Epsom salt. It’s that coarse stuff you can buy by the carton and pour into your bath when you want some relief from aches and pains. Usually it’s prescribed as a simple and cheap home remedy for various minor health issues, but did you know it actually has a lot of different uses around your home? With the low cost and the versatility, you can’t go wrong picking up a carton the next time you head to the store. Check it out.
Health and Relaxation
Epsom salt is high in magnesium, and it has amazing healing properties when it’s dissolved into water and you give yourself a good soak. Here are a few restorative ways you can use Epsom salt to start feeling better! Please note that a few of these are internal uses. They are safe for most people, but some people do experience side effects, so check with a doctor before you swallow Epsom salts dissolved in water.
1. Take a nice relaxing bath after a hard day’s work.
This is probably the most well-known use for Epsom salt. Simply pour a cup of it into a warm bath and let it dissolve into the water. Hop inside and soak for as long as you’d like. It’s very relaxing, and the magnesium does a great job relieving minor aches and pains. This is the perfect instant spa treatment at home after a hard day’s work!
2. Relieve muscle sprains and other muscle aches.
This is just an extension of the use above. You can take a relaxing Epsom bath just to unwind and relieve the pain of hard work, but it works equally well for relieving the pain of muscles you have sprained or strained and not just fatigued. A great trick to speeding the healing of minor injuries.
3. Scrub your feet.
Don’t you hate when the soles of your feet get all dry and flaky during the winter months? One great way to soften up your soles again and soothe your irritated, dry feet is to make a magnesium scrub using Epsom salts. WellnessMama has a great recipe you can try here using a cup of Epsom salt combined with olive or almond oil, liquid castile soap and a few drops of essential oil. Your feet will be feeling better in no time.
4. Relieve sore feet.
Work retail? Then you might get an added bonus by soaking your feet in Epsom salts. Not only will you be able to soften dry, hard, flaky skin, but you will also be able to soothe your aching soles. This is a great routine after you come home from work each day, and can help you start off your evening the right way.
5. Alleviate a headache.
If your headaches are tension headaches, you may be able to relieve them by soaking in an Epsom bath. Why? Because tension headaches come from tense muscles. The bath will help the muscles in your neck and back and shoulders to relax, and this in turn will reduce the pain you feel in your head.
6. End constipation.
One of the best natural supplements you can take to alleviate constipation is magnesium, which acts as a stool softener. If you don’t have a magnesium supplement handy, but you are dealing with a bout of constipation, you can turn to your Epsom salts for relief. Just a teaspoon dissolved in a glass of water should be enough to loosen things up.
7. Detox your body.
This is related to the use above. Because Epsom salt is great for flushing out your colon, it also doubles as a colon cleanse! It’s certainly a lot safer and healthier than other colon cleanse products on the market that contain all kinds of weird unnatural ingredients! It’s fast and it’s easy. It’s a lot friendlier to your wallet too. Note that some people do have trouble digesting Epsom salts though (they can cause irritation in the GI tract), so you should always check with a medical professional before you start imbibing Epsom salts in any quantity.
8. Get rid of a hangover.
Did you overindulge a bit last night? Epsom salts can help you to tackle a hangover and get back to feeling like yourself. Hangovers are the result of toxicity in your body. Epsom salts contain sulfates, which help to break toxins down and get them flushed out more quickly. This can alleviate your symptoms quickly. Remember though that salts can be dehydrating, which is the last thing you want, since you are already dehydrated with a hangover. Make sure you take plenty of water!
9. Reduce the appearance of bruises.
Making a cold compress with Epsom salts and water can help you to reduce the appearance of bruises. Use two tablespoons and apply the compress to the bruised skin.
10. Recover from jet lag.
Having trouble getting back on a regular schedule and getting a good night’s sleep after jet lag? Soaking in Epsom salts can help you to relax, which can help you to fall asleep faster.
11. Ward off insomnia.
In fact, you don’t need to be suffering from jet lag to get this benefit! If you have a hard time falling asleep at night as a rule, you may find that Epsom salts help put you in the right state to fall asleep fast. They can relax your body, which in turn can relax your mind. Enjoy a 20-minute soak before bed and let go of the stresses of the day.
12. Prevent injury and speed healing.
If you are going to be doing something athletic, or even just expect a day of heavy labor ahead of you, think about taking an Epsom salt bath the night before. A lot of runners do this the night before a race, because it prevents injury and also helps them to recover more quickly from any injuries they do sustain. It may also help to prevent general strain and fatigue to muscles.
One of the best all-around benefits of Epsom salts for your health is psychological. By giving yourself time to relax with a nice soak now and again, you are giving yourself a chance to let go of your worries and pamper yourself a bit! Stress reduction has a number of important physical and psychological benefits. It can lift your overall mood and energy level, and keep your immune system strong.
14. Try it as an eye wash.
As it turns out, Epsom salts can really help with eye health too! If you have cataracts, conjunctivitis, or styes, stir Epsom salts into warm water. Be sure the salts are completely dissolved. You can use this as an eyewash, or you can apply it to a washcloth and use it as a warm compress. It should have excellent beneficial results.
15. Relieve minor skin irritations.
Ouch. Mosquitoes biting you all over this summer? Alleviate the itching by applying an Epsom salt cold compress. You only need around two tablespoons. It works great to reduce the pain of bee stings as well, and can be used on sunburn as well as poison ivy for a little bit of instant relief.
16. Pull out a splinter.
Trying to get out a stubborn splinter? You can make it an easier job by softening up the skin around the splinter a bit using Epsom salt. Sometimes this is enough by itself to draw the splinter out.
17. Relieve gout.
For gout relief, pour some Epsom salt into a hot bath and soak the joints which are affected. The magnesium will help to combat the inflammation, which can decrease the swelling as well as help relieve the pain.
Epsom salts have a lot of amazing benefits for your muscles, digestive system, and overall health, but the skin-deep benefits can be just as amazing! That’s right—Epsom salt is awesome for your skin, your hair, and more.
18. Get the grease out of your hair.
Have excessively oily hair? No one wants a head full of grease! You can use Epsom salts to pull that excess oil right out. Just add a handful to your shampoo when you wash, and rinse it out just like you always do.
19. Create a volumising mask.
This use is recommended directly by the Epsom Salt Council. Mix one part hair conditioner with one part Epsom salt. Use as much as you need to for your hair. Heat it up in a pan, and then work it into your hair starting at the roots. Once your hair is coated with the mixture, cover it and wait for around 20 minutes. Rinse it out, and you should see a instant boost.
20. Get rid of frizz.
Who wants frizzy hair? If you live in a particularly dry or humid climate or your hair is prone to frizz, you can manage it using Epsom salts. The same conditioner which works to add volume to your locks will also help to keep them under control. Your hair will feel so much softer and mother. Many women say this works particularly well for curls.
21. Protect hair from heat damage.
If you blow dry your hair or straighten it, you are probably drying it out, and may be damaging your ends quite a bit. Guess what? Epsom salts not only boost volume and get rid of frizz, but protect the ends of your hair from heat damage too!
22. Get rid of styling product buildup.
Having a tough time getting excess hairspray out of your hair? Mix Epsom salts and lemon juice in a 1:1 ratio and dissolve them in water. Let your mixture sit for a day before you use it. Pour it over your hair, wait for around fifteen minutes, and then rinse it out.
23. Give yourself an exfoliating facial cleanse.
Mix some Epsom salts into the liquid soap or cream that you use on your face. About half a teaspoon should do it. Rub the mixture gently into your skin for a deep exfoliating cleanse. This is great for getting rid of dirt and loosening up dead skin. Additionally, your skin will get a hydrating boost. The minerals will increase the magnesium levels in your skin, which has all kinds of great benefits. Magnesium can protect you from acne breakouts, and may help with some allergies. It also may prevent wrinkles from forming.
24. Create a rejuvenating skin mask.
Another way you can use Epsom salts on your face is by creating your own skin mask at home. It’s really easy! Puree an egg white and mix it with a teaspoon of aloe vera gel, a teaspoon of Epsom salt, a chopped, ripe tomato, half a teaspoon of vitamin B5 powder, and a couple of drops of Thyme essential oil. Put the mask on your skin and wait for fifteen minutes before you rinse it off. It can work wonders for acne!
25. As a general skin scrub for rough skin.
The exfoliating properties which work so great on your face also can work wonders for the rest of your body. Mix it with your favorite soap and some of your favorite essential oils and work it into your skin in the shower. You will be amazed how soft and smooth it is when you get out. HINT: This works particularly well for rough patches in spots like elbows and ankles!
26. Get flaky skin off your lips.
Have chapped lips? Hate that flaky skin hanging off? Who doesn’t? If you try to bite or pull it off, you usually will just make matters worse. A better way to remove it is to mix a dash of Epsom salt into some petroleum jelly and rub it gently onto your lips. Wipe it off, and you should see a reduction in loose, dead skin.
27. Dislodge blackheads.
Blackheads are the worst! If you try to squeeze them, they spread like wildfire! But if you leave them alone, they will stick around forever. What can you do? Mix a teaspoon of Epsom salt with three drops of liquid iodine and half a cup of boiling water. Wait for it to cool down, then dab it onto the blackhead with a cotton ball. Do this several times. According to PreparednessMama, you can then remove the blackhead carefully. Follow it up with astringent.
28. Make a moisturizing hand wash.
Try mixing Epsom salts with baby oil for an extra-moisturizing hand wash with some added skin-nourishing value. You can store this inside a bottle for future use.
Around the Home and Garden
Epsom uses don’t stop at the bathroom! There are a number of ways you can use these amazingly helpful salts around the house, both indoors and outdoors. Here are some popular applications, as well as a few you may not have heard of!
29. Get burnt food residue off your dishes.
Have food caked onto the bottom of your baking dish? Can’t get your frying pan clean? Wish you had some way to get those Tupperware containers clean again? One of the best ways to get rid of caked-on food, especially burnt food, is with Epsom salts! Just add a quarter tablespoon or so to your warm water, scrub, and rinse. The burnt or caked-on food should come right off, just like the dead skin when you exfoliate in the bathroom!
30. Get grime off of bathroom and kitchen tiles.
Are your tiles starting to look a little scummy? To get them clean and shiny and new-looking again, mix dish soap with Epsom salts in a 1:1 ratio. Scrub away, and you should see a beautiful clean look when you are through.
31. Give your car batteries a boost.
Have a car battery that still has a bit of life in it, but you can’t seem to find it? You may be able to recondition your battery simply by making a paste with an ounce of Epsom salt dissolved into warm water. Try applying it to the battery cells. You may be surprised—your vehicle just may start. It’s certainly less expensive than a tow!
32. Put fake frost on your windows.
Live in a warm climate, but want that frosted-window look for the holiday season? Add a little festive cheer with Epsom salts! Just mix a half a cup of boiling water with a cup of Epsom salt and three tablespoons of dish soap. Grab a clean sponge and start dabbing it onto your windows. Once the mixture dries, the salt will created a frosty look on your windows. If you do a good job, it will be quite realistic.
33. Say goodbye to pesky raccoons.
Are the raccoons poking around your trash? A little Epsom salt sprinkled in a circle around the trash can should help to drive them away since they don’t like how it smells. This can come in handy at the campground too. Be sure to add more if it rains since the water will wash it away.
34. Get your grass green (and your shrubs, and your trees).
If you’re envious of your neighbor’s lush green lawn and tired of your yellow and brownish patches, you may be able to spruce your grass up using Epsom salts. Magnesium is a necessary building block for chlorophyll, which gives greenery its color. Sprinkle Epsom salt over your lawn and around the roots of your plants, and you will be feeding them the essential nutrition they need to produce chlorophyll. Just doing this once a month can make a huge difference. And as a bonus, they will probably grow bigger and taller!
35. Apply as soil prep before you plant your seeds.
Before you plant seeds in your garden, add a little Epsom salt to the soil. This will assist with seed germination and will increase the strength of seedling cell walls. Use approximately 1 cup of Epsom salt per 100 square feet of tilled soil. Alternately, you can just add a couple tablespoons to each hole. Your seedlings will be hardy and more likely to survive and grow into strong plants.
36. Replace your fertilizer.
Fertilizers often include magnesium since it boosts plant root absorption. Instead of buying an expensive fertilizer that contains unhealthy additives, why not just try using Epsom salts?
37. Keep leaves from curling.
Did you know that leaves curling on plants often points toward a magnesium deficiency? Adding some Epsom to the soil can help to rebuild the plant’s magnesium stores. You also might try applying some straight to the leaves (dissolve it in water first). Hopefully your sick plant will start feeling better soon.
38. Make your roses bloom big.
If you have small roses and your next door neighbor has big, beautiful blooms, and you are both growing the same species, you know the climate can hardly be to blame. One way you can make your own roses grow beautifully is to add Epsom salt to their soil. Next time you plant new roses, add Epsom salt. You can add more when you see new growth and when your flowers are blooming. You should start seeing more blossoms, and the blooms should be a lot bigger too.
39. Help plants weather the shock of being transplanted.
Transplanting is a traumatic event for a plant, and may lead to sickness or even death in severe cases. Sometimes you have no choice, though. One way you can help your plants to adjust is by adding a little Epsom salt to the soil once they are in their new plants or environments. The extra dose of magnesium will really make a difference, and may even save a weak plant from dying.
40. Grow tastier produce.
One of the most well-known benefits of Epsom salts in the garden is for growing yummier produce. This includes both sweet and savory fruits as well as nuts. Tomatoes and peppers in particular can benefit greatly from Epsom salts. Heavy fruits like these are prone to magnesium deficiency and may need twice as much Epsom salt as other types of fruits. As you might guess, that same rule applies to a lot more than just peppers and tomatoes. Adding salts to the soil will not only result in larger, juicier, more flavorful fruit, but more of it.
Now you know just how handy Epsom salts really are! While they are great in your bath (and have a variety of uses even there), they are also wonderful for other health and beauty applications, and have many uses around the home, particularly out in the garden. The power of Epsom salt comes mostly from the high concentration of magnesium that it contains. Magnesium is great for you and for your plants, so go and get some! Know any other cool uses for Epsom salts that we didn’t share here? Tell us all about it in the comments below!