How They Work, Uses, Benefits

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magnesia bleachalso called magnesium sulfate, is a natural chemical compound that is believed to have medicinal properties. People who use Epsom salt do so for a variety of reasons, such as relieving stress, relieving muscle soreness, and correcting skin irritation.

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This article explains what Epsom salts are and how they work. It also covers how to use Epsom salt, as well as potential benefits and side effects.

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is a mineral salt found in nature. Specifically, this salt is a compound of magnesium and sulfate.

Epsom salt looks a lot like the coarse salt you might find in the kitchen. However, they are not used for cooking and have a very bitter taste.

Instead, they can be dissolved in a bath or applied to the skin. If there is no smell, they can also be dissolved in drinking water.

It is magnesium that is said to provide health and beauty benefits. This mineral helps carry out many processes in the body, including muscle function, bone growth, and energy processing.

You can buy Epsom salt at grocery stores, health stores, and pharmacies.

What is Epsom?

Epsom is not a What? but one where. Epsom salts are named after a spring in Surrey, England, where they were first found.

How Epsom Salt Works

Dissolving Epsom salts in bath water allows them to break down into magnesium and sulfates. It is said that soaking in a tub filled with Epsom salts allows these ingredients to be absorbed into the skin so that your body can use them.

However, whether the amount absorbed through the skin is enough to affect your health is not known.

Many studies have shown that little or no magnesium is absorbed from Epsom salt baths. In fact, magnesium is difficult to pass through all layers of the skin. Similar results were observed when using magnesium sulfate skin cream.

Magnesium sulfate works effectively when taken orally as a laxative. It works by taking water from the rest of your body and putting it in your digestive tract. This makes bowel movements easier.


Epsom salt is said to help cure a variety of ailments, although there aren’t many studies to back this up. Since the risks of use are relatively small for most people, some people – including some healthcare providers – see the potential advantages as outweighing any cons. .

Muscle aches, pains and injuries

Your healthcare provider may recommend an Epsom salt bath as an alternative treatment for certain conditions.

In addition to relaxation, Epsom salt soaks are commonly used to:

Skin and hair health

Epsom salt can be used to help remove dead skin from the face, body, and scalp. It can also be used as a hair mask to increase hair volume.

Other uses may include:

  • Soothes itching caused by poison ivy and mosquito bites
  • Softens skin affected by Psoriasisa disorder that causes patches of scaly skin
  • Cleans and soothes sores from genital herpesa sexually transmitted infection

Relieve Constipation

Epsom salt is used as a laxative that effectively relieves constipation. Many people can have a bowel movement within six hours.

Adults and children 12 years of age and older can use pure Epsom salt with no fragrance or other additives.


Epsom salt can be used on the skin or (if there is no smell) orally.

Always follow product instructions when using Epsom salt. The amount of product you need will vary depending on the form and brand of Epsom salt you are using.

Remember that there are different types of Epsom salt: USP and agricultural. Products labeled “USP” meet the standards of the United States Pharmacopeia, a third-party monitoring of purity, and are the only products that should be used.

For Muscle Aches, Pains and Injuries

To make an Epsom salt bath to soak in minor aches, pains, and injuries:

  • Dissolve one to two cups of Epsom salt in warm running water
  • Soak for 10 to 15 minutes

Be sure to follow the directions on the package for more details on how much product to use, as well as how often you can bathe with Epsom salts.

You may also want to check the package for information on specific tub uses. In some cases, it may not be possible to use Epsom salt in tubs with a nozzle.

Improve skin and hair

There are no studies that say Epsom salt is effective when used as a cosmetic. However, some use Epsom salt to remove dead skin or add volume to the hair.

To use on skin, combine 1/2 teaspoon of salt with a liquid body wash. Apply the mixture on the skin in a circular motion, then rinse the skin clean.

If using it on your hair, add hair conditioner and Epsom salt in equal parts. Mix. Leave it on for 20 minutes and then wash your hair.

It is important to note that some people may experience skin irritation or allergic reactions. Always test a small amount of product before applying a larger amount. Contact your healthcare provider if you experience a serious reaction.

To help combat constipation

It’s best to talk to your doctor before using Epsom salt as a laxative, especially if you have another medical condition. Keep in mind that serious side effects and drug interactions can occur.

If you get a green light, be sure to buy plain, unscented Epsom salt. Many types have additional ingredients used for soaking, not for drinking.

Always follow the directions on the package when using magnesium sulfate as a laxative.

Generally speaking:

  • Dissolve one dose, according to package directions, in 8 ounces of water
  • Stir to help it dissolve even more
  • Drink it up

This should result in a bowel movement within half an hour to six hours. If not, let your healthcare provider know.


Epsom salt should be stored in an airtight container and kept dry. As laxatives, they should be stored in a cool, dry place, out of reach of children and pets.


Epsom salt should be used with caution. It is best to speak with your healthcare provider before using this product.

Dry skin

When used topically, they can dry out the skin. This can cause problems in cold weather and people with sensitive or naturally dry skin. Some individuals may also experience allergic reactions.

Start with just a little salt (1/4 cup) in the bath and gradually increase as tolerated. Monitor your skin closely for dryness or allergic reactions. Make sure to moisturize the skin after soaking.

Stomach problems and discomfort

Taken by mouth, Epsom salt can cause diarrhea and stomach upset. Talk to your healthcare provider before using Epsom salt as a laxative if you have kidney disease, stomach pain, nausea, or vomiting.

You should also talk to your healthcare provider if you have a sudden change in your bowel habits. People who are on a low magnesium diet should not use Epsom salt.


Epsom salt is a natural compound made up of magnesium and sulfate. They are often dissolved in a bath, applied topically, or used as a laxative.

While research shows that Epsom salts do not absorb well into the skin, individuals still use them to help treat a variety of conditions.

While helpful for some people, Epsom salt can lead to side effects. It’s best to talk to your doctor before trying Epsom salt.

frequently asked Questions

  • Are Epsom salts and bath salts the same?

    No. Epsom salt contains only magnesium and sulfate. However, bath salts may contain other ingredients such as added flavoring or coloring.

  • Can Epsom Salt Help With Muscle Pain?

    There is no evidence that Epsom salt helps to significantly reduce muscle pain. However, a warm and relaxing bath can help relieve muscle pain.

  • Should I Rinse After Bathing With Epsom Salts?

    Rinsing after showering with Epsom salts can help remove salt deposits on your skin that you might see or cause dryness.

  • How long should I soak in an Epsom salt bath?

    Soak for 10 to 15 minutes.

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