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Natural Epsom Salt is named after a bitter saline spring in Epsom, England. It is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral composite of magnesium and sulphate. Epsom Salt has traditionally been used as a natural remedy for many ailments. It has a particular affinity with the joints and muscles and can also be useful for relieving stress, tension and caring for the skin. See the 'Recipes' tab for traditional uses and suggested blends.
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The experts at Base Formula recommend using Epsom Salts to:
Ease stress and relax the body: Anecdotal evidence suggests that people who are suffering from stress have low magnesium levels. Certainly magnesium is critical to the effective functioning of the mind and body so bathing in magnesium rich water could well be beneficial.
Relieve joint and muscle discomfort: Bathing in a warm Epsom Salt rich bath is known to relieve pain and anecdotally we know that it may be helpful in soothing inflammation.
Relieve head tension: The spa experience generated by bathing in Epsom Salts can relieve anxiety and tension that causes headaches and many believe it is helpful in calming migraine type conditions.
Soothe knocks and cleanses scrapes: An Epsom Salt bath with 12 drops of Tea Tree essential oil is an effective way of cleansing minor scrapes and soothe bumps.
Provide a relaxing foot treatment: Epsom Salt softens skin and will help neutralize foot odour. Bathe feet in a bowl of hot water into which a cup of Epsom Salts, 4 drops of Tea Tree, 4 drops of Spearmint and 4 drops of Orange essential oils have been added. In Victorian times it was believed that an Epsom Salt foot bath would help draw splinters out. The hot water would have helped and the salt definitely has an antibacterial effect but further than that there is no documented scientific evidence to support this popular folk remedy.
Calm IBS symptoms: There is anecdotal evidence to suggest that bathing in a warm Epsom Salt rich bath with added Bergamot and Fennel essential oils can help reduce the anxiety that aggravates IBS symptoms and help restore the normal rhythm of peristalsis.
Provide a therapeutic detox: The Victorians believed that bathing in an Epsom Salt bath would remove toxins from the body. There is no scientific evidence to support this, however the aromatherapy experts at Base Formula recommend adding a cupful of Epsom Salts to the bath with 4 drops of Grapefruit, 4 drops of Cypress and 4 drops of Palmarosa essential oils and 1 cupful of Aloe Vera Juice for a relaxing and detoxing home spa experience.
Exfoliate and soothe: In the shower or bath, mix a handful of Epsom Salt with a tablespoon of Jojoba Oil and rub all over wet skin to exfoliate and soften. Rinse thoroughly. This can be useful in reducing the appearance of cellulite as the salts help to draw out toxins and excess fluid.
All all in one facial: Mix 1/2 tsp with your usual cleanser gently massage into the skin before rinsing off with cool water. The salts will cleanse, detox, exfoliate, hydrate, rejuvenate and boost the skin's magnesium levels all in one!
Volumise hair: A pre-war folk remedy for thinning hair was to dissolve a cupful of Epsom Salts in 500mls of very hot water and allow to cool to a comfortable temperature. In a separate cup add 1 tablespoonful of grain alcohol (vodka), 8 drops of Ylang Ylang, 2 drops of May Chang and 2 drops of Cedarwood and 2 tablespoonsful of Aloe Vera Juice. Rinse the hair in the mixture and leave to dry naturally.
Other household uses:
To clean bathroom tiles and ceramic floors mix equal parts Epsom Salt and sls free foaming cleanser base and use as a scrub on bathroom tiles.
To prevent slugs sprinkle Epsom Salt in a circle around important plants as a natural slug deterrent.
As a hand exfoilator after gardening or car mechanics or for youngsters dirty knees - Mix Epsom Salt with Almond Oil so that it makes a thick paste and keep by the sink/bath as an effective cleansing scrub.