Named after a bitter saline spring found all the way in Surrey, England, Epsom salt is actually a naturally occurring mineral compound of both sulfate and magnesium. Epsom salt has been used as a natural remedy for treating many conditions for many years now. While Epsom salt has many health benefits including uses in beauty, gardening, and household, studies have shown that Epsom salt can be used effectively for detoxification of the body as well. However, don’t think that by a salt detox we are implying that you start eating salt or that you start pouring your table salt into the bathtub.
An Epsom salt detox refers to a bath made up of Epsom salt and which draws out the toxins from the body due to the presence of various minerals in Epsom salt. Epsom salt detox has many supporters who believe that soaking in an Epsom salt bath will help in removing harmful toxins from the body and also help balance the energies of the body. An Epsom salt detox is supposed to help with the following:
- Better overall health
- Managing weight
- Relief from sore muscles
While Epsom salt looks very much like your regular table salt, it is actually a totally different compound. While table salt is primarily made up of sodium, Epsom salt is made up of both sulfate and magnesium.
7 Instant Benefits of an Epsom Salt Detox
One of the biggest benefits of an Epsom salt bath is all the magnesium that gets absorbed by your skin. While there is still a need to confirm whether or not magnesium can actually cross the skin barrier, most people swear by this benefit of Epsom salt baths. In fact, this belief gets support from a 2004 study that showed an increased level of sulfate and magnesium in the blood of 19 participants after they took an Epsom salt bath.
Some of the benefits of an Epsom salt detox can also be due to the temperature of the bath as well as owing to the self-care nature of an Epsom salt bath. It is well known that heat helps to relax the muscles of body and also soothes aches and sores. Therefore, many benefits of an Epsom salt detox can actually be contributed to the temperature of the bath water itself.
Let us now take a closer look at some of the instant benefits of an Epsom salt detox:
- Relieves Muscle Pain and Soreness: A 12 minute Epsom salt detox bath is said to reduce inflammation, muscle pain, and tension. There is some evidence which points to the fact that magnesium is actually helpful in relieving and reducing muscle cramps.
- Relaxes the Entire Body and is a Great Stress Buster: A one hour Epsom salt bath is known to help relieve stress and also provide full body relaxation. While any kind of bath in which you relax for one hour will help the body relax, it is known that a deficiency of magnesium can cause anxiety, increase stress, and even induce depression in a person. Therefore, a one hour Epsom salt bath helps revamp the body’s magnesium levels.
- Gives Softer Skin: Even a quick 20 minute Epsom salt bath can help soften the skin, strengthen the skin barrier for better hydration, and reduce inflammation in the body.
- Works as a Laxative: Oral ingestion of around 10 to 30 grams of Epsom salt or a 20-minute bath works as a laxative and it is known to help cause a bowel movement anytime between 30 minutes to 5 hours after having the Epsom salt or taking the bath.
- Helps Draw Our Splinters: A paste of Epsom salt is known to help in pulling out any tiny splinters. This works particularly well with children, who do not otherwise allow their splinters to be pulled out physically.
- Balances the Levels of Magnesium in the Body: Well considering that the salt is rich in magnesium, it goes without saying that a 15 to 20-minute soak in an Epsom salt bath will help restore your magnesium levels. This is known to particularly benefit individuals who suffer from or are at a risk of low magnesium levels due to conditions such as fibromyalgia.
- Provides Relief with Ingrown Toenails: A 15-minute foot soak in Epsom salt can help reduce the pain and inflammation that arises from ingrown toenails.
There is also some information floating around that an Epsom salt bath works for weight loss as well. As of now, there is no evidence that an Epsom salt bath is effective in weight loss. While you may burn around 125 calories if you take a one hour bath, the same holds true for a walk of 30 minutes. Many believe that weight loss occurs due to sweating and the associated water weight loss. However, there is absolutely no scientific evidence backing up this claim.
Neither is drinking Epsom salt going to help you lose weight. In fact, most experts actually advice against drinking Epsom salt as a detox routine. By drinking Epsom salt, you are likely to experience diarrhea as it is a natural laxative. And even if you lose some water weight, you are likely to gain it all back the moment you stop drinking Epsom salt.
Are there any Side Effects of Epsom Salt Detox?
If you are worried about any risks and side effects of an Epsom salt bath, then consulting your doctor is the best choice. Though there are very low risks associated with Epsom salt baths. Your body is not able to absorb too high levels of magnesium through the skin, thus there is no risk of a magnesium overload. It is considered to be relatively safe for children as well, but make sure that the child does not drink any of the Epsom salt water.
People suffering from impaired kidney function, pregnant women, and breastfeeding women are advised against taking oral Epsom salt. Some of the side effects that may occur will be likely due to magnesium overdose, that too if you are ingesting the Epsom salt. These side effects include:
- Dizziness or fainting
- Slower than normal heartbeat
- Blurry vision
- Breathing trouble
- Decrease or increase in urination
- Muscle weakness
If you notice any of these symptoms, consult your doctor immediately.
Overall, though there are many benefits of an Epsom salt detox and you can benefit from having a complete detox now and then remove all the toxins from your body and feel rejuvenated once again.
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