Epsom Salt Mineral Bath
With the creation of new medicines, treatments, rubs, ointments, sprays, tonics, soaks and other aids, many people have forgotten the that before all of these newer and fancier products came along, the old-school products did the job for most people. The newer products might come in attractive packaging, have added aromas or come with trendy ingredients, but without them, you usually end up with the same main ingredient, which is the one that works. Some of these main ingredients have been around for many years and in their plain form are all but forgotten by most people, but still work very well.
There are some products that are so simple and affordable, yet highly effective that they seem too good to be true. Epsom salt falls into this category. It can be found in any grocery store or drug store for a few dollars. Epsom salt has been around for so long and is so readily available that people often overlook its effectiveness and health benefits.
I know most Americans don’t take baths much and prefer to shower, but this cultural norm may be preventing many people from realizing the many benefits of a hot soak in a quality mineral bath. There are many reasons why Americans prefer to take showers instead of taking a bath. The most common reason is time consumption. With many people leading perpetually busy and stressful lives, they feel like they don’t have the extra few minutes that it takes to take a healing bath instead of taking a quick shower. But when you step back and look at the big picture, a person that leads a perpetually busy and stressful life can probably benefit greatly from taking a few extra minutes to unload some of the burden on their mind and body. Surely, a few extra minutes is a relatively small sacrifice when compared to the relief you will feel afterward. Furthermore, if you bathe in the evening, the better rest you will get after a warm soak in Epsom salt should more than negate the few minutes of sleep lost while taking a bath instead of a shower.
If you are an athlete, a soak in Epsom salt water can relax your muscles, reduce muscle soreness, sedate the nervous system, reduce pain and swelling from inflammation, muscle cramps, sprains and bruises, and can draw toxins from the body. It helps aid in the recovery after workouts and helps reduce overall stress. You can even just soak your feet for relief from tired or sore feet. You can even apply a hot towel soaked in epsom salt to relax sore body parts. An Epsom salt foot soak is great for treating athlete’s foot. However, even with all of these benefits, a common response I hear when recommending mineral baths to men is that they would prefer to deal with the pain and discomfort rather than take a bath. To some, it seems to be a matter of masculinity. Some feel like they would be losing a piece of their manhood if they are caught bathing in bath salts. However, they need to get over this and realize that some of the toughest and most rugged athletes from the UFC (Ultimate Fighting Championship) to 7-time Tour de France winner Lance Armstrong, to NFL stars Chris Johnson, Ray Rice, and Hines Ward to name a few, use this method to help themselves recover from various injuries and stresses that they put their body through. It’s time to push the “baths are for women” mentality aside and start using the tricks that smart athletes are already using.
Add two cups of Epsom Salt to the hot water in a standard-size bathtub. Mix well until all of the salt crystals dissolve. It doesn’t take a long time to feel the benefits of a mineral salt bath. All you need to do is soak for 10 minutes. You don’t need to rinse off the water afterward. Just pat your self dry with a towel.
You can add 1/2 cup of baking soda and 1/2 cup of unrefined Sea Salt for additional healing qualities. A little more or less of each ingredient is fine.
Known scientifically as hydrated magnesium sulfate, Epsom salt is rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt. Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. Epsom salt has been used since the 1500’s to treat muscle pains and constipation. As listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council, studies show these benefits from the major components of Epsom Salt:
- Ease stress and improves sleep and concentration. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
- Help muscles and nerves function properly. Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
- Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes
- Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
- Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
- Improve oxygen use
- Relieves constipation. Can be used as a laxative.
- Flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
- Improve absorption of nutrients
- Help form joint proteins, brain tissue
- Help prevent or ease migraine headaches
All this from a simple cheap mineral bath! Try it once and you will not be disappointed.
If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts.