Epsom Salt Baths: 8 Awesome Health Benefits You Won’t Believe
Epsom salt baths rock. And if you’re not taking them on a regular basis…you should be. There’s just simply too many awesome health benefits associated with them not to.
Care to find out what those awesome health benefits are? Great! But first, let’s talk about what the heck this Epsom salt stuff is anyways.
So, totally contrary to what you might be thinking, Epsom salt actually isn’t a salt at all. Rather, it’s a natural occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium (an essential mineral extremely important for optimal health and well-being) and sulfate (also very important). It got its name from a saline spring in a place called Epsom where it was originally discovered in Surrey, England.
In water, Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate, both of which are easily absorbed into the skin. And in case you couldn’t already tell, it’s the magnesium and sulfate that make Epsom salt so beneficial.
Magnesium is a mineral essential to many of the body’s functions. Things like blood pressure, heart health, insulin sensitivity, and even bone strength are all highly dependent on adequate levels of magnesium. Without it, our bodies literally could not function.
Sulfate, or sulfur, is the 3rd most abundant mineral in the human body and, just like magnesium, also plays a very important role in many of the body’s functions. In addition to other things, sulfur plays a critical role in detoxification as well as in the production of insulin.
Are You Deficient In Magnesium?
The short answer…probably. Wait, what?
Yep. It’s estimated that between 75 and 90% of us (and possibly more) are deficient in magnesium. Actually, some health experts think that magnesium deficiency might be the biggest health problem in our world today. Crazy, right?
How is this possible? Well, consider the following:
Most food today is grown in nutrient deficient soil meaning the food we eat today is less nutritious than the same food eaten 100 years ago. This means you can be deficient even if you’re diet consists largely of “magnesium rich” foods.
Certain herbicides used in farming act to block the uptake and utilization of minerals in the body including magnesium.
Excessive and unbalanced calcium intake from foods and supplements can interfere with the absorption of magnesium.
Many commonly consumed foods/substances such as alcohol, sugar, some carbonated beverages, and caffein can interfere with the absorption of magnesium.
Stress, both physical and mental (yes, even the plain old every day someone cuts you off in traffic kind of stress), acts to deplete magnesium levels in the body.
Commonly used medications such as diuretics, heart medications, asthma medications, birth control pills, and/or estrogen replacement therapy can all act to reduce magnesium levels in the body.
Yeah, I know. It’s pretty crazy the amount of things that can interfere with magnesium levels in the body. Fortunately, if you are deficient, replenishing your magnesium levels is as simple as taking a nice, relaxing, peaceful, soothing…(you get the idea)…bath.
8 Awesome Health Benefits Of Epsom Salt Baths
Awesome Health Benefit #1: Replenishes Magnesium Levels
Being as every other benefit basically stems off of this one it only makes sense to start here. If for no other reason at all, replenishing your magnesium levels is a great reason to start taking Epsom salt baths. After all, if up to 90% of the population is deficient in it, then chances are good you are too.
Awesome Health Benefit #2: Elevates Mood
Elevates mood? I told you these were awesome!
Remember how Epsom salt contains magnesium and how magnesium plays a super important role in regulating many of the body’s functions? Well, as mentioned above, magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin especially in warm water.
Once absorbed into your body, magnesium helps to produce serotonin, or what is sometimes referred to as the “happy” hormone. More “happy” hormone for you equates to a better mood and less stress.
Awesome Health Benefit #3: Promotes A More Restful Night’s Sleep
This one plays off awesome health benefit #2. Magnesium, which is found abundantly in Epsom salt, plays a role in the production of serotonin (the “happy” hormone). The more serotonin you have running through your body, the better and less stressed you feel. The better and less stressed you feel, the more likely it is you’ll get a restful night’s sleep.
As a side note, this was the benefit I noticed the most when I started taking Epsom salt baths. I honestly don’t remember the last time I’ve slept as good as I do now.
Awesome Health Benefit #4: Relieves Pain And Muscle Cramps
Out of all the healthy benefits I’m sharing with you today, this one is probably one of the more popular reason people use Epsom salt. Why does it work? Because muscle cramping and chronic pain are common findings in those with magnesium deficiencies. Taking regular Epsom salt baths helps to replenish magnesium levels and, therefore, can help to relieve both.
Awesome Health Benefit #5: Improves Muscle And Nerve Function
So, in addition to all the other cool things magnesium helps with, it’s also a very important electrolyte needed for proper muscle and nerve function. This means it can help with things like heart palpitations and other heart beat irregularities as these are often the result of a magnesium deficiency.
Awesome Health Benefit #6: Improves Artery Health And Lowers Risk Of Blood Clots
Magnesium plays an extremely important role in the control of blood vessel function, blood vessel regulation, and normal heart contractions. As a matter of fact, your heart has the highest magnesium requirement of any organ in the body. An Epsom salt bath is an easy and effective way make sure you’re supplying your heart and arteries with healthy levels of magnesium.
Awesome Health Benefit #7: Improves Insulin Sensitivity
Low magnesium and sulfate levels are often found in those with insulin resistance. Raising these levels can increase the body’s sensitivity to insulin and can make you less prone to diabetes.
Awesome Health Benefit #8: Detoxification Station
This is another very common reason for taking Epsom salt baths. Because our skin is basically a giant porous membrane, adding Epsom salt to your bathwater can help draw out toxins and heavy metals from your skin in the form of reverse osmosis. Some even claim taking Epsom salt bath’s can help with hangovers.
How To Take An Epsom Salt Bath
So you’ve read all the awesome health benefits and your pumped to take your first Epsom salt bath. Now what?
First things first. You need some Epsom salt. I recommend this brand because of it’s amazing reviews and it’s reasonable price. (It’s also the brand I’m currently using.)
Once you have your Epsom salt, fill a tub full of warm to almost hot water. Then add one to two cups of Epsom salt to the water and give it a minute or two to dissolve. Once dissolved, hop in, relax, and rejoice in the fact that you have discovered, and are now experiencing, the awesome benefits of Epsom salt.
How long should you soak? Most sources I’ve seen say you’ll want to soak for at least 20 minutes, although I have seen a few sources recommend as little as 12 minutes and as high as 40 minutes. Personally, I shoot for 25 minutes just because it feels right. Once done, simply towel dry, and do your best “happy dance” knowing you just did your body a whole lot of good.
Repeat this process two to three times per week and you’ll be on your way to experiencing the totally awesome health benefits listed above in no time.
No Time For A Bath? Try This Instead
Hey, look. I get it. You don’t always have time to take relaxing 30 minute bath. And I don’t either. It’s ok though. I’ve got you covered.
On days that I can’t fit in a bath I’ll substitute with magnesium oil instead. Simply spray it onto your skin, let it sit there for at least 20 minutes, and that’s it. You’re done.
It might not be as relaxing as a bath, but it definitely gets the job done.
Have you experienced any benefits from taking Epsom salt baths or magnesium oil? Please share your experiences below!
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