Epsom salts are a multi-purpose natural product that demands a place of honor on the “holy grail” list (right next to activated charcoal and coconut oil, of course). Not only are Epsom salts incredibly versatile, they’re also very cheap – making them a necessary staple in any natural-product loving home.
They’re even on the World Health Organization’s list of Most Important Medications Needed For Basic Health (just in case you needed even more reason to love them).
What Are Epsom salts?
They’re not your average table salt, to start. Epsom salts gets their name from the bitter saline spring where they originated in Epsom, a town in Surrey, England. The salts are imbued with their restorative powers because of a reaction between the porous chalk soil of the North Downs and the non-porous London clay soil. That reaction produces magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, which is where the healing components of the compound come into play.
There are so many benefits of Epsom salts that span an incredible number of uses. Below are five of the most useful and practical applications of Epsom salts; take a peek and get inspired!
Five Beneficial Uses of Epsom salts
A detoxifying bath is probably the most popular use for Epsom salts. Magnesium and sulfates – the building blocks of Epsom salts – are incredibly important minerals in helping keep the body healthy. Magnesium helps improve muscle and joint function and improves blood flow while sulfates help keep skin, joints and nervous tissue healthy.
Our skin is the most porous organ of our bodies and so to take a warm bath with Epsom salts allows our skin to easily absorb these necessary minerals while at the same time pulling harmful toxins out of our bodies. The warmth of the water paired with the salts help reduce inflammation, improve circulation and ease soreness.
The same principles apply to a foot soak using bath salts as well. Soaking your feet in a bowl full of warm water and Epsom salts can help with Athlete’s foot, toe fungus, general soreness as well as sprains and bruises.
Magnesium is known to help speed up plant growth, keep out slugs, make tomatoes sweeter, make roses brighter, prevent leaf curling, and kill weeds.
It can also help make and keep your grass healthy. Spread three pounds Epsom salts to every 1200 square feet of lawn to speed up the germination cycle and to enhance the vibrancy of the color.
Use Epsom salts as a natural exfoliant. Just mix a couple tablespoons of Epsom salts with coconut oil and rub onto your skin during a shower. The mixture will leave your skin feeling super smooth and silky.
Epsom salts are also the base for many store-bought sea salt sprays for hair (not surprisingly!). Instead of dishing out big bucks for what amounts to salt water, make your own spray by putting a cup of water, a couple tablespoons sea salt and an essential oil into a spray bottle. You’ll get the same effects as a conventional spray at a fraction of the cost.
Similarly, you can create a DIY volumizing hair mask with Epsom salts. Just heat a few tablespoons hair conditioner and a tablespoon of Epsom salts in a pan and coat your hair from root to tip for twenty minutes before rinsing.
Aside from the traditional bath, you can also use Epsom salts to remove a splinter. By soaking your finger in warm water with the salts in it, the splinter will get drawn out of the skin by the osmotic pressure the salts creates.
You can also use the salts to help relieve a headache, provide relief from sunburns and bug bites and even as a laxative.
The detoxifying properties of the salts work just as well on the dirty parts of your home as it does for your body.
Mix equal parts dish soap with Epsom salts for a natural, non-toxic tile and grout cleaner. The salts also work to get rid of the build-up in your washing machine. Put a cup of Epsom salts in the machine and run with hot water on an agitate/soak cycle.
If you weren’t convinced of the magical, myriad healing properties of Epsom salts before reading this article, you’re sure to have changed your mind by now! The salts are such a safe, natural and affordable way to keep both your family and your home healthy and happy.