In most kitchens you’ll find a little box of these white crystals, maybe hiding in the back of a cupboard. But what is it good for? 

Take a new look at the humble Epsom salt, which is making a comeback!

The name doesn’t say it all. Epsom salts were originally obtained by boiling down mineral waters at Epsom in Surrey, England, where it was discovered in the 17th century. The crystals aren’t a true salt but a natural mineral combination of magnesium and sulphate.

Your gogo believed soaking in a hot tub with a few cups of Epsom salt stirred in could soothe back and muscle pain, help you relax, heal cuts, bring some relief from colds and congestion, sleeplessness and athlete's foot.

True or not? Yes, no or maybe, depending on who you believe. The benefits of some claim for Epsom salts mostly come from the magnesium, which a lot of people do not get enough of.

Magnesium helps with a few bodily functions, such as removing toxins, and can boost your immune system. You get magnesium from natural sources such as green leafy vegetable, fruit (figs, avocado, banana and raspberry), nuts and seeds, legumes, seafood (salmon, mackerel, tuna), whole grains (brown rice and oats), tofu and dark chocolate. Sulphate can strengthen the walls of the digestive tract and make releasing toxins easier.

Many people believe the minerals in Epsom salts get into your body through your skin while you lie in a bath. Some experts agree, others aren’t convinced there can be enough absorption to make a difference. Many pro athletes swear by an Epsom salts bath, though. A soak in just warm water on its own can help relax muscles and loosen joints, so either way, you’ll get into a bath with silky water and get out feeling refreshed, relaxed and with a softer skin.

The best way to do the soak is to add two cups of Epsom salt when running a bath that will be warm, but not too hot. You can relax in it for 12 to 20 minutes, or longer. Don’t soap up – this is for soaking only. Try to rest for an hour afterwards. Even better, have the bath before bedtime and go to sleep.

Epsom soaks are beneficial for rough, dry skin and even for conditions like eczema. It can be used for skin maintenance as well. Mix some with a low-scent oil for a cheap and easy exfoliator or combine half a teaspoon with your cleanser for a deep-pore facial scrub.

Some say the salt can absorb excess oil from hair and exfoliate a dry scalp. Apply an equal mix of Epsom salt and conditioner to your hair and scalp, wrap your head in a towel, relax for 20 minutes and then rinse.

Soak insect bites in water with Epsom salt to reduce the swelling and itchiness of insect bites or discomfort of sunburn. If you have an ingrown toenail, treating it starts with soaking your foot in a basin of warm water mixed with a tablespoon of Epsom salts. When the skin and toenail have softened, trim the nail straight across, then apply an antibiotic dressing to keep infection at bay.

Can you drink it? Yes, but only a pinch in a lot of water with maybe some lemon to hide the taste. It draws water into the colon, which promotes bowel movements, so it can help with constipation. Pregnant women, children and people with impaired kidney function shouldn’t drink it. If your kidneys are not working at their best, your body may not be able to get rid of excess magnesium. Side effects of ingesting too much Epsom salt may include stomach cramps, upset stomach and diarrhoea in some people. In higher-than-therapeutic doses it can be toxic, so never take more than what your doctor has directed. If you notice hives, swelling or have difficulty breathing, you may be allergic to Epsom salt and should get medical help right away.

After your bath, let the water cool down and pour it on your garden plants. Most of them need nutrients like magnesium and sulphur to stay healthy.

Sources: www.seasalt.com, www.medicalnewstoday.com, www.webmd.com, www.painscience.com, www.livestrong.com, www.imedpub.com.

WHAT EPSOM SALT CAN DO FOR YOU WHAT EPSOM SALT CAN DO FOR YOU Reviewed by Jet Club on August 08, 2019 Rating: 5
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