Try This Epsom Salt Bath To Relieve Stress

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Epsom Salt for Baths pouring out of jar

An Epsom salt bath is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to relax and the end of the day and create a spa-like experience right at home.

While you all know I love some fancy homemade bath salts, a simple Epsom salt bath is also wonderful!

One of my all-time favorite self-care rituals is what I call the “Soak-The-Day-Away Detoxifying Bath.”

This simple, cost-effective practice is not only relaxing but also deeply therapeutic. Epsom salts, or magnesium sulfate, have been a staple in stress relief and muscle relaxation for years.

Why Epsom Salt Baths?

Epsom salts, chemically known as magnesium sulfate, are a mineral compound that has long been used for various health and beauty applications. Named after the town of Epsom in England where they were first discovered in natural springs, Epsom salts are distinct from traditional table salt (sodium chloride) and have unique properties and uses.

running a bath

Here’s why taking an Epsom salt bath is so beneficial:

  • Magnesium Absorption: During the soak, your body potentially absorbs magnesium through the skin*, which helps relax and reduce muscle stiffness and soreness. (Read more about this below; there is no clear science because there is not any money in studying this.)
  • Neutralizing Skin Acids: The addition of baking soda to the bath helps neutralize skin acids, dissolve oils, and eliminate perspiration residue, leaving your skin soft and clean. You can leave it out if you want or if you don’t have any to add.
  • Buoyancy Effect: The epsom salts increase the water’s specific gravity, making your body more buoyant. This sensation allows you to feel lighter and more relaxed as you float gently.

Crafting Your Epsom Salt Bath

Creating your own “Soak-The-Day-Away” bath is straightforward. Here’s how you can make this therapeutic bath part of your routine:

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups Epsom salts
  • Optional: 2 cups baking soda
  • Optional: 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil

Instructions:

  1. Fill your bathtub with warm or hot water, just enough to be comfortable and allow for a deep soak.
  2. Add 2 cups of Epsom salts and 2 cups of baking soda to the water.
  3. For an enhanced experience, add 5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil:
    • Lavender: for relaxation and stress relief.
    • Peppermint: for a refreshing and energizing soak.
    • Eucalyptus: great for when you’re feeling under the weather.
  4. Stir the bath gently to mix the ingredients.
  5. Soak for 20 minutes, letting the stress of the day dissolve away.

Remembering Your Epsom Salt Bath Recipe: A simple way to remember this recipe is the “2-2-20” method: 2 cups of Epsom salts, 2 cups of baking soda, and 20 minutes of soaking.

Note: Epsom salt poses serious safety risks when taken orally. Do not take Epsom salts orally unless directed by a licensed health care provider.

Do Epsom Salt Baths Work?

Many people report feeling more relaxed and less sore after taking Epsom salt baths. The theory behind this practice is that the Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate) helps to relax muscles and relieve pain. This is thought to be especially beneficial for those suffering from conditions like muscle cramps or arthritis.

Beyond muscle relaxation, Epsom salt baths are often said to help with:

  • Reducing swelling and inflammation
  • Soothing skin conditions
  • Aiding in detoxification
  • Providing a general sense of calm and relaxation

However, while there are numerous personal accounts of the benefits of Epsom salt baths, scientific studies on their effectiveness offer mixed results. Some studies suggest benefits in relaxation and pain relief, but these outcomes are often subjective and vary widely among individuals.

Do You Absorb Magnesium From an Epsom Salt Bath?

The idea that Epsom salt baths can significantly boost magnesium levels is widely debated. Magnesium is a vital nutrient essential for many bodily functions, and the skin can absorb substances, including magnesium.

However, the truth is that still, as of 2024, the extent and effectiveness of magnesium absorption through the skin from Epsom salt baths remain unclear.

Scientific research provides limited and mixed evidence on whether significant amounts of magnesium are absorbed through the skin during an Epsom salt bath.

However, we do know that the Epsom salts make you more buoyant in the water, which aids in relaxation.

Some studies suggest a slight increase in magnesium levels in the body, while others find no significant change. The absorption rate can also depend on factors like the concentration of magnesium, the temperature of the water, the duration of the bath, and individual skin properties.

Investing time in your well-being through simple practices like the Soak-The-Day-Away bath can profoundly affect your overall health. It’s a moment of peace that you can easily add to your daily routine, proving that self-care doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive—just consistent.

Happy Soaking!

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  1. Jane says:

    Overall helpful, but the “acids on your skin” are there for a reason – to maintain your acid mantle and keep your skin healthy by creating an acidic environment where bacteria can’t flourish as easily. By adding baking soda, you’re destroying your skin’s ability to do that. If anything, you should be adding apple cider vinegar to help exfoliate the skin and keep it pH happy.

Hi, I'm Elizabeth

I teach you how to be healthier without extremes, so you can live more and obsess less.

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