Epsom salts are a naturally occurring mineral that exists in crystal form. It is used in many beauty products, mainly as a skin exfoliant. It may also help increase the body's magnesium levels. There is no evidence to suggest that Epsom salts is of any benefit for weight loss.
Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate, is a pure mineral crystal that is found in limestone caves. According to the Epsom Salt Council, one of the first discoveries of this mineral was back in 16th-century England in a town called Epsom, from which its name is derived. Although its appearance is similar to table salt, sodium chloride, it is totally different.
The Epsom Salt Council explains that Epsom salt can be used in a number of ways. Dissolved in warm water it makes a good conditioner for the hair or skin. In a bath tub it can help to lower blood pressure, elevate your mood, reduce stress and relieve irritability. Magnesium is also absorbed through the skin, so it can boost your body's magnesium levels.
According to Alive, adding Epsom salt to your bath will give you a number of health benefits, including helping to relax your muscles and alleviate tension, soothing the skin and promoting healing of any bruises or lesions. Adding essential oils such as neroli, lavender or chamomile can add to the soothing experience and leave you feeling revived.
According to Salt Works US, soaking in Epsom salt can also help to improve your heart health. By improving your circulation it can reduce the risk of heart attack and stroke.
Some Web sites recommend Epsom salt for use as a colon cleanser to help with weight loss. Using Epsom salt in an enema is dangerous. In the "Southern Medical Journal" article, "Fatal Hypermagnesemia Caused by an Epsom Salt Enema: A Case Illustration," by Tofil et al., it was reported that Epsom salt should not be used as an enema because magnesium sulfate can be absorbed through the rectum and may lead to fatal toxicity.
- Epsom Salt Council: Why It Works
- Alive: Salt Therapy
- Epsom Salt Council: Frequently Asked Questions
- "Southern Medical Journal"; Fatal Hypermagnesemia Caused by an Epsom Salt Enema: A Case Illustration; Tofil et al.; 2005
- Salt Works US: Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits
- Universal Health Institute of Chicago: About Epsom Salts (MgSO4·7H2O)