Epsom salt is used as a popular remedy for many ailments. It has been around for centuries and even people back then used Epson salt to treat certain pains and injuries. With time, as more and more studies stepped in, it was found that Epson salt has several other important benefits to offer. It can be consumed or applied directly to the skin. This article is going to provide a comprehensive overview of why is Epsom salt used along with its benefits and uses. Let’s begin.
What is Epsom Salt?
Before we proceed with discussing how is Epsom salt used along with its benefits, it is important that you understand what it actually is. Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate, which is a compound made from sulfur, magnesium, and oxygen. It was discovered in a town in Surrey, England, and gets its name from there as well.
While many people tend to believe that Epsom salt and table salt is the same thing, it is not. However, it does have an appearance similar to the table salt but it is mostly dissolved in baths, which is why it is mostly referred to as “magnesium salt” as well. It also tastes comparatively better than table salt. For hundreds of years, the salt has been used for muscle relaxation, cramp reduction, and several other ailments. It offers magnesium, a compound, which most people do not get enough of.
How does it work?
As soon as Epsom salt is dissolved in water, it released magnesium and sulfate ions. The idea of dissolving it in water is that it can be absorbed through your skin, providing you with both magnesium and sulfates that service important bodily functions. However, at the moment, there is no good evidence that magnesium and sulfate are absorbed into your body through the skin.
Benefits of Epsom Salt
Magnesium happens to be the fourth most abundant material in the body with calcium being the first. It is involved with more than 325 biochemical reactions in your body that benefit your heart and nervous system. As mentioned earlier, magnesium is something that people do not consume an appropriate amount of. The reason is that people mostly dissolve it in baths as compared to taken orally.
Promotes Sleep and Stress Reduction
Another major benefit of Epsom salt is that the magnesium levels help you fall asleep and manage stress as well. This is because magnesium helps your brain produce neurotransmitters that induce sleep and reduce stress. Moreover, magnesium might also help your body produce melatonin, which is a hormone that helps you fall asleep. If the magnesium level in your body is low, it might affect sleep quality and stress. Some people believe that taking Epsom salt baths will help raise the magnesium level as it is absorbed through the skin.
Helps with constipation
If constipation is regular in your case, magnesium might help you with it. It helps by drawing water into your colon and promotes bowel movements. In addition to that, magnesium is usually taken by mouth for constipation relief in the form of magnesium hydroxide or magnesium citrate. Moreover, the FDA lists it as an approved laxative. While consuming Epsom salt, you should know that there are several side effects as well such as bloating and liquid stool.
Exercise Performance and Recovery
When it comes to discussing the potential benefits of Epsom salt interms of exercise performance and recovery, many people believe that Epsom baths can reduce muscle soreness and relieve cramps as well. It plays an important role in recovery and exercise performance. It is a well-known fact that appropriate magnesium levels in your body are helpful for exercise because magnesium enables your body to use glucose and lactic acid. While relaxing in an Epsom bath salt might help the muscles recover but there is no hard evidence that suggests the absorption of magnesium through the skin.
Reduced pain and swelling
Amongst the popular claims about magnesium, one of them is reduced pain and swelling. Many people assume that taking Epsom salt baths improves symptoms of fibromyalgia and arthritis. Then again, many believe that magnesium has an important role to play in this since these effects are due to low magnesium levels in the body.
While Epsom salt might be helpful in treating magnesium deficiency or constipation, it can also be used as a beauty product or bath salt. Although thorough research is required to study its benefits but the available evidence suggests that the intake of magnesium is healthy for the body.