What’s an easy way to reduce inflammation, replenish minerals, relieve pain, and release stress?
Take an epsom salt bath!
If you are:
- A parent
- An athlete
- Someone with inflammation and/or arthritis
- A child
Or anything, really – epsom salt can help. Here’s how this dynamic salt can make a difference in your life.
Why Epsom Salt?
Epsom salt is a chemical combination of magnesium and sulfate. While technically classified as a salt due to its chemical makeup, epsom salt is quite different from table salt. When dissolved into warm water, it is easily able to be absorbed into the body to provide a wide range of benefits.
Epsom salt calms inflammation, making it extremely beneficial for those suffering from arthritis and autoimmune diseases. It is also helpful for those with skin conditions caused by inflammation, including eczema, psoriasis, acne, and rosacea.
RELIEVES PAIN & STRESS
Can’t sleep because you’re in so much pain? Having difficulty sleeping due to stress? Taking an epsom salt bath can help. Epsom salt helps soothe the pain response areas of the brain and regulate hormone production, which eases aches and pains and relaxes the body and mind. Tip – you can even use epsom salt for treating a bad sunburn in a lukewarm bath.
Research shows that the mineral magnesium is linked to sleep quality. If we are deficient in magnesium (which most of us are), our sleep suffers. Magnesium, which is part of what makes up epsom salt, is required for neurotransmitter synthesis – which helps regulate your sleep/wake cycle.
DETOXES THE BODY
Want to detox or going through one? Epsom salt pulls out toxins from the body through the skin and assists the body in ridding itself of toxins. It also helps balance and replenish electrolytes, which allow for the release of toxins in the body as well. An epsom salt bath is extremely helpful and restorative during a detox, especially if the symptoms are challenging.
IMPROVES THE NERVOUS SYSTEM
Epsom salt replenishes electrolytes in the body, which also helps improve nerve function. Electrolytes help nerve cells communicate easier, which helps enhance muscle function and cognitive ability.
REVAMPS THE LYMPHATIC SYSTEM
You may have heard me talk about the importance of the lymphatic system before – it is such an underrated system in the body! Your lymph flows right alongside your blood flow and is responsible for collecting and removing waste and toxins from all over the body, as well as helping deliver nutrients. Having a healthy, smoothly flowing lymph is crucial to vibrant health! Warm epsom salt baths help improve lymph flow.
INCREASES CALM & POSITIVITY
Feeling frustrated? Overwhelmed? Angry? Take an epsom salt bath. Epsom salt is capable of clearing negative energy and creating a harmonious internal environment.
How To Take An Epsom Salt Bath
- 2 cups pure, plain epsom salt (see note)
- 1/2 cup plain baking soda (to balance the pH)
- 3-5 drops of essential oil (optional – see below)
- Handful of dried or fresh herbs (optional – see below)
- In the epsom salt, put in 3-5 drops of essential oil (if using) and stir.
- Pour into the bath while filling with warm water. Add the plain baking soda. Stir the bath with your hand to mix and dissolve.
- If using herbs, add the herbs.
- Soak for at least 15 minutes. Enjoy!
Note: I recommend buying pure, plain epsom salt without any fragrances or “extras” added. The extras tend to contain harmful additives that should not be absorbed by your body. You can find plain epsom salt in many places, but it is cheaper in bulk – and it doesn’t go bad, so stock up! (Pro tip: Costco carries plain epsom salt! You can also buy it in bulk cheap from San Francisco Salt Company. Sometimes I buy 20-30 pounds at a time.)
Top 3 Essential Oils to Add To Your Epsom Salt Bath
Essential oils have a wide range of benefits for your health. When added to epsom salt, the effects of the essential oil become magnified. It is important to add the essential oil to the epsom salt first before putting it in the bath – this emulsifies the oil and enhances its benefits. If the essential oil is simply dropped into the water of the bath, it will bead up and stay on top of the water.
I love getting my essential oils from Goddess of Spring, because I know they are high-quality with a clean and careful extraction process. You can use the coupon code amberbodilyhealth at checkout to receive a discount.
Add one of these essential oils to your epsom salt bath will take it to the next level!
An essential oil commonly known for its stress-reducing and skin-enhancing properties, lavender essential oil is also antiviral, antifungal, and antibacterial – making it a powerful addition for cleaning the body while soaking. Lavender relaxes the nervous system, promotes better sleep, reduces inflammation, fights colds and infections, boosts the immune system, and eases menstrual pain, among other benefits. You can use any variety of lavender – lavender fine, spike lavender, etc.
This essential oil has powerful anti-inflammatory properties and also clears bacteria and infections. Another relaxing essential oil, frankincense helps release negative thoughts and energy and helps the body and mind return to positivity. Frankincense also soothes muscle aches, eases heart palpitations, releases tension, and boosts the immune system.
This subtle oil is one of my absolute favorite essential oils! I love its aroma and its healing properties. Myrtle peru aids fatigue and exhaustion, supports the muscular health of the body, dislodges mucus, and boosts the immune system. This essential oil is not common, but is certainly powerful – it can also help regulate the endocrine system, aid respiratory issues, ease UTIs, and calm the nervous system.
Top 3 Herbs to Add To Your Epsom Salt Bath
Why add herbs to a bath? Herbs are powerful agents for healing. You can think of it as soaking up all the benefits of a cup of tea – but in a bathtub! Absorbing all of the incredible health benefits herbs have to offer through your largest organ – your skin – is a fantastic way to level up your epsom salt bath.
Consider steeping these powerful plants in your bath:
- Rose hip – to enhance the properties of the epsom salt
- Lavender – to get similar benefits that the essential oil offers
- Chamomile – to soothe and calm the system before sleep
Expert Tips: Making the Benefits of Epsom Salt Work For You
BRING IN THE OCEAN.
The waves of the ocean are very soothing to the nervous system. You can create an ocean-like environment in your own home to calm and restore your body by doing a few simple things. You can bring a living sea sponge into the bath with you, which enlivens the water and signals to the body and liver to heal on different levels. You can hold it, play with it, or squeeze it – just the sensation of touching it will signal to your nerves and organs to begin renewing themselves.
You can also sprinkle kelp powder in your bath, which creates a bathing tonic and healing environment similar to the ocean for your body, according to Anthony William. In his book Liver Rescue, he also suggests a bath meditation to put your body, mind, and spirit into a calm state so that you can rest and restore your liver, the hardest working organ in the body. In this bath meditation, envision yourself in a little calm seawater whirlpool at a relaxing beach. As you soak, hold onto the sea sponge and fill yourself with the peaceful ocean – allowing negativity to flow out of your body and peace to settle in.
BATHE YOUR FEET IN EPSOM SALT.
No time for a full-on bath? Do a short foot soak with epsom salt. I’ll often do this in the evenings as I work on my computer or do other sitting tasks. Soaking the feet will help transmit the benefits of epsom salt to the rest of the body.
BATHE YOUR KIDS IN EPSOM SALT.
Kids will benefit too! It is perfectly safe for them to take an epsom salt bath. My own kids take epsom salt baths and just scrub under water – the cleansing properties of the salt and essential oils I add make the bath like “super-soap.” Their young bodies that run, play, imagine, and so much more relish in the restoration that epsom salt baths provide. It is the perfect calming activity before bed, as epsom salt soothes the nervous system. Plop them in and let them play and soak for 15 or 20 minutes! Busy mom life? Me too. As your kids soak, lay out some small containers or baggies and measure out the baking soda and epsom salt. Put the baking soda in the containers first, then the epsom salt on top so that you can easily drop in the essential oil into it come bathtime and simply dump into the tub. (For kids, I recommend halving the measurements: 1 cup epsom salt and 1/4 baking soda.) Having multiple of these pre-measured bath soak mixtures prepped helps bath time go smoothly!
BATHE EVEN IN SUMMER.
Too hot outside for you to even think of a warm bath? No problem! Run the warm bath as recommended so the epsom salt can dissolve, then let it cool to lukewarm or cool. Enjoy!
Benefits For All
Whether you are a busy mom, athlete, CEO, coach, student, waitress, child, or more – epsom salt can offer benefits for your life. Perhaps you take an epsom salt bath once or twice a week to care for yourself. Epsom salt’s effects go beyond the physical body – this dynamic mineral-rich salt also restores your emotional, mental, and spiritual bodies. What do you really have to lose? Soak up the benefits of epsom salt and rejuvenate yourself!