow you to absorb the minerals in the water and help you emerge from the bath feeling rejuvenated. Make sure to consume water before, during and after the bath to protect yourself from dehydration and increase detoxification.
Epsom salt is a key ingredient in many detoxifying bath recipes. Use it as a stand-alone salt for soaking, or blend it with dried botanicals and essential oils for a more decadent bathing experience.
Magnesium sulfate is usually encountered in the form of a hydrate MgSO4nH2O, for various values of n between 1 and 11. The most common is the heptahydrate MgSO47H2O, known as Epsom salt, which is a household chemical with many traditional uses, including bath salts.
The main use of magnesium sulfate is in agriculture, to correct soils deficient in magnesium (an essential plant nutrient because of the role of magnesium in chlorophyll and photosynthesis). The monohydrate is favored for this use; by the mid 1970s, its production was 2.3 million tons per year. The anhydrous form and several hydrates occur in nature as minerals, and the salt is a significant component of the water from some springs.
The heptahydrate takes its common name "Epsom salt" from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets the impervious London clay.
It is a natural source of both magnesium and sulphur. Epsom salts are commonly used in bath salts, exfoliants, muscle relaxers and pain relievers. However, these are different from Epsom salts that are used for gardening, as they contain aromas and perfumes not suitable for plants.
Also, magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (epsomite, MgSO47H2O) is manufactured by dissolution of magnesium sulfate monohydrate (kieserite, MgSO4H2O) in water and subsequent crystallization of the heptahydrate.
Magnesium sulfate relaxation is the primary mechanism that causes the absorption of sound in seawater at frequencies above 10 kHz (acoustic energy is converted to thermal energy). Lower frequencies are less absorbed by the salt, so that low frequency sound travels farther in the ocean. Boric acid and magnesium carbonate also contribute to absorption.
The main external use is the formulation as bath salts, especially for foot baths to soothe sore feet. Such baths have been claimed to also soothe and hasten recovery from muscle pain, soreness, or injury. Potential health effects of magnesium sulfate are reflected in medical studies on the impact of magnesium on resistant depression and as an analgesic for migraine and chronic pain. Magnesium sulfate has been studied in the treatment of asthma, preeclampsia and eclampsia.
In agriculture, magnesium sulfate is used to increase magnesium or sulfur content in soil. It is most commonly applied to potted plants, or to magnesium-hungry crops such as potatoes, tomatoes, carrots, peppers, lemons, and roses. The advantage of magnesium sulfate over other magnesium soil amendments (such as dolomitic lime) is its high solubility, which also allows the option of foliar feeding. Solutions of magnesium sulfate are also nearly pH neutral, compared with the slightly alkaline salts of magnesium as found in limestone; therefore, the use of magnesium sulfate as a magnesium source for soil does not significantly change the soil pH. Contrary to the popular belief that magnesium sulfate is able to control pests and slugs, helps seeds germination, produce more flowers, improve nutrient uptake, and is environmentally friendly, it does none of the purported claims except for correcting magnesium deficiency in soils. Magnesium sulfate can even pollute water if used in excessive amounts.
Magnesium sulfate was historically used as a treatment for lead poisoning prior to the development of chelation therapy, as it was hoped that any lead ingested would be precipitated out by the magnesium sulfate and subsequently purged from the digestive system. This application saw particularly widespread use among veterinarians during the early-to-mid 20th century; Epsom salt was already available on many farms for agricultural use, and it was often prescribed in the treatment of farm animals that inadvertently ingested lead.
Anhydrous magnesium sulfate is commonly used as a desiccant in organic synthesis owing to its affinity for water and compatibility with most organic compounds. During work-up, an organic phase is treated with anhydrous magnesium sulfate. The hydrated solid is then removed by filtration, decantation, or by distillation (if the boiling point is low enough). Other inorganic sulfate salts such as sodium sulfate and calcium sulfate may be used in the same way.
Magnesium (or sodium) sulfate is also used for testing aggregates for soundness in accordance with ASTM C88 standard, when there are no service records of the material exposed to actual weathering conditions. The test is accomplished by repeated immersion in saturated solutions followed by oven drying to dehydrate the salt precipitated in permeable pore spaces. The internal expansive force, derived from the rehydration of the salt upon re-immersion, simulates the expansion of water on freezing.
Magnesium sulfate heptahydrate is also used to maintain the magnesium concentration in marine aquaria which contain large amounts of stony corals, as it is slowly depleted in their calcification process. In a magnesium-deficient marine aquarium, calcium and alkalinity concentrations are very difficult to control because not enough magnesium is present to stabilize these ions in the saltwater and prevent their spontaneous precipitation into calcium carbonate.
Double salts containing magnesium sulfate exist. There are several known as sodium magnesium sulfates and potassium magnesium sulfates. A mixed copper-magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (Mg,Cu)SO47H2O was recently found to occur in mine tailings and has been given the mineral name alpersite.
"As a physician, I want my patients to sleep better and have less pain," Dr. Mattox says. "If baths can help relax your muscles, reduce your stress and can be a great part of a nightly bedtime ritual that sets you up for a great night's sleep with less pain, then count me in to recommend it with some Epsom salt." 041b061a72