Epsom salt is a common DIY ingredient found in everything from home gardening to non-toxic cleaning products. However, where it really shines is with maintaining your health. Epsom salt is a pure mineral made up of naturally occurring magnesium and sulfate. The salt gains its name from a similarly named saline spring in Surrey, England. Regardless of its history, the salt continues to have a following with those interested in natural health remedies. Here’s six of the most common health uses for Epsom salt.
When dealing with a sunburn from unprotected time in the sun, Epsom salt can be combined with other natural relief products like aloe vera to help treat your burn and reduce inflammation. Combine 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with one cup of water in a spray bottle. Spray the mixture over the skin. Do not rub the mixture into the skin as any remaining coarse salt granules may irritate the burned skin.
Whether dealing with a spider bite or the onslaught of summer mosquitoes, epsom salt are a natural alternative to medicinal bug bite sprays. Simply mix 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 1 cup of cold water. Take a clean cotton cloth and soak it in the mixture. Hold the cloth against the bitten area for itch relief and to help reduce swelling.
As a coarse product, Epsom salt effectively works as an exfoliant. Exfoliating is important for keeping your skin looking young and healthy. The coarse nature of the salt removes dead skin cells, leaving the skin feeling fresh. This action also initiates the production of new elastin and collagen, which reduces the looks of fine line and wrinkles and helps prevent new wrinkles from forming. The salt is especially effective on the feet.
When excess oil builds up on your scalp, it can lead to heavy, flat hair. Combine equal parts Epsom salt to your conditioner and apply once a week to help remove this excess oil and leave your scalp feeling better and your hair with extra volume. For best results, try leaving the conditioner mix in for 20 minutes before rinsing.
Epsom salt work well as a natural laxative. This effect is due to its abilities as a oral hyperosmotic laxative. In other words, when you ingest the salt, the sulfate causes water to increase in the colon. At the same time, the magnesium softens the stool and contributes to muscle contractions to help move the digestive tract along towards a bowel movement.
For those suffering with psoriasis, Epsom salt can help bring relief. Add 1 to 2 cups of the salt to your daily baths to help remove scales and reduce skin inflammation. Do not use Epsom salt in jetted tubs or hot tubs unless the manufacturer has stated it won’t damage the tub.
As with anything taken for health or medical reasons, it’s important to talk to your doctor before including Epsom salt into your health routine, especially if you plan to take them orally.