Baths have been used for centuries for healing and relaxation in numerous cultures. Being in water has an incredible effect on the body and mood. While having a positive effect on the body, mind and the skin (our largest, most absorbable, organ). The human body is made mostly of water and that is why we are encouraged to drink plenty of it. But soaking in it is also extremely beneficial. We can enhance this by adding certain oils or salts to a bath or bathing in a natural body of water or pool, rich in naturally occurring minerals. Hot water opens our pores and causes us to sweat, which is the body’s natural way of cleansing itself.
How can you make your bath experience actually good for your health? By adding in some of salt, but not a typical salt that you eat. I’m referring to Epsom salt!
Epsom salt is named after a saline spring found in the borough of Epsom, England. But it is not actually salt—it’s a naturally-occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. According to studies, magnesium and sulfate are both absorbed through the skin, which makes Epsom salt baths one of the easiest and most ideal ways to enjoy it’s health benefits. Sulfate helps with nutrient absorption, flushes toxins, and helps ease migraines. Sulfate also stimulates the pancreas to generate and digest enzymes that are thought to help detoxify the body from environmental contaminants. To prepare your bath for the ultimate healing experience, add in some Epsom salt. Here’s why:
Research shows that a lot of people lack this important mineral due to magnesium levels declining in our food and environment. Using Epsom salt in your bath and in beauty treatments is one easy way to improve magnesium levels. As a matter of fact, if Epsom salt is used on a regular basis, it can improve symptoms of conditions such as gout, athlete’s foot, sprains, nail fungus, and bruises. And if you’re dealing with chronic diseases or pain, consider adding Epsom salt to your baths routinely.
Further Health Benefits of Epsom Salt
1. Helps muscles and nerves function properly
Research shows that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in the body, which ensures proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes.
2. Helps prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots
According to studies, Epsom salt is believed to improve hearth health and prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation and protecting the arteries.
3. Makes Insulin more Effective
An adequate amount of magnesium and sulfate levels can help increase the effect of insulin in the body to help with blood sugar dysregulation.
4. Relieves Constipation and Hemorrhoids
If taken internally, Epsom salt can act as a detoxifying agent to cleanse the colon. The salt will act as a laxative as it increases the water in the intestines and provides temporary relief of constipation. But I would not recommend this, because it can be more a purgative than you’d anticipate! But the heat of a warm bath can alleviate pain associated with hemorrhoids or anal fissures.
5. Eliminates toxins from the body
Since skin is highly porous, adding Epsom salt to your bathwater can pull salt and other harmful substances out of your body. So it’s great to do when you’re on a detox. Heating up the body allows the cells to release toxins more readily!
Creating your Epsom Salt Bath
Aim to soak in a warm Epsom salt bath for at least 40 minutes. The first 20 minutes will remove the toxins from the body; the body will absorb the minerals in the bath water for the last half of the bath. But if you start to notice you’re getting light-headed or nauseous, get out as it may be too much, too fast. How much Epsom salt you should add to the bath water is dependent on weight:
- Children under 60 pounds: Add 1/2 a cup of Epsom salt to a standard-sized bath.
- Adults between 60 and 100 pounds: Add 1 cup of Epsom salt to your bath.
- Adults between 100 and 150 pounds: Add 1 1/2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.
- Adults between 150 and 200 pounds: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to your bath.
Prepare the skin by exfoliating and stimulating lymphatic flow using a dry brush on the body prior to entering the tub. Focus on slow deep breaths while in the bath to ease the body further into relaxation. After the bath, while your skin is still warm and slightly damp, apply your favorite essential oil to seal moisture.
*Do not use Epsom salts if you are pregnant, dehydrated, or have open wounds or burns on your skin*
Jockers, D., “The remarkable health benefits of Epsom salt baths,” Natural News web site, November 2, 2013; http://www.naturalnews.com/042753_Epsom_salt_baths_remarkable_health_benefits_detoxificatin_technique.html.
“Epsom Salt Uses & Benefits,” Salt Works web site, http://www.saltworks.us/salt_info/epsom-uses-benefits.asp, last accessed July 28, 2015