Are you suffering from the effects of stress. We all do at some point in our lives. For me this will usually result in insomnia and body pain, especially in my feet and legs. One particularly dreary day in January(quite few years ago) I discovered the Epsom Salts bath benefits.

My mother used to soak in an Epsom Salt bath when I was a kid so I thought I would give it a go and see if there were any benefits. I’m not a bath person. I like to shower and get on with my day. I took my kindle, lit some candles and soaked… until the water cooled. Went to bed, slept like a baby and woke up feeling great! Since then, I have been having an Epsom salts bath once or twice a week. It has never got rid of the problems of life but it has aided me in reducing my body aches and improving my quality of sleep which definitely aides in me being able to cope with what life throws at me more competently.

epsom salts in a bowl with fresh lavendar, sitting on the edge of a bath.

Why it works (the science bit)

Epsom salts are a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Both of these minerals are easily absorbed through the skin whether via a foot bath or a bath. A bath has access to a greater surface area of skin and therefore more effective.

Magnesium is commonly lacking in our diets, due to modern farming methods. However, magnesium is vital for over 300 enzyme reactions in our bodies and that is what we know of, there will be many more of which we are unaware. Some of those enzyme reactions are responsible in reducing inflammation, muscle pain/cramps, anxiety, relieve constipation. Magnesium is also a natural sedative and therefore can help with sleeping problems.

Sulfates help with the absorption of other nutrients, easing migraines, and flushing toxins. They also help strengthen the walls of the digestive tract.

Here are some of the benefits that Epsom salts baths can provide:

  1. Promotes relaxation / eases stress
  2. Eases muscle pain
  3. Eases sprains/sports injuries/bruises
  4. Promotes sleep
  5. Relieves constipation (can also be taken orally, e.g during a liver cleanse)
  6. Flushes heavy metals/toxins from the cells = aides in detoxing

There was an article in The Daily mail, with celebrities Gwyneth Paltrow, Victoria Beckham and Elle Macpherson claiming the miracles of Epsom salts baths including: reduced bloating/flat tummy to a hangover cure. Epsom salts will reduce bloating but to really reduce gut bloating, reduce the foods that you have a lack of intolerance. As far as a hangover cure; yes it helps detox your body so will aid in reducing the symptoms of a hangover. However, your liver will still be over loaded from drinking too much alcohol. I would try to look at the bigger picture of these claims. Epsom salts is a great aide but as always, what you are putting in your body is extremely important.

To get started

  • Fill your bath tub with warm water and add 250 grams or more of Epsom salts. The more salt you add, the greater the effect. Then soak for at least 20 mins.
  • Towel dry your body without rinsing off the salts.
  • Go to bed and sleep like a baby.

If you really want to improve the whole experience, I recommend using a body brush to stimulate the skin/lymphatic system (it makes your skin feel like silk too) and opens the pores before a soak in an Epsom salts bath. You could also use a few drops of an essential oil, such as Lavendar, to take take relaxation and luxury feel even further.

You can purchase your Epsom salts from the clinic, £3.50 for 1/2 kg, £5.50 for 1 kg.  Our salts are from Westlab, the highest food quality Epsom salts. We also carry the dry body brushes and a selection of organic essential oils. Cheap, effective aides to health.

If you have never indulged in an Epsom salt bath, give it a go. It’s an efficient and inexpensive way to relieve stress and improve your health.

Written by Anne French, Chiropractor and Functional Medicine Practitioner.