You’ve seen them lingering on the bottom shelf of the bath soap aisle in every grocery store for years. Epsom salts.
They have long been known as a luxury bath item, solely meant to soothe the skin while you take a nice soak.
What many people don’t know is just how many uses these “salts” really have.
First, let’s take a look at where it got its start.
Epsom salt (aka magnesium sulfate) is not a naturally occurring substance on its own. Rather, it is a byproduct of the elements magnesium and sulfate coming together under electrically charged conditions.
According to the scientific educational group Jefferson Lab, Epsom salts were first discovered by happenstance in 1618, when an unruly cow refused to drink water from a particular well.
Epsom salt, was discovered in 1618 by a farmer in Epsom, England, when his cows refused to drink the water from a certain mineral well. He tasted the water and found that it tasted very bitter. He also noticed that it helped heal scratches and rashes on his skin.
Roughly 200 years later renowned chemist Sir Humphrey Davy, the same man that introduced us to “laughing gas”, managed to successfully isolate magnesium for the first time using electricity.
From this point on, Epsom salts have been thrust into the limelight time and again for its many versatile uses.
Here are 22 of them, just to get ya started!
1. Clean Your Hair and Scalp
Epsom salt can easily be added to a dollop of your favorite shampoo for a deep cleaning treatment. The abrasiveness of the salt helps exfoliate the scalp.
On its own, exfoliating can increase circulation to the area. You get a double-dose of this action with Epsom salts though, as magnesium is known to increase circulation, and is readily absorbed into the skin.
2. Boost Hair Volume
In addition to exfoliating the scalp, Epsom salt also removes excess oil from your hair by drawing it out at the scalp.
Without the heavy oils weighing down your hair, your mane becomes full of bounce and shine.
For this added effect, simply mix equal amounts of Epsom salt and hair conditioner, then zap in the microwave for about 30 seconds. Rub the mixture on your hair once it’s cool enough to touch, let sit for 20 minutes, then rinse.
3. Soothing Facial
Ditch the expensive facials and make your face radiant with this DIY facial exfoliant.
Epsom salt works fantastically for drawing out oils and exfoliating away dead skin cells. Just mix a teaspoon or so of the salt with your favorite face soap and gently rub all over your face.
Once the salts have dissolved, rinse with warm water thoroughly and voila! Catch a full tutorial by makeup artist Julia Jones here.
4. Lip Scrub
Much like the facial exfoliant, Epsom salt will easily scrub away any flaky dead skin cells on the lips too!
Mix a small amount of Epsom salt with petroleum jelly and rub all over the lips in small circles, and wipe away.
5. Foot Scrub
Epsom salt is AMAZING as a foot scrub!
Not only will it exfoliate your feet and soften your calluses, but the therapeutic effects of the salt relaxes your muscles and clears your pores so the minerals easily absorb into the skin.
Simply add 1 cup of Epsom salt to about a tablespoon each of castile soap and olive oil (or any oil good for skin), and mix with a few drops of essential oil.
Essential oils that work particularly well are peppermint, tea tree, and eucalyptus oil, for their known antifungal properties.
6. Ease A Migraine
Due to the myriad health benefits these salts offer, when mixed with a hot bath they can help stop a migraine.
This is because the magnesium is an essential mineral to the proper functioning of the body. The hot bathwater helps open up your pores and also relaxes the muscles.
The minerals are absorbed into the skin, further easing muscle tension and increasing circulation, easing you out of a migraine.
7. Heal Bruises Fast
Since magnesium helps increase the circulation, it can also greatly reduce recovery time from various injuries.
One of the best ways to see it in action is to make a paste. Mix Epsom salt and a small amount of water and rub over bruised area. Allow to absorb for best results.
8. Soothe Sore Muscles
This is one of the oldest known uses for Epsom salt since its discovery. All you have to do is slip into a hot bath with about 2-3 cups of pure Epsom salt. Sit back and relax!
This is particularly useful for athletes and people who live physically
active lifestyles. The salt soak will up your body’s intake of vital minerals and speed up your recovery time.
9. Use as a Laxative
When you’re feeling constipated, you can help clear the way, so to speak, with a homemade drink!
Epsom salt is a natural laxative, and a powerful one too. One teaspoon in a glass of water should be enough to do the trick!
10. Cure a Hangover
It’s the Holy Grail of remedies, folks! Anyone who has seen the movie knows a hangover can be absolutely brutal.
Fortunately, in addition to working as a laxative when mixed with water and sipped on, the magnesium in the salt will also flush your body of the toxins that are left in your system.
11. Remove a Splinter
In the same fashion that Epsom salt draws out toxins and oils from the body, it also draws out objects.
Sarah The Healthy Home Economist recalls in a blog post that when her husband had got a large thorn stuck deeply into his skin that he couldn’t get out, he consulted a veterinary friend who told him to use Epsom salt.
He made a poultice by putting some of the salt onto a bandage. He would change the band-aid once a day, and within 3 days had the splinter completely removed, for free.
A relief compared to the $500 dollars he was quoted by the doctor.
12. Sleep Aid
When you take your soak to ease those muscles, try not to drift asleep. All the health benefits of magnesium combine to make for the perfect nap time.
When your muscles are at ease and your circulation is freely flowing, it is very easy to doze off. So just make sure to get out of the water before start snoozing!
13. Fake Snow
If you want a white Christmas, but aren’t expecting snow to ever blanket your house, you can use Epsom salt to create your own!
Take a can of old beer that’s lost its fizz, and mix with Epsom salt. Then just dip a sponge into the mix and dab your windows, candles, or anything else you want snow-covered.
Once the mixture dries, it will look just like the real stuff!
14. Grout and Tile Cleaner
If you decided to cover your counters with the fake snow, you could probably use a good cleaner!
Just combine equal parts Epsom salt to dish soap, apply and then scrub away! The size of the salt crystals creates just enough abrasion to lift all of that grime out of the grout and tiles, without harming them.
15. Un-Grease Your Washing Machine
As your washing machine sees more and more loads of dirty laundry, it will start to build up a nasty looking residue.
While it looks like a tough job, Epsom salt can virtually erase the problem.
To clean the residue, just fill your machine with water on the hottest cycle, and pour a couple cups of Epsom salt in and let it complete a full cycle. The abrasive salt will cut right through the build-up.
16. Scour Pots and Pans
Ever lose a good pan to burnt on food that just won’t come off? Not to worry, if you have some Epsom salt to hand you can have it looking new again.
It does help to let the pan soak in hot water and Epsom salt first, but if you don’t have the time just use the salt and a sponge to scrub the mess away.
17. Grow BIG Tomatoes
This is true for peppers, too! Both fruits require magnesium and sulfur to reach their maximum growth potential.
How you apply the Epsom salt will depend on the time of the season. In the early season, you want to add 1-2 Tblsp. to the soil so that when you water, the salt will dissolve and get wicked up by the roots.
If you are late in the season and the fruit is maturing, you will want to dissolve 2 tablespoons in a gallon of water and spray the plant leaves to get bigger and tastier fruits.
18. Foliar Spray
Good for more than just tomatoes, by mixing a teaspoon or so of Epsom salt into a 16-20 oz. spray bottle you can keep your houseplants green year round!
Leaves begin to yellow when they aren’t getting enough of the minerals found in the salt. By adding it to your spray bottle, or even making a pour solution, you can feed your plants and keep them thriving.
19. Keep Slugs At Bay
To be clear, Epsom salt will not kill slugs the way that regular salt will by dehydration.
Actually, it works very much like diatomaceous earth in the garden…meaning the sharp, crude edges of the salt crystals scratch and scathe the body of slugs and some other pests.
So sprinkling a ring-around-your-roses can be an effective, multipurpose use for the salt.
20. Grow Gorgeous Roses
Speaking of roses, adding a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil around your rose bush can keep them healthy and strong throughout the growing season.
When plants have all the minerals they need, their leaf and flower colors are more vibrant, and they produce more too! What’s not to love?
21. Keep Bugs Out
When plants are healthy, they tend to attract a certain amount of bugs, both good and bad.
Adding Epsom salt to the top of the soil can deter many of the annoying ground-dwelling bugs that want to crawl their way toward your yummy garden.
Just remember, the salt also acts as a fertilizer, so better to do this when your plants are needing a boost.
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22. Lawn Fertilizer
Just the same as with the peppers, tomatoes, and roses, Epsom salt can prevent your grass from turning yellow.
Your lawn requires the same minerals as do most other plants, and when it begins to lose its color, it is usually a sign of mineral deficiency.
Make up a quick solution of 2 Tblsp. Epsom Salt to 1 full gallon of water, and spray as normal.
Your grass will be the talk of the neighborhood for a dollar or two, and you won’t have to poison your yard to do it!
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H/T: Remedy Daily