How do Epsom Salts Work?

Epsom salt is not a salt, but a natural mineral complex that decorates the junction of magnesium and sulfate.

Epsom salt is a natural product with magnesium sulfate or composition.  The flexibility of the product is also seen in the way it can be used.

Easily found in pharmacies, magnesium sulfate can be dissolved in water (and the amounts vary depending on the patient’s age) and consumed orally.

This guarantees an aid to the work of the intestine, acting as a natural laxative – although it is recommended only under medical supervision.

Advantages of magnesium in the sulfate format

There are several magnesium formats on the market.

Magnesium sulfate has good bioavailability and the ability to increase magnesium levels in the body. In addition, it provides an element that does not exist in other magnesium formats: sulfate itself.

Sulfates are difficult to obtain from food but have the advantage of being well absorbed by the skin. Sulfation is very important in several reactions that occur in our bodies.

Failures at this level can lead to:

  • Imbalance in the release of neurotransmitters, affecting mood, nervous system, sleep, etc.
  • Dysfunctions in the gastrointestinal tract, namely in the increase of intestinal permeability, irritable colon syndrome, changes in the intestinal flora.
  • The Sulfation of mucin proteins in the intestine is important to control adhesion/lubrication, which influences the nutrient absorption process.
  • Changes in the digestive process due to failures in the release of digestive enzymes.Changes in detoxification processes.

Cutaneous absorption of Magnesium: myth or reality?

Magnesium is commonly used in oral food supplement format.

As there are several factors that can reduce/inhibit the absorption of this mineral – namely gastric acidity, inhibition by food or drugs, health conditions – the cutaneous absorption magnesium formats can be an asset.

One of the possible applications of Epsom Salt is immersion baths.

The scientific information that exists so far indicates that there may be some absorption, through diffusion processes, via the lymphatic system and through hair follicles (small areas of absorption in what is the total skin surface)

This absorption and its results will be dependent on the immersion time, with some absorption visible after 60 minutes of contact with the salt.

The information provided (from non-scientific sources) alleges that magnesium ions are absorbed by osmosis through the skin.

However, an incongruity point is generated here: osmosis implies the passage of water (and not other elements) from places of greater to lesser concentration.

In addition, the skin forms a natural protection barrier, having selective permeability, and only molecules smaller than 500KDaltons are able to cross this barrier.

The magnesium molecules, despite having a dimension of 18KDaltons, seem to increase their size 400 times, which makes their absorption through the skin quite difficult.

Thus, to ensure an acceptable absorption of magnesium, immersion baths, given the apparent limitations, will not be the first line of approach, although they can be used as a complementary treatment.

Epsom salt: magnesium in the human body

Magnesium is one of the most abundant elements in our body and participates in about 300 enzyme reactions and energy production (ATP).

It is also involved in glucose metabolism, improving blood glucose levels, and insulin sensitivity.

Magnesium also influences the cardiovascular component: regulates heartbeat, prevents hardening of arteries, reduces clot formation and blood pressure

The relief of muscle pain and cramps are other added value attributed to magnesium, thus helping to enhance performance in physical training and improve muscle recovery.

Magnesium is also related to maintaining calcium levels and preventing osteoporosis.

The scientific basis, in addition to attributing these effects to magnesium sulfate (Epsom salt), also highlights advantages in the treatment of constipation as they have a laxative action.

In the intestinal lumen, magnesium and sulfate ions are poorly absorbed, but they will have an osmotic effect, leading to water retention in the intestine.

This phenomenon leads to hydration of the fecal content, stimulating its elimination.

Although the action of Epsom Salts is local, it is also theorized the possibility of stimulating the release of hormones – such as cholecystokinin – which also potentiate the laxative action

Magnesium sulfate has other advantages.

Recently, science has found a positive association between taking magnesium sulfate in pregnant women and reducing the risk of cerebral palsy in babies born preterm, as well as reducing fetal mortality.

Other uses for Epsom salt

Epsom salt has uses that range from benefiting our health to helping to clean the house, oddly enough.

Of course, the most recommended before starting a natural treatment with Epsom salt is to seek the advice of a doctor, especially pregnant women.

To enjoy its benefits in our body, we basically need to bathe in water with Epsom salt. For this, in general, it is necessary to use a bathtub with warm water, just adding 2 cups of Epsom salt.

It is advisable to take this type of bath at least 3 times a week for at least 15 minutes but if you can do it more.

Facial treatment

For our aesthetics and beauty, Epsom salt works very well. It serves as an exfoliator and eliminates dead skin.

If you decide to use it for this purpose while bathing, just use a handful of Epsom salt with liquid soap and rub it over your body.

If you are only using it on your face outside the bath, you can add half a teaspoon of Epsom salt to a hydrant or facial cream of your choice.

Still on the issue of cleanliness, if the feet are immersed in a basin with warm water and Epsom salt, as already explained, odors will be eliminated.

House Cleaning

Epsom salt also has domestic uses for cleaning and gardening. It is excellent for cleaning bathroom tiles and very easy to apply.

In this case, it is only necessary to add equal parts of Epsom salt to liquid dish detergent and rub the tiles you want to clean with a sponge or mop.

In gardening, you can pour Epsom salt on the plants once a week, as it serves to nourish them.

In addition, it will be effective to ward off some pests, such as the slug.

Aids in the removal of splinters

When you get hurt and see that one or more splinters have entered your body, you can use Epsom salt to remove them. Simply mix the magnesium sulfate with a little water and immerse the affected area.

The product will reduce inflammation around the wound and soften the splinter, making it easier to remove.

Relieves the discomfort caused by gout

Gout is a disease caused by the accumulation of uric acid in the blood, which causes inflammation in the joints. One of its symptoms is swelling, which can be relieved by using Epsom salt.

To acquire these benefits, the tip is to add two tablespoons in a container with hot water and dip the swollen part of the body.

The component will soon be absorbed by the skin of the affected region and will relieve pain and inflammation in the damaged joint.

Removes blackheads

The technique that uses Epsom salt to remove blackheads consists first of exfoliating the skin with the product, getting rid of the dead cells found around the spots on the skin.

After that, the tip is to add a teaspoon of the component with four drops of liquid iodine and a cup of hot water.

After that, it is necessary to stir until the salt is dissolved and wait for the contents to be warm.

Finally, just massage the area affected by the blackheads with the mixture, wait for it to dry, wash your face with warm water and dry yourself with a clean cloth, giving gentle touches to your face.

Removes hair products

Another utility of magnesium sulfate is the removal of hair products. To do this you need to combine a cup of Epsom salt with a cup of lemon juice and pour it into a gallon of water.

The next step is to cover the mixture and let it sit for 24 hours.

Then, you should pour the contents into your hair and spend 15 to 20 minutes with it. The last step is to wash your hair in the usual way.

Gives hair volume

There are also benefits of Epsom salt for those who want to add more volume to their hair. The tip is to join equal parts of magnesium sulfate and deep conditioner without sulfate.

After that, the next step is to heat the mixture to a temperature slightly above body temperature and apply it to the entire hair, leaving the contents to act for 15 to 20 minutes.

Finally, just wash well and enjoy the new look.

Again, if you wish to use Epsom salt in baths, prior medical consultation is recommended in order to avoid possible inconveniences, you should always be mindful of your health.

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