Whether you’ve spent the day engaging in intense physical activity or have just been on your feet for too long, your muscles and joints are likely to be overworked and a bit achy, right?
Even if this pain is temporary, it’s natural that you want a quick relief from it. But the good news is that, you might not have to look far to find for the said “quick relief”, as one of the most effective and inexpensive ways to soothe a sore body is likely already in your medicine cabinet: Epsom salt.
Athletes commonly use it for sore muscles while gardeners sprinkle it on plants to increase their growth. Epsom salt has a long history of diversified use and benefits for health, beauty, household cleaning and outdoor gardening. It was originally prepared from mineral water while today it’s obtained mainly from mining operations.
Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammatory remedy that can be used to treat muscle aches and sore muscles, dry skin, and even to fight various internal health issues. Simply add Epsom salt to your next detox bath recipe or foot soak to create a luxurious and therapeutic at-home spa experience.
Epsom salt derives its name from a bitter saline spring located at Epsom in Surrey, England, where the compound was first distilled from water. It’s different from traditional salts in that it is actually a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
The chemical formula for magnesium sulfate is MgSO4, which shows that Epsom salt can actually be broken down into magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. Magnesium, once absorbed into the skin, can actually reduce the brain’s pain responses. It also works to control other body proteins, increasing the body’s overall performance.
Sulfate, on the other hand, made up of the elements sulfur and oxygen, flushes out toxins and forms proteins that improve joint and tissue performance. Epsom salt is composed of small, colorless crystals and does look similar to table salt — however, table salt is completely different from Epsom salt since it consists of sodium chloride.
The ideal amount of Epsom salt for a soak is approximately 2 cups in a warm bath. Warm water can speed up blood flow and help relax muscles, though heat may not help hot swollen arthritic joints. Make sure you give the Epsom salt bath enough time to do its job, as it has been recommended that you must soak for at least 12 minutes.
Body aches? No more worries, Epsom salt is always at the kitchen ready for rescue.