Those of you who like to soak in warm water or bath bombs may be familiar with Epsom salt. In addition to relaxing the body after bathing, Epsom salt is also believed to have a myriad of other health benefits.
6 Benefits of Epsom Salt
What is Epsom salt and what are its benefits for your body? Check out the answer below.
What is Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is a salt formed from the minerals magnesium , sulfur (sulfur), and oxygen to produce magnesium sulfate.
Epsom salt is so named because it comes from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England.
Despite being called “salt,” Epsom salt is very different from the table salt you use in everyday cooking. This natural mineral is called salt because it has a chemical structure of magnesium sulfate (MgSO4).
Many people use Epsom salt because they believe in its properties to treat constipation, muscle aches, insomnia, and other health problems.
These benefits are thought to come from the magnesium mineral contained in Epsom salt.
This product is usually used as a solution for soaking. However, not a few also mix it into water to be consumed directly even though it does not taste good.
Health benefits of Epsom salt
Here are the various potential benefits that you can get from Epsom salt.
1. Improve sports performance
Athletes sometimes take magnesium supplements before exercise. The goal is to reduce the formation of lactic acid in the muscles that causes fatigue.
You may be able to get the same benefits with Epsom salt because it contains magnesium.
According to a study in the Journal of the International Society of Sports Nutrition (2015 ) , consumption of magnesium supplements is associated with improved athlete performance when bench-pressing .
In addition, magnesium supplements also have the potential to help recovery after exercise.
2. Reduce stress
Epsom salt turns out to have its own benefits in dealing with stress.
The magnesium content in this salt helps the production of chemicals in the brain, including those that play a role in regulating mood , stress, and sleep quality.
According to a study in the journal Nutrients , low magnesium levels can reduce your ability to deal with stress .
Soaking in Epsom salts might help absorb magnesium through the skin so that the body relaxes.
3. Reduce muscle pain
Your body needs magnesium to function properly. When you are deficient in magnesium , your muscles can’t contract and relax properly, resulting in muscle pain or cramping.
Soaking with Epsom salt also seems to have benefits for those who often experience muscle problems.
However, research on this efficacy is still limited and needs to be studied further.
4. Helps overcome constipation
Not without reason, many laxatives contain magnesium because this mineral helps with constipation by drawing water into the stool.
As a result, the texture of the stool becomes softer so it is easier to expel.
You can take Epsom salt as a natural laxative by mixing 10–30 grams of this salt in 250 mL of water.
However, it should be noted that there is no scientific evidence that Epsom salt is efficacious when consumed directly.
5. Help you sleep well
Who would have thought, Epsom salt also has benefits for overcoming insomnia . This is because the magnesium in this salt plays a role in the production of brain chemicals and the hormone melatonin.
The balance of brain chemicals and levels of the hormone melatonin helps you get a good night’s sleep.
Conversely, low magnesium levels in the body can reduce the quality of your sleep.
So, if you’re having trouble sleeping, try soaking in warm water and Epsom salts to relax your body and mind.
6. Maintain healthy hair and scalp
Magnesium is a mineral that is essential for healthy scalp and hair. The magnesium sulfate content in this type of salt can also have a similar effect.
Shampooing with a mixture of shampoo and Epsom salt can increase blood circulation in the fist so that it moisturizes the scalp and hair.
Even so, further research is still needed to strengthen the benefits of Epsom salt on this one.
How to use Epsom salt
Epsom salt is considered safe for most people. However, people who have certain skin problems should consult a doctor before bathing with this salt.
If you have no problem with your skin, you can make an Epsom salt solution for your bath in the following way.
- Prepare warm water in a large tub or standard size bathtub .
- Dissolve 300 grams of Epsom salt in warm water.
- Soak in the solution for 15–30 minutes.
Epsom salt side effects
Citing the Cleveland Clinic, Epsom salt does not cause side effects when you use it for bathing.
However, Epsom salt solution can exacerbate skin problems such as burns, inflammation, and infection.
This mineral salt can also cause side effects on the digestive system when you drink the solution.
Given the benefits of consuming Epsom salt itself has not been proven true, you should not consume it directly.
Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt that has many health benefits.
So far, the only way to get the scientifically proven properties of Epsom salt is to make it a soaking solution.