When beginning a detoxification journey (whether you’re actively detoxing from something like mold or you’re just transitioning to a low-tox lifestyle for preventative reasons), it’s important to be mindful of not doing too much too soon. Trying to detox too drastically may release too many toxins into your system at once, causing you to feel sick.
That’s why when it comes to detox, we recommend starting with some gentle options. Using Epsom salt for detox, for example, is a great place to start.
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What Exactly Is Epsom Salt, Anyway?
Hydrated magnesium sulfate (better known as Epsom salt) is said to have been discovered in 1618 by a local farmer in England. It was found in a bitter saline spring in ‘Epsom common’ England—hence the name! (It was likely used by people before that, but this is the first recorded account, anyway.)
Because of its colorless crystals and the fact that it easily dissolves in water, Epsom salt closely resembles table salt. It’s not the same thing, however. Where table salt is a combination of sodium and chlorine, Epsom salt is a mineral compound that can be broken down into magnesium and sulfate. (So please don’t start pouring table salt into your bath!)
Both of the elements in Epsom salt—magnesium and sodium—are crucial to the human body’s functioning. Unfortunately, recent research has shown an alarming increase in people with magnesium and sulfate deficiencies. Inadequate intake of these substances can result in various problems such as spasms, tremors, loss of appetite, numbness, and unpleasant personality changes. Most of us could afford to increase our intake of these minerals, and one way we can do that is by taking a soothing and rejuvenating Epsom salt bath.
Benefits Of Taking An Epsom Salt Bath
Water and salts have been used as healers for many centuries. Curing ailments through water (now known as hydrotherapy) has numerous health benefits, and when topped with natural Epsom salt, the benefits can multiply. Let’s look into some of them.
Can Epsom Salt Baths Help to Detoxify Your Body?
Though there actually hasn’t been a ton of scientific research conducted to support Epsom salt for detox, many people have found it effective and beneficial through personal experience for hundreds of years.
The good news is that Epsom salt baths are completely safe for most people, so there’s not much to lose in trying it out. (Most of the risk from Epsom salt overdoes comes from ingesting it through drinking, not through soaking in a bath.)
The recommended time for taking an Epsom salt bath is about 40 minutes.
Soothes and Nourishes Your Skin
Hot water immersion is generally good for retaining moisture, and topping with mineral-rich Epsom salt can leave you with silky soft skin afterward. Epsom salt can also exfoliate dead skin cells and increase your body’s hydration.
Epsom salt is also a common remedy to soothe the itchy skin caused by hostile skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema. Of course, if you have any particular skin conditions, be sure to check in with your dermatologist before taking an Epsom salt bath, just in case.
Improves Spirit and Mood
Epsom salt includes magnesium, which is a supplement known to increase serotonin (often called “the happiness chemical”) levels in the brain. In fact, magnesium supplements are often prescribed for anxiety and stress relief.
Relieves Pain and Aches
If you’re an athlete or deal with muscle soreness from stress, adding an Epsom salt soak to your daily or weekly routine can help with aches, pains, and muscle recovery.
People suffering from gout conditions and certain types of arthritis such as rheumatoid and psoriatic might also find Epsom salt baths to be remarkably soothing and healing. Apart from treating sore muscles, Epsom salt baths are also known to help some individuals with headaches and migraines.
Helps Your Mind to Unwind
So far, we have established the numerous physical benefits of bathing in Epsom salt water, but what about the psychological benefits? After all, mental health is as important as physical health. A warm bath after a long day is widely known for relaxing your mind, and adding Epsom salt can increase the positive effects.
Plus, healthy magnesium levels are directly linked to inducing sleep and promoting melatonin, which is a sleep-inducing hormone. So if you have trouble sleeping, a simple Epsom salt remedy might just do wonders for you.
How to Take an Epsom Salt Bath
- First, buy some Epsom salt! (See below for links and go with the fragrance free option.)
- Fill your tub with warm water—92F to 100F—or the warmest your body can tolerate.
- Add about 2 cups of Epsom salt to the water. To be precise, it’s 1/2 cup to 2 cups for adults, 1/2 cup to 1 cup for older children, and 1/4 cup to 1/2 cup for younger children. But remember that every time you try something new, do it in a small amount and then see how your body reacts. Find what feels right to you.
- You can also consider adding some essential oils such as lavender, clary sage, or chamomile for special effects.
- Relax and allow yourself to feel calm and at ease as best you can.
- Keep some water near you while you soak, as warm baths can cause dehydration.
- After the recommended time (20-40 minutes), get out slowly and carefully because a long session might make you a little dizzy. Make sure to rinse your body before getting out.
- Enjoy sweet dreams!
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