Dr. Teal's is a well-known brand, and this 2-pack features 2 of their most popular scents: eucalyptus and lavender. Two 6-pound bags. Quick-dissolving formula for more comfortable baths. Comes with a sturdy closure.
Expensive per ounce.
Helps provide relief for minor sprains and bruises. Can also be used as a saline laxative to relieve occasional constipation, or dissolved in water and used for plant care. Comes in a resealable pouch. Made in the USA.
Crystals are quite large and do not dissolve very quickly.
A huge amount of salts per bag (19 pounds) means you won't run out anytime soon. Small granules dissolve quickly, giving you a better soak without the lingering grit. No added scent makes this perfect for those who are sensitive to fragrances.
As it is sold in bulk packages, some users may not want so much at a time.
Shea butter along with coconut and lime extracts help moisturize skin. Pure Epsom salts soothe muscles. The tropical scent will relax your mind, helping you unwind physically and emotionally. Comes in a 3-pound bag.
The fragrance might be too strong for some people.
The 5-pound bag will last a long time. Users love the quick-dissolving, medium-grain salts. Totally odorless and natural, it is made without added fragrance or colors. A great option for those who want a simple and natural Epsom salt.
On the higher end of the price spectrum.
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A long soak in the tub after a hard workday or workout can feel like just what the doctor ordered. Add Epsom salts to your bathwater and receive added relaxation, including benefits like muscle and joint pain relief, detoxification, and even aromatherapy from scented salts. A big bag of these simple salts that’ll last multiple baths or foot soaks can cost under ten bucks. What’s not to like?
There’s more, though. Epsom salts, when ingested, are an FDA-approved laxative treatment to help temporary constipation. When sprinkled in your garden it can increase plant growth; when sprinkled on your walkway, it can get rid of slugs. It has skin and hair care uses. Lastly, its natural magnesium content can boost your body’s magnesium levels just by taking regular Epsom salt baths.
Epsom salt is a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate (which is a combination of sulfur and oxygen). Though its translucent crystals look a lot like table salt, table salt is a totally different compound (sodium chloride to be exact). It’s slightly more powdery and can clump if exposed to moisture. Originally Epsom salt was distilled from mineral water from Epsom, England, and is now largely mined.
The most common use for Epsom salts is in baths. Typically one to two cups are added to warm or hot bathwater. The granules will dissolve naturally, although it helps to sprinkle them evenly around the tub while it’s filling to ensure it is evenly distributed and dissolved in the water.
It’s typically recommended to soak for at least 20 minutes, with 40 minutes being the optimal time to reap the health benefits. When you soak in an Epsom salt bath, the magnesium and sulfate in the compound can be absorbed through the skin. Magnesium is an important nutrient for the body that is in charge of over 300 enzymes and that many people are deficient in.
A magnesium deficiency contributes to our stress reactions and can lead to heart issues, hyperactivity, high blood pressure, and other chronic illnesses. If you don’t want to take magnesium supplements, which can have side effects (namely gastrointestinal), regular soaks in an Epsom salt bath can boost levels up to 35 percent.
Magnesium also acts as a muscle relaxer and relieves stress, which is why taking an Epsom salt bath before bed also helps you sleep. Magnesium can also reduce inflammation, and arthritis sufferers particularly benefit from Epsom salt baths for pain relief from inflamed joints.
The sulfate in Epsom salt assists the body in detoxification and is a very popular ingredient in detox bath remedies. Some alternative health practitioners claim that this mineral along with magnesium spark a sort of reverse osmosis that pulls toxins out of your body when you soak for long enough.
Another common use for Epsom salt is the foot soak. Half a cup of the compound is added to a large pan of warm water into which your bare feet are submerged. This provides relaxation, especially at nighttime, and relieves pain in sore feet. It can be a nice self-care practice, especially for diabetics, as it reduces inflammation and helps you keep tabs on foot care.
Under the supervision of a doctor or licensed health practitioner, ingesting small amounts of Epsom salt dissolved in warm water can aid constipation by providing a laxative effect via increasing water in the intestines and cleansing the colon. Expect a bowel movement 30 minutes to 6 hours within consumption.
For itchy skin, sunburns, or bug bites, Epsom salt is used topically in DIY remedies. Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt into water in a spray bottle. Spritz on skin as needed. Using less water can also create a paste, which can be rubbed onto muscles to relieve soreness (although it will leave a chalky, salty residue until washed off).
For organic gardening, Epsom salt is an inexpensive solution. In place of chemical fertilizer, Epsom salt has been used for generations to help foster plant growth, making your plants bushier and improving flower blooms, especially where magnesium content is deficient in the soil.
Dissolve two tablespoons of unscented Epsom salts in a gallon of water and water your plants once or twice a month with this solution. Rose, tomatoes, and peppers are plants that require a lot of magnesium and could benefit from Epsom salts.
To keep slugs from eating up your plants, sprinkle your walkways with Epsom salts for a non-chemical slug solution. Again, unscented is best for outdoor use.
Ready to buy? First, consider the following.
These may be added to scented Epsom salts to add a spa experience in the comfort of your own tub. Lavender is a popular scent added that induces relaxation. Peppermint, eucalyptus, or menthol is another that revitalizes you and helps clear your sinuses. If you are sensitive to fragrance, select products scented with essential oils rather than synthetic fragrances. Pure Epsom salt has no scent.
Additions like shea butter and coconut or avocado oil can be found in some Epsom salts to help hydrate the skin. Baking soda is another added ingredient designed for foot soaks to remove odor and detoxify.
A 2-pound bag of Epsom salts costs between $2.50 and $8. This price range includes scented Epsom salts.
A 3-pound bag of Epsom salts costs between $3 and $9. Ones with more beneficial properties like aromatherapy and moisturizers tend to be at the higher end of this range.
A 5-pound bag of Epsom salts costs between $6 and $15. Bags on the higher end of this spectrum may be Kosher, non-GMO, or have a higher purity.
Q. Can I use Epsom salt instead of table salt?
A. No. Epsom salt is flavorless and not edible. While it can be taken orally (under doctor supervision) as a holistic remedy for constipation, it’s generally not for consumption. It won’t add flavor to your food — which table salt, sea salt, Himalayan pink salt, and Kosher salt all do — and may give you an unwanted run to the bathroom if you attempt to salt your meal with it because of its high magnesium levels.
Q. Will bathing in Epsom salt dry out my skin and hair the way swimming in the ocean does?
A. No, Epsom salt will actually soften your skin. While this isn’t scientifically proven, it is a widely reported benefit for hundreds of years when people soaked in the mineral baths of Epsom, Surrey. Epsom salt shouldn’t dry out your hair as much as ocean salt. In fact, it’s used in hair treatments to volumize hair because it helps reduce excess oil that can weigh down your hair. Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salt with two tablespoons of your conditioner and apply as a mask, leaving it in for 10 to 20 minutes before washing out. If you have dry but textured hair, this mix may also add definition to your curls or texture. Be aware that Epsom salt’s magnesium content might react with color-treated hair.
Q. What are the potential side effects of Epsom salt?
A. Internal consumption of Epsom salts can interfere with absorption of some medications, like antibiotics, because of the magnesium content. Consult with your doctor if you’re taking medications or are pregnant or nursing before ingesting Epsom salt. Also, taking too much can cause gastrointestinal issues, like diarrhea or nausea, and in extreme cases, allergic reactions.
Q. Can I put Epsom salts in my hot tub?
A. No, that can cause damage to a number of components, from your filter to the finish of your hot tub. Only add Epsom salts to a normal bathtub and rinse the tub after use.