Walk down the “bath & beauty” isle of your supermarket and I’m sure you’ll find some form of Epsom salt. Actually, there’s plenty to choose from: plain, infused with essential oils, in liquid form, in liquid form with bubbles, in liquid form with skin moisturizing oils, and I’m sure there’s more.
What’s Epsom salt and what does it do?
Epsom salt in actually not salt, it’s a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate.
Magnesium reduces inflammation, helps muscle and nerve function, and helps prevent hardening of arteries.
Sulfate flushes toxins out of the body and helps ease migraines.
Both magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through the skin.
7 Benefits of taking an Epsom salt bath
An Epsom salt bath:
- relaxes the body and mind. Magnesium in Epsom salt helps produce serotonin, a feel-good neurotransmitter found in the brain
- relieves sore muscles
- removes toxins from the body
- loosen stiff joints
- helps with insomnia
- helps ease period cramps
- improves heart health: reduces irregular heartbeats, prevents hardening of the arteries and lowers blood pressure.
Things to consider before taking an Epsom salt bath
- Since Epsom salt lowers blood pressure, if your blood pressure is low already it’s best to skip the salt, add bubbles instead.
- bathing in Epsom salts can also dehydrate the body with prolonged exposure, and magnesium sulfate has a laxative effect, so diarrhea can also result from long baths.
- long exposure to Epsom salt can cause magnesium toxicity, though it’s rare. Symptoms include flushed skin, dizziness, and nausea.
- in most cases, a 20-30 mins Epsom salt soak should not be harmful nor cause side effects. But it’s always a good idea to check with your doctor.
Tips for the best (Epsom salt) bath ever
- the water should be very warm , but comfortable to the touch
- add Epsom salt while the water is running to help it dissolve. Check the package for recommended amount.
- don’t add soap, it messes with the salt.
- soak for 20 – 30 mins , but not longer.
- add essential oils. Eucalyptus is revitalizing, lavender relaxes and soothes.
- add moisturizing oils. Olive oil works great.
- add herbal tea. Amp up your bath with dried goodies like Valerian, chamomile and vanilla. All can found in herbal tea mixes. Find a mix that speaks to you and add it to your bath.
- get a bath tub caddy. Super handy for holding books, wine, ipad, and bath accessories like razors. Find one you like on Amazon, or Bath Bed and Beyond.
- get a waterproof pillow so you can rest your head and relax properly.
- make your bath super cozy with tealights or faux candles.
- put on some spa music, watch a movie, or make it a spiritual bath and listen to positive energy raising binaural beats. Careful not to fall asleep.
Yesterday I was having a pretty crappy day. It was the first day of my period, which means lots of cramps and the much too familiar bloat and all around bleg-ness.
I also had a little cold: congestion and a headache.
So I decided to try out an Epsom salt to relax and hopefully feel human again.
I ran a warm bath, added 1 1/2 cups of Dr Teal’s Soothe&Sleep Epsom Salt with Lavender.
First off, you start feeling better as soon as the salt starts dissolving. The smell is so soothing and the salt does something to the air. It’s like the air smells cleaner for some reason.
After a 20 mins soak , I added a little Dr Teal’s Soothe&Sleep Epsom bubble bath gel to the water, replenished with some more warm water and soaked for another 10 mins.
30 mins is more than enough for an Epsom salt soak. I noticed I was getting thirsty. So, I got out of the tub and felt super relaxed, had a big glass of water and laid on my bed.
Then, I felt a little funny. Not sure if it was the flu, my period, the bath or a combination but I felt a little shaky and dizzy.
I had a snack, walked around and had more water. That helped.
It’s been about an hour and a half now, so I think I’ll be OK. It did freak me out though.
The good news is that my horrible period cramps are completely gone, they were gone the rest of the day.
My headache was gone too.
So, will I do an Epsom salt bath again? Yes, absolutely, but using half the salt and soak for only 20 mins. You have to listen to your body.