Ah, Epsom salt. My Grandma always had some in the bathroom. I knew it was used in baths but recently I found out that it can be used for much, much more. Did you know it's a popular remedy for many an ailment?
To start with, what exactly is Epsom salt and how did it get its name?
Also known as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is a chemical compound or a salt with the formula MgSO4.
"Epsom salt", a white crystalline solid that dissolves in water, gets its name from a saline spring in the town of Epsom in Surrey England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets nonporous London clay.
Even though you may have thought they were the same, Epsom salt and table salt are very different and you can't substitute one for the other. While it looks like rock salt the taste is very different. You won't want to add Epsom salt to your food. It should be noted that many people, including some healthcare professionals, claim Epsom salt is therapeutic and can be used as an alternative treatment for people suffering from magnesium deficiency there is no good evidence that magnesium or sulfates are absorbed into your body through the skin.
Epsom salts are NOT really a salt but a mineral called magnesium sulfate.
You can find Epsom salt at most pharmacies and big box stores and since it’s inexpensive I believe it's a must-have for every home medicine cabinet, kitchen cupboard, or gardening hut.
Continue to see 28 different ways to use Epsom Salts, including some strange ones!
Epsom salt could be the key to a good night’s sleep. Try soaking three times per week for about 12 to 15 minutes and see if your sleep improves!
Can Help With Constipation
Its usefulness as a laxative is actually one of the original reasons for mining Epsom salt. Ingesting the salt draws water into your colon, which then pushes out any blockages.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the use of Epsom salt as a laxative. Be sure to check with a doctor first: taking the salt might not be safe for patients with kidney or heart conditions.
- Use the amount of Epsom salt based on a person’s age. Adults and children aged 12 years or older may take 2 to 6 level teaspoons daily. Children ages 6 to 12 years old may take 1 to 2 level teaspoons daily. Children under age 6 years should not use Epsom salt, as a laxative, unless a doctor recommends this treatment.
- Mix the Epsom salts into an 8-ounce glass of water. A person can also divide the doses across the course of a day but should never exceed the daily limit.
- Add lemon juice, if desired, to improve the taste. Drink the entire mixture.
You can expect a laxative effect in 30 minutes to 6 hours.
Relieve Your Sunburn
Spend too long in the sun? Don't reach for the aloe vera this time. Epsom salt has excellent anti-inflammatory properties which leads to it being my go-to alternative for relief from too much sun exposure. In an empty spray bottle, mix in 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water and spray the affected area.
DIY Bath Bombs
- 1 cup baking soda
- 1/2 cup citric acid
- 1/2 cup Epsom salts
- 1 tsp water
- 2 tsp essential oil
- 3 tsp olive oil
- Food coloring
- Heart molds
Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a basin of warm water, and soak your feet for 20 minutes. I personally love to add peppermint or lavender to my water too.
Epsom Salt Mouthwash
Do you suffer from stinky breath? Before bed try dissolving 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in a cup of lukewarm water. Gargle and rinse as you would normally with mouthwash. Epsom salt can also do wonders for tonsil stones.
Help Heal Bruises and Sprains
You can speed up your recovery from simple bumps and scrapes with an Epsom salt soak. The minerals in the salt reduce inflammation, helping your body recover faster.
Treat Dry Lips
If you suffer from dry chapped lips, then mix a small amount of Vaseline with a few spoonfuls of Epsom salt. Rubbing the mixture over your lips like you would a balm helps to remove all the dead or dry skin. I find adding a little vanilla and sugar helps it taste nice too. You can also substitute the vaseline for coconut oil if you have some on hand.
Epsom Salt For You Hair
Epsom salt may be a good addition to your hair care routine. There are several ways you can use it.
- Hair cleanser: add the versatile Epsom salt to your shampoo to draw out the grease and oil, then rinse and condition as usual.
- Helps with frizz and adds volume: this one is a little strange but it definitely gets top marks from me. Mix equal parts of Epsom salt with your conditioner. the length and thickness of your hair will dictate how much you need. Heat it up in a saucepan on your stove. Next massage the mixture into your hair making sure to start at the roots and work your way down. Leave it in for 20 minutes and then rinse it out.
- Curl Enhancer: Epsom salts are known as a natural curl booster or curl activator for hair. Try mixing ¼ cup of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water. Scrunch into hair for texturized waves, and store in a spray bottle for later use.
Though studies haven’t proven Epsom salt works for hair health and beauty, the best way to find out is to try it yourself.
Epsom salt is not safe for color-treated hair because the magnesium present in the Epsom salt may react with the color pigments. Wait at least 14 days after a hair dye to use.
Draw Out A Splinter
Epsom salt actually pulls double duty when it comes to these annoying injuries:
- If you "soak" your finger in Epsom salt, it will usually draw the wood out to the surface of your skin.
- Afterward, soak a rag in a mix of Epsom and water, then use it as a compress. This will soothe the irritated area.
Epsom Salt Grout Cleaner
Mix equal parts of Epsom salts and liquid dish detergent to create an effective tile and grout cleaner. Apply this mixture to stains in your bathroom or kitchen. Let it soak for a few minutes, scrub away grime, then rinse clean.
Epsom Salt Detergent Cubes
- 1 cup Borax
- 1 cup washing soda
- 1/4 cup Epsom salt
- 4-8 tablespoons lemon juice
You can substitute Epsom salt in any detergent recipe that calls for rock salt or table salt. It may not be suitable for dishwashers that have hard water, though, as it is sometimes used to harden the water.
Get Relief From Bug Bites
In an empty spray bottle, mix in 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt with 1 cup of water and spray the affected area. This salty spray is known to soothe mosquito bites, bee stings, and even the rash caused by poison ivy or oak.
Epsom Salt For Your Face And Body
Praised for its ability to flush toxins from the skin, exfoliate dead skin, remove blackheads, clean skin, and treat acne, Epsom salt is perfect for skin treats.
- Exfoliating face mask: try taking 2 tbs Honey and 2 tbs of Epsom salts. Apply the mixture to your face and allow it to sit on your skin for around 30 minutes. I find having a damp cloth around handy since the honey can be sticky and drip, but the effect is so good.
- Skin Exfoliation: mix olive oil or baby oil with Epsom salts until a paste forms. Use it on your heels, your knees, your elbows or anywhere else you have rough skin. Rinse after for dry skin relief and a smoother appearance.
- Face wash: add a few flakes to your face wash to remove any dead skin.
- Facial brush: dip your damp brush right in the salt and gently scrub in a circular motion for an extraordinary exfoliation.
Epsom Salt For Your Garden
Since Epsom salt is rich in magnesium and sulfur it makes for an effective fertilizer when your garden needs a boost. Check out some of these fun tips and tricks I've rounded up over the years.
- For Seedlings: add one tablespoon of Epsom salts for every gallon of water to the soil after seeding for a noticeable boost for your plants.
- It turns out raccoons don't like Epsom salt: sprinkling a layer at the bottom of your garbage cans should keep them away from your trash.
- For greener plants: many houseplants suffer from magnesium deficiency by simply adding a teaspoon of Epsom salt per gallon of water and watering as usual you can expect greener more lush plants.
- As a weedkiller: a cup of Epsom salt, a gallon of horticultural vinegar and some liquid detergent in a spray bottle will make quick work of your weeds. Do not spray on ANY plants you want to stay alive. Wear protective clothing such as gloves, goggles, long pants and a face mask.
- For your roses: add 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Soak unplanted bushes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time.
- Banish snails and slugs: sprinkle dry Epsom salt in the garden around the base of plants.
- Control garden pests: mix one cup of Epsom salt with five gallons of water and spray
- Get a lusher lawn: The Epsom Salt Council recommends applying three pounds of salts for every 1,250 square feet of lawn with a spreader. Sprinkle the salts lightly, then water your lawn with a hose or sprinkler system.