Written by Dr. Jacintha "Jaz" Roemer L.Ac.
Whether you’re seeking to alleviate the discomfort of body aches and pains, or a way to unwind from daily stress, an Epsom salt detox might be the perfect remedy for you. An Epsom salt detox is a warm bath with Epsom salts that help improve the body’s natural detoxification process and promote healing.
Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is a chemical compound made up of magnesium, sulfur, and oxygen. It is believed the combination of these ingredients stimulates detoxification pathways. The theory is that during an Epsom salt detox, the magnesium dissolves into the bath water, and is absorbed in the body through the pores of the skin providing an array of different health benefits. We most often get our magnesium from the foods we eat, however, by putting it directly on the skin it skips digestion and can benefit the targeted area of the body through absorption in that specific area.
BENEFITS OF EPSOM SALTS
Warm baths have been used for century as a means to reduce stress and promote better sleep. A warm bath combined with Magnesium serves as calming tonic on the nervous system. It is believed that Epsom salts can help stabilize mood, relieve stress, anxiety and depression. Researches are suggesting that taking Magnesium can increase serotonin (happiness hormone) in the brain.
(Eby, G. A., 3rd, & Eby, K. L. (2010). Magnesium for treatment-resistant depression: a review and hypothesis. Medical hypotheses, 74(4), 649–660.https://doi.org/10.1016/j.mehy.2009.10.051)
Magnesium plays a role in the active transport of calcium and potassium ions across cell membranes. This is a process that is important to nerve impulse conduction, muscle contraction, and normal heart rhythm. For this reason, Epson salts can provide great relief when it comes to calming down convulsions and spasms.
The bathwater from Epsom salt can soften dry skin and exfoliate dead skin cells. It can be very nourishing on the skin and soothe skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis.
"Magnesium salts, the prevalent minerals in Dead Sea water, are known to exhibit favorable effects in inflammatory diseases. Our study examined the efficacy of bathing atopic subjects in a salt rich in magnesium chloride from deep layers of the Dead Sea" according to this research.
Epsom Salts + Essential Oils
Adding a high quality essential oil to your bath can utilize the benefits of Aromatherapy to heal and sooth your body.
"Aromatherapy is natural and noninvasive gift of nature for humans. It's not only the disease symptoms which are eradicated but the whole body is rejuvenated by the use of aroma. Aromatherapy regulates the physiological, spiritual and psychological upliftment for the new phase of life. This therapy is not only preventive but also can be used in the acute and chronic stages of disease. Pharmaceutical industries are trying for environmental friendly, alternative and natural medicine for disease associated with pathogens and metabolism. There may be a possibility of enhancing the rate of reaction and bioavailability of drugs from the use of these essential oils."
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More research needs to be done to prove the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt baths. With this being said, people who use Epsom salt baths believe in their benefits, such as relaxation, pain relief, and softening the skin. So turn on some relaxing music, light a candle, and climb into your tub. Soak in the Epsom salt bath for about 12 to 20 minutes. Adding Epsom salt to your bath can the healthy relaxation routine that you never even knew you needed.
Want to learn more? Here is a great resource Dr. Jaz created for your Epsom Salts needs. Feel free to download these as a PDF.