The two main ingredients of Epsom salt are magnesium and sulfate. It is believed the combination of both ingredients stimulates detoxification pathways.
Magnesium is a natural substance that aids a variety of bodily functions, including the removal of toxins. Sulfate can strengthen the walls of the digestive tract and make releasing toxins easier.
There is little scientific research documenting the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt. However, advocates of it argue that an Epsom salt detox bath may have the following benefits:
Soothe the skin
Epsom salt bathwater can soften rough, dry skin, and exfoliate dead skin cells. It may also soothe skin affected by skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis.
It is a good idea to check with a doctor before soaking in Epsom salt if a person has a skin condition, as it may make the symptoms worse.
Reduce soreness and pain
An Epsom salt bath may provide pain relief and reduce swelling in people living with certain types of inflammatory conditions, such as rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, gout, and psoriatic arthritis.
Low levels of magnesium can ease the pain in people with arthritis. Epsom salt contains magnesium and may help the body get rid of toxins responsible for exacerbating inflammation while also reducing swelling, stiffness, and pain.
Healthy magnesium levels can boost brain neurotransmitters that are responsible for inducing sleep and reducing stress. Magnesium may also promote melatonin, a sleep-inducing hormone.
People feeling stressed and overwhelmed may benefit from taking an Epsom salt bath. Some research has found that people who are suffering from mental and physical stress benefit when their magnesium levels are managed. While the study looked at oral supplements, Epsom salt could have a similar effect.
Taking a warm bath can also help a person relax by allowing them to release muscle tension and recuperate after a long day.
Promote foot health
Epsom salt may help treat athlete’s foot and ingrown toenail infections. A person can bathe in a tub with Epsom salt water or soak feet in warm water and Epsom salt to help feet heal faster and relieve itching.
Soaking the feet in Epsom salts may also help reduce foot odour.
Draw out splinters
Splinters can be difficult to remove without pushing them further into the skin. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath for a few minutes can reduce inflammation in the affected area, soften the splinter, and make it easier to remove.
Epsom salt should be dissolved with plenty of water if it is going to be consumed orally. Adding lemon can improve the taste.
However, the only benefit of drinking Epsom salt is as a laxative when someone is constipated.
While oral consumption of Epsom salt is safe in very small doses, there is no credible evidence that consuming it has any detoxifying effects.
Anyone considering drinking or eating Epsom salt should consult a doctor first. Many medications, including acetaminophen, can interact with Epsom salt.