At some point in your life, you have probably heard someone mention the use of Epsom Salt. For years it has been an at-home-remedy to relieve aches and pains, decrease inflammation, improve circulation and soften and deodorize feet. But what is it exactly? Epsom Salt is a type of bath salt that is derived from mineral-rich water, that contains magnesium and sulfate. It is widely used as a health and beauty product. Most people use the salt as a treatment for sore muscles, joint pain, arthritis and skin disorders.
It is also claimed to have anti-fungal and anti-microbial properties. By soaking your feet in Epsom Salt, it is reported to help heal a variety of foot and skin infections (such as athletes foot, toenail fungus and small wounds.) Epsom Salt is also claimed to detoxify the body and help relieve stress. However, the benefits of Epsom Salt is based off of mostly personal testimonies. There is little research to back up these claims.
How does it work? Foot cramps and pain can be caused from a deficiency in magnesium; Epsom Salt is rich in magnesium. By soaking your feet in a salt bath, you are promoting magnesium absorption through the skin which helps to relax muscles and nerves. This lessens any type of discomfort in the feet. However, the jury is still out on whether or not topical application of magnesium is affective in increasing magnesium stores in the body.
While there is a lack of research to support the healing abilities of Epsom Salt, there are a few plausible reasons why it works so well.
- Soaking feet in water helps clean the feet, removing substances that may risk or worsen infections.
- Warm or hot water improves blood flow to the skin which promotes healing.
- Most bacteria do not thrive in a salty environment. By soaking your feet in Epsom Salt, this inhibits the growth of microorganisms that cause infection.
- Soaking your feet in warm or hot water feels good, this relaxes and soothes your body which reduces stress.
How do I do it? First, fill up a small tub that holds enough water to cover your feet and ankles with warm water (or fill up a standard bathtub if your planning on soaking your entire body.) Add one half cup of salt to the small tub (2 cups for a bathtub.) Mixing Epsom Salt and essential oil can be a relaxing aromatherapy treatment. Soak your feet (or body) for 30 to 60 minutes. Do this two to three times a week for ultimate healing. Be careful not to over-do it with soaking, this can cause dried and cracked skin on your feet. If you have dry skin to begin with, after soaking you should moisturize your feet.
Thank you to LIVESTRONG.com for the original information. You can read more here.