Epsom salt has so many beneficial uses. It’s such a benign substance, but it has so many healing properties.
Epsom salt, which is actually magnesium sulfate, is a great home remedy. Add 1 to 2 cups in a bath (2 or 3 depending on the size of the tub and the amount of water) and soak daily for 15 to 20 minutes. You can also add lavender to increase the calming, relaxing benefits.
The magnesium and sulfate is easily absorbed through the skin, comparing the baths to hot springs in Europe. Soaking in Epsom salt offers several health benefits, including:
- Easing pain and aches in muscles and joints – That includes discomfort caused by strains, sprains and arthritis. For arthritic patients, Epsom salt improves circulation. This becomes a daily part of the health regimen. I recommend it for everyone.
- Fighting colds and the flu – The soaks increase your body’s temperature, causing you to sweat and helping your body’s immune system fight germs. The sulfur from Epsom salt also helps kills bacteria and fungus. Sulfur compounds are, in fact, used in antibiotics for a reason; for people with common colds, this can shorten the duration of the ailment.
- Improving sleep – Muscle tension is a big reason people can’t sleep and it’s often because their blood pressure is too high. The magnesium in Epsom salt helps improve blood flow and relax your muscles and extremities. It helps to relax the body and the mind!
- Relieving an itchy or oily scalp – Take half a handful of Epsom salt and scrub your scalp in the shower for 10 minutes, before washing it off and shampooing. The magnesium reduces itching, and the sulfur is a natural anti-bacterial agent. It acts as an exfoliant.
- Relaxing and lowering blood pressure – If a bath is not possible, soak your feet in Epsom salt for 15 to 20 minutes and breathe deeply while meditating. The combination of the soak and stress release meditation has immediate benefits. It’s proven in my practice to be extremely effective. We check blood pressure before and after, and, lo and behold, it drops by eight to 10 points.
- Relieving either headaches and neck pain or discomfort in the eyes from issues such as staring at computer screens for too long – Fill a cheesecloth with Epsom salt and dip it in hot water for 20 seconds. Then let it drip and cool off slightly before using it as a compress on your eyes or the back of your neck. After the compress cools further, place it back in the hot water, and keep doing this for seven to 10 minutes. The results are pretty stunning, within 10 minutes, there should be a visible decrease in the pain.
Epsom salt can also be ingested to help with constipation. I don’t recommend consuming it on a regular basis, but for a temporary laxative, people can add 1 teaspoon of Epsom salt to a tall glass of water. Depending on the results, people can either add or subtract Epsom salt.
Dr. Mao Shing Ni
Dr. Mao Shing Ni, known as Dr. Mao, is a 38th-generation doctor of Chinese medicine, an authority on Taoist anti-aging medicine, and author of the best-selling book Secrets of Longevity, as well as a new book, Live Your Ultimate Life – Ancient Wisdom to Harness Success, Health and Happiness. He’s cofounded two Southern California institutions – Yo San University , a leading school of Traditional Chinese Medicine that’s on the forefront of integrative healthcare education, and the Tao of Wellness, an acclaimed center for nutrition, Chinese medicine and acupuncture. Dr. Mao – or “Dr. Wow,” as he was affectionately called on the show Sex and the City – is an award-winning expert who writes about longevity on Yahoo! Health and the Huffington Post. He has also been featured in The New York Times and the Los Angeles Times, as well as television shows such as Doctor Oz, Riki Lake, and The Doctors.