Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Epson Salt, who knew?

Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate heptahydrate, usually shortened just to magnesium sulphate (note also the American spelling “sulfate”). It was originally obtained by boiling down mineral waters at Epsom.
As it turns out, Epsom salts have a variety of uses that benefit athletes, those with injuries, those who want nice hair and those who really want a clean and shiny bathtub.

There is plenty of research relevant to other medical uses of Epsom salts. For instance, on my package of Epsom salts, instructions are also given for internal usage as a laxative — which does work and is actually FDA approved and probably the most common and generally known medical usage. Other uses of magnesium sulphate include the treatment of irregular heart rhythm, low blood magnesium, eclampsia, and severe tetanus.

But there appears to be simply nothing at all published about alleviating aches and pains or “detoxification.” Apparently, researchers just aren't interested, or (more likely) they simply can’t get funding for the work.

That’s right, as I grumbled to myself scooping up the salts from my already wet tub, I noticed the salts were actually cleaning it, same as those powdered cleaning products do, except the salts didn’t make me feel like I was choking on hazardous dust. 

Simply add some Epsom salts and dish washing detergent to a bit of water and bid bye-bye to dirty tubs and bathroom tiles.

When you’re done washing that tub, fill ‘er up with some hot water and throw in some more salts. Soaking in the tub after a good run or any form of vigorous exercise will help soothe sore muscles — which means you won’t feel achy the next day and tempted to skip out on your fitness routine. Epsom salts: keeping you on track to a fitter you.

Since it soothes sore muscles, a hot bath with Epsom salts is also beneficial to those with injuries. Whether you sprained your ankle or are treating that terrible back injury from a few years ago, soaking in Epsom helps because the magnesium in the salts reduces swelling.

While it’s certainly conceivable that increasing levels of magnesium and/or sulphate ions in the bloodstream could help with some pain problems, it’s extremely unlikely that it would help enough different kinds of pain to be generally “good for” pain” This is a really important logical point! Nothing can be a magic bullet that will help all types of pain, or even more than a couple of them.

Similarly, Epsom salts probably cannot simultaneously perform the two tricks most often touted: “relieve pain” and “speed healing.” Those are completely different things.

Epsom salts can even add volume to dull, lifeless hair. Simply mix equal parts of Epsom salts and deep conditioner and warm it up in a pan. Make sure it’s not too hot because you are going to apply that mixture to your hair and leave it alone for about 20 minutes. Rinse and rejoice at your beautiful, bouncy hair.

And since they are salts and all, it should not really come as a surprise that it makes a great exfoliator. So while you’re in that shower, mix a handful of salts with a tablespoon of bath oil (olive oil works, too) and rub it all over your wet skin. Rinse away that dead skin and feel soft the rest of the day

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