Epsom Salt Baths – Not just for relaxation

epsomsaltpicMany think of Epsom salt baths as a luxury they don’t have time for, or for relief of sore muscles and achy joints for when they’ve gone crazy at the gym. Not so! An Epsom salt bath is actually therapeutic for good health!

(Please note that if you have kidney disease, contact your doctor before using any magnesium supplements.)

Magnesium Deficient?

Many people are deficient in magnesium. There are several reasons for this.

  • First, modern industrial farming has caused depletion of minerals from the soil, including magnesium.
  • Second, the American diet has gone from a whole unprocessed food diet to a diet of mostly processed foods, too much sugar and protein, and unhealthy salts and fats, all leading to decreased magnesium intake and absorption. Our ancestors did not have these issues to deal with.

What’s the Big Deal?

Magnesium is of extreme importance and is actually one of the most abundant elements in the human body. Deficiency rarely shows on blood tests because only 1% is in the blood. Most is in the bones and teeth. The body is amazingly built to keep the levels in the blood constant by pulling it from those places. Otherwise, any kind of deficiency could cause a potentially deadly heart rhythm.

The University of Maryland Medical Center states that symptoms of magnesium deficiency may include agitation and anxiety, restless leg syndrome (RLS), sleep disorders, irritability, nausea and vomiting, abnormal heart rhythms, low blood pressure, confusion, muscle spasm and weakness, hyperventilation, insomnia, poor nail growth, and even seizures.

Magnesium helps regulate over 300 enzymes and is involved in many bodily functions such as muscle control, electrical impulses, production of energy, keeping bones strong, and the elimination of harmful toxins. It can even ward off migraines, help with depression and diabetes, decrease the risk of developing asthma and reduce fibromyalgia pain.

Do I Need Magnesium Supplements?

Americans take tons of calcium but rarely enough magnesium. The small amount that comes in calcium tablets isn’t near enough that’s needed for good health. Calcium intake without enough magnesium can actually result in improper calcium placement in the body, for example, not in the bones and teeth where it belongs.

Here’s where Epsom salt comes in, known as hydrated magnesium sulfate. This form of magnesium is easily absorbed through the skin unlike the oral form which is not easily absorbed from the digestive tract. Studies have shown there is an increased magnesium level in the body after soaking in a bath with Epsom salt.

Where Can I Buy It?   Or DIY.

Epsom salt can be purchased at grocery stores, drug stores and supercenters for very little money and are available either plain or with added essential oils such as eucalyptus or lavender. If you want more variety in scents you can pay a LOT more at specialty stores or just add your own essential oils such as rose, lavender, cedar, chamomile or sandalwood, or a combination of whatever you want.

Just Do It…

Fill your tub with whatever temp you like and add 1 – 2 cups depending on the size of your tub. Fifteen minutes or more is all it takes. Your body will absorb what it needs.

So turn on your favorite tunes or TV show, or grab a book, candle, herbal tea and head to the tub. This is not a luxury; it’s the “Healthy Approach”!

Laura RN

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