Epsom salt (formerly called magnesium sulphate heptahydrate) is a naturally occurring compound containing magnesium and sulfate. Named from a bitter saline spring in Epsom in Surrey, England, the “salt” is often used in bath products due to the ability of its magnesium and sulfate to relieve muscle tightness and reduce inflammation.
Magnesium assists the body in a number of ways including soothing muscle and nerve functions, regulating hundreds of enzymes, and preventing artery hardening. Meanwhile, sulfates aid in the absorption of nutrients and flush toxins from the body. Studies have shown that both magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through the skin, which is why Epsom salt baths are so effective.
Some of the most common ailments that can be soothed or healed with either direct application of Epsom salt or an “Epsoak” include muscle aches and pains, congestion, constipation, minor open wounds and certain skin problems like Athlete’s foot and toenail fungus. Epsom salts also have the ability to relax the nervous system, reduce stress and draw toxins from the body via a process called reverse osmosis.