Many women find that the best way to relax at the end of a long day is with a hot bath, but you may be missing out if you aren’t yet using Epsom salt. And, Epsom salt baths are highly beneficial for detoxing!
Your body is likely in need of a little assistance in gaining key nutrients like magnesium and sulfur. Without altering your diet, you might be able to absorb these ingredients through your skin while simultaneously relaxing in a hot bath.
Your skin is the largest organ in your body, so you should make good use of it to help restore balance to your internal organs and body chemistry. If you suffer from any of these symptoms, a good bath may be just what the doctor ordered:
- Anxiety, depression, or high-stress levels
- Difficulty sleeping
- Disrupted gut functioning
- Weakness, spasms, or muscular cramping
- Poor concentration and memory
Epsom salts can help with everything from improving the communication of your brain’s neurotransmitters to supporting the function of your digestive system. For more information on how you can gain these Epsom salt bath benefits, you need to know just what these salts contain and how to use them.
BENEFITS OF MAGNESIUM IN EPSOM SALTS
Much of the research that has been done to date regarding Epsom salt focuses on the high magnesium content and transdermal magnesium intake. This is without a doubt one of the best Epsom salt benefits for the body. The skin is the largest organ, so allowing it to absorb the magnesium found in these bath salts is an excellent way to balance this nutrient.
Many people are magnesium deficient without even realizing it. This essential mineral can result in many common symptoms that affect your muscular system, nervous system, and even your digestive system. Common complaints that could indicate magnesium deficiency include:
- Anxiety or depression
- Weakness, spasms, or cramps in the muscles
- Poor memory
While you should still rely on a well-balanced diet and nutritional supplements for the main source of your magnesium, this transdermal absorption can be extremely helpful. Research points to the fact that not all skin cells are able to absorb and make use of magnesium transdermally (so make sure you supplement, too).
Hair follicles and sweat glands are most likely to absorb the magnesium present in Epsom salts. (1) If you intend to really gain the benefits of soaking in Epsom salt, you should make sure to submerge your scalp to receive the most magnesium.
Receiving this extra dose of magnesium can be extremely useful for the health complaints mentioned above. However, it can also be used to soothe the skin. Individuals who suffer from chronic dry skin, inflammation, skin redness, or skin roughness might experience a revitalization when they learn how to use Epsom salt.
In one research study, participants with atopic dry skin submerged one arm in a bath filled with magnesium salts and another in plain tap water. The arm that soaked in the magnesium salts improved the skin barrier function, improved skin hydration, and reduced skin roughness and redness. Overall, inflammation was reduced by the conclusion of the study. (2)
Keep in mind that magnesium deficiency can also result in issues like anxiety and depression. A long soak in Epsom salts can boost important neurotransmitters that are associated with lower stress levels. Long-term research studies show that magnesium intake can be great for improving the regulation of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, reducing stress, and even improving your overall sleep patterns. (3)
BENEFITS OF SULFUR IN EPSOM BATH SALTS
While much of the current research on Epsom bath salts is focused on the transdermal absorption of magnesium, it is worth mentioning that sulfur plays an important role as well. If you want to truly learn how to use an Epsom salt bath, you should be aware of the role that it can play in detoxing the body and improving the digestive system.
Sulfur plays a significant role in the overall health of the digestive system. Hydrogen sulfide in the intestines is beneficial for the bacteria and can increase resistance to antibiotics as well as protect them from reactive oxygen species. In small doses, sulfur is excellent for strengthening the walls of the digestive tract. (4)
When the digestive system is strengthened through the absorption of both magnesium and sulfur, the body is able to detox itself from some of the harmful substances it contains.
Sulfur is a necessary component to assist the liver with detoxifying the body. Sulfur is most often found in the form of methylsulfonylmethane (MSM). MSM is a natural anti-inflammatory agent and could suppress the growth of hepatic tumors. (5) This single supplement also protects the liver from oxidative stress and chemically-induced toxicity. (6) Regular doses of MSM can reduce damage to the liver that stems from exposure to oxidative stress and even acetaminophen-induced liver damage.
Both sulfur and magnesium are essential to help restore balance to the body, allow for relaxation, and to promote better sleep.
In doses like those found when using Epsom salts for digestion, scientists agree that sulfur can be extremely useful. Lower doses are being indicated for clinical therapies that can reduce inflammation, pain, oxidative stress, thrombosis, and even cancer. (7)
HOW TO TAKE AN EPSOM SALT BATH
1. BUY GOOD-QUALITY EPSOM SALTS
Make sure that you know how to buy Epsom salt. Look for bags that say USP, meaning that they have been thoroughly vetted by the United States Food and Drug Association (FDA) for human use. You can purchase this product through your local health food store, online, or even at major retailers in the health and beauty department.
2. PREPARE YOUR EPSOM SALT BATH CORRECTLY
Most people agree that two cups of Epsom salt are sufficient. Pour your salts into the water while the faucet is still drawing comfortably warm water. Avoid using water that is too hot or feels uncomfortable to the touch. Temperatures upwards of 100 degrees should be avoided.
To maximize your bath, you may choose to add a few drops of your favorite essential oil to aid in your relaxation, detoxification, or sleep. These three following essential oils could be a great addition to your relaxing bath ritual.
Adding Lavender Essential Oil
Many research studies have shown that lavender is a calming essential oil that can be used to treat a variety of conditions. After compiling several studies, researchers agree that lavender can be used to reduce anxiety, stabilize moods, provide pain relief, and promote better sleep habits. (8) When combined with magnesium, you should find that sleep comes much more easily to you.
Adding Ylang-Ylang Essential Oil
Much like lavender essential oil, ylang-ylang is often used for its relaxing and restorative properties. It is a common fragrance used in spas and cosmetic products that are designed to make you feel more refreshed. However, scientists have delved a little deeper than this superficial conclusion. Many of their studies indicate that ylang ylang essential oil could be used to treat depression, anxiety, and high blood pressure. (9) It could be a powerful ally in helping you to fall asleep or reduce stress levels with your Epsom salt bath.
Adding Lemon Essential Oil
If you are primarily using your Epsom salt bath to detox, lemon essential oil might be a great addition. This essential oil is known to contain an ingredient called hesperidin, a compound that can combat inflammation and oxidative stress. (10) It can be ideal for supporting liver function and improving your overall digestive system.
3. SOAK IN YOUR EPSOM SALTS BATH.
You can soak for as long as you like but plan to spend at least twenty minutes in your bath. This gives your body the necessary time to absorb the nutrients found in the salts. Refrain from using any other soaps or products while soaking (except the essential oils, such as those that I mentioned above).
Note: If you are unable to take an Epsom salts bath for whatever reason but would still like to reap some of the benefits, you can try using Epsom salts in the shower as a scrub.
CONTRAINDICATIONS OF TAKING EPSOM SALT INTERNALLY
Learning how to take an Epsom salt bath can be a fun experience for someone who wants to unwind and relax. However, there are many people who tout the benefits of using Epsom salts internally. You may have common questions like how to use Epsom salt for constipation or how much Epsom salt to drink.
It may be advised to drink a small dose of Epsom salt dissolved in water in order to treat a stubborn case of constipation. However, you should always consult a medical professional before doing so. Epsom salt does have the capacity to interact with other drugs that you may be taking.
An overdose is possible if you are consuming Epsom salt, even dissolved in water. The safest idea is to use Epsom salt for a bath only. Even Epsom salts that have been approved by the FDA can still result in serious health issues when ingested.
If you still feel that you may need some gut repair after your detoxing Epsom salt bath, you may want to consider starting with our basic gut protocol.
EPSOM SALT BENEFITS
No matter what your body needs, most women find that they can benefit in some capacity from a hot Epsom salt bath. Balancing the magnesium and sulfur levels in your body can make a huge impact on your overall ability to cope with life’s daily stresses, your ability to maintain regular sleep patterns, and your ability to support the digestive system.