Magnesium Sulphate is also known as Epsom salt. It is made of Magnesium. Sulphate and Oxygen. When Magnesium sulphate is added in water, it releases magnesium and sulphate ions which can be easily absorbed by human skin. A packet of it costs less than 10rs for 20g but has numerous health benefits which are mentioned below:
- Relieving body aches and pains – Soaking in Epsom salt helps to reduce the pain in body, calves and joints. It provides Magnesium to the body which works as muscle relaxant and is also involved in over 300 cellular reactions. If not once a week, you can do it once a month. You do not need to have a bathtub for it, you can have a bucket where you can put about 50g to a 100g of Epsom salt, fill it up to knee level with warm water and soak your feet. Especially good for elderly, senior citizens, parents who face a lot of knee pain, calf pain, water retention in their body. Today young people in their 20s and 30s face these problems due to sedentary lifestyle, wrong eating habits and too much processed food which create nutritional deficiency, so Epsom salt soak comes in handy.
- Relaxation and recovery – Lot of athletes today soak in Epsom salt bath post their training, because the beauty of Epsom salt is, it’s highly anti-inflammatory and also a muscle relaxant. It can reduce the pain due to muscle soreness and inflammation in tired joints. It can be used post training or when recovering from surgery or when having knee problems, inflammatory issues and pain in the body.
- Helps with Sleep – A lot of people do Epsom salt bath and then go to sleep. They report having the most deep sleep possible because the more magnesium we have within the right quantities in our body, it helps maintain healthy levels of GABA, a neurotransmitter that promotes deep restorative sleep. People who travel a lot can soak in Epsom salt warm bath for about 5-10 minutes when jet lagged to guarantee yourself a beautiful deep calming sleep and waking up very fresh the next morning because it reduces the fatigue in tissues, joints and muscles.
- Helps with Autism – For children with autism, epilepsy, adults with epilepsy – we have seen immense benefit. We are not saying soaking in Epsom salt will take away your autism or epilepsy. But according to research, parents have reported a calmness in their children when they have this Epsom salt bath as these children are deficient in magnesium and hence supplementation via natural means help improve the symptoms. So it is important for these children to soak in a bucket of Epsom salt water or in a bathtub of Epsom salt.
- Detoxification – Detoxification is important for the human body. While People are struggling to lose weight, get healthy, prevent diseases, boost immunity which is the first and last line of defense in the human body when it comes to almost any disease, detoxification plays a major role. All of us know that most diseases are caused by accumulation of toxins in the body. Inflammation found in arteries is caused by toxicity. Today detoxification is not just about fruit diets or vegetable juices or going on fasts. That helps but here is a detox which you can do with magnesium sulfate, also called Epsom salt. Fill a bucket with two cups of magnesium sulphate or if you have a bathtub, add 2-3 cups of Epsom salt. Soak your feet in the bucket or your body in the bathtub for 15 minutes or 30 minutes or can go up to 45 minutes. The longer you soak, keep drinking water because that’s where the detoxification part comes in and also to prevent dehydration. Human skin is a porous membrane, when you add magnesium and sulfate in water, a process called reverse osmosis happens. The cells in your body in your skin start pushing out salts and toxins. Even the heavy metals that we accumulate from the air that we breathe, the food that we eat and most of them from prescription drugs are pushed out.
- Stress – Magnesium relaxes your muscles. When your muscles get relaxed it sends signals to your brain, then your brain gets relaxed, so it actually reduces over all stress. Hence on a stressful day, just go home and soak in Epsom salt and I can promise, you will feel relaxed as you just slide in that warm water. You just find all of the stress coming out of you. You got to try to believe it. But like I said, keep sipping on water because of reverse osmosis. Your cells are pushing out toxins, water and salts so you have to replenish that. I usually keep a bottle of lime water with a little bit of salt and may be honey or jaggery if it’s going to be one hour soak. If it’s 15- 20 minutes, you are going to be just fine.
- Washing face with Epsom salt water is beneficial as it has natural exfoliant in it and is naturally anti-inflammatory.
Magnesium has over 325 functions in the human body ranging from heart health, blood pressure, brain health and even to the amount of neurotransmitter that is required for normal neurological function to happen. Hair, skin, Liver function, Kidney function – everything requires magnesium in the human body and most of us are depleted in Magnesium because of poor lifestyle. Many people will have normal magnesium levels in their blood but they are still depleted in Magnesium. When a lot of people wake up with calf pain in the morning, stiffness in their legs and body pain, you put them on magnesium supplement or Epsom salt bath and the pain disappears immediately it indicates magnesium deficiency so we look at magnesium rich foods like green leafy vegetables, almonds, walnuts, peanuts or unsalted pistachio.
Magnesium has an important role in metabolizing carbohydrates, fats and protein. It’s not about how good your carbohydrates, protein and fat is, you need the right mineral to break it down. It’s all about assimilation in the human body. Magnesium is one of the most important minerals when it comes to the health of your heart as it helps in transport of calcium and potassium thus supporting muscle and nerve function. Excess calcium without Magnesium creates innumerable problems like kidney stones, heart problems, strokes which is why with calcium you also need magnesium, vitamin D3 and vitamin K2. Magnesium and calcium also help in maintaining bone health. Energy production in the body also involves Magnesium.
Precautions with Epsom salt soaking
- If you have low Blood pressure – please be careful while doing Epsom salt soak as it can further reduce the blood pressure. Please sip on water with salt while doing the soak.
- If you are having an oral magnesium supplement, avoid doing the soak as it can lead to excess magnesium in the body. Excess of anything is bad.
- If you suffer from any kidney disorder, please check with your medical practitioner before doing the soak.
- Make sure to have a whole glass of water post the Epsom salt soak because you lose a lot of water while soaking so you need to ensure proper hydration levels.
These are the simple benefits of something called magnesium sulphate. You can buy these sachets, use them at home, carry it when you travel and use the hotel room bathtub for soaking. It’s a simple lifestyle change you can make which is inexpensive. You can get the salt in a local pharmacy for your children, your parents, senior citizens, whoever is going through these symptoms. If there are no symptoms it’s still a good thing to take an Epsom salt soak maybe once in 10 days or 15 days just to keep the muscles relax and to get a good night’s sleep.
I always prefer we get magnesium in through our food or through a method like simple soaking. And if not, there is always a supplement that you can take but always try to choose nature over anything artificial.