How to Use Epsom Salt for Beauty, Health and the Garden

anhydrous Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts)
anhydrous Magnesium Sulfate (Epsom Salts) | Source

Gardeners have known for a long time that adding epsom salt to the garden adds magnesium and sulfur to the soil. Both are beneficial to plants. Bathing with epsom salt can also give people health benefits. At one time doctors prescribed a soak with it for countless ailments.

Epsom salt isn't a salt at all. It is a mixture of magnesium and sulfate, that was first distilled in Epsom, England. The salt can be found in water. Not only does it have benefits to the gardener, but has many health benefits, beauty uses, and can be useful around the home.

The best benefit is that it is inexpensive. You can buy a box or bag for just over $2.00. Since it has so many uses, this is a good buy.

Health Benefits

Using about two cups of the salt in bathwater will provide a relaxing, soothing bath that reduces stress. It works as a sedative. The magnesium sulfate sedates the body, since it is easily and safely absorbed by the skin. It works well to relax sore muscles and the added bonus is that it softens skin.

Epsom salt removes toxins from the body. It is great for a foot soak to remove splinters and other problems. It relaxes sore feet after a long day at work. Soaking in it helps relieve inflammation and helps heal minor cuts and wounds.

The salts also work well for the relief of bee stings, poison ivy, poison oak and skin allergies. If you have a bee sting, first remove the stinger and then apply a paste made with water to the area.The epsom salts will help draw out the toxins.Remember to always take someone having an extreme reaction to the emergency room.

Use a paste for skin allergies and other rashes. If it involves a larger area, soak in a bath made with it. The salt will also give temporary relief to sunburns too.

Some people even claim that using the salts in the bath will make sick children feel better and get better faster. It is worth a try. If nothing else it should calm and soothe them.

Beauty Aid

The Epsom Salt Council says if you mix the salt with your favorite conditioner, it will add body to your hair. I am going to try this and I'll let you know how it works.

The epsom salt also works great to exfoliate your skin. Use a cloth saturated with hot water and use some epsom salt to remove blackheads.

It removes dead skin and can be used on rough spots on the elbows and knees. Add it to water and soak before a pedicure to remove dead skin from the feet.Mix with baby oil and use as a hand cleanser to soften rough dry hands.

Epsom Salt Uses Around the Home

Soak towels in it overnight and then squeeze out the moisture. Your towels should be soft as new after drying. Mix with soap to get grime off of showers and other grimy, oily surfaces.

Epsom Salt Uses for the Gardener

As stated above, Epsom salt is a good source of magnesium and sulfur. Magnesium is needed for seeds to germinate. Without it, plants aren't able to use nitrogen and phosphorus. It will help your plants produce more flowers, which mean more vegetables. Apply sparingly to the garden, about 2 tablespoons in a gallon of water and only use it once a month.

Rose will do better also, but use the 2 tbsp to one gallon of water rule. Use it on tomatoes and peppers too to make them produce better.

Some claim that it will keep slugs away from the garden. Just apply in the evening and the slugs won't like the rough feel, because they have easily damaged skin. If you find tiny holes in your plants every morning, it is probably slug damage.


The Epsom Salt Council

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Comments 34 comments

rambansal profile image

rambansal 5 years ago from India

Very informative hubpage. Thanks for sharing.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

rabansal, Thanks for reading and commenting.

cloverleaffarm profile image

cloverleaffarm 5 years ago from The Hamlet of Effingham

Great Hub. I use Epsom salts in the bath all the time for aches, and pains.

Never heard of the hair thing. I'll have to try it too.

Voted up!

Cyndi10 profile image

Cyndi10 5 years ago from Georgia

Hello Barbara, Good information. My brother swears by the relaxing properties of Epsom Salt in bathwater when muscles are sore.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

cloverleaffarm, Thanks for reading the hub. I hope it does work for the hair. Thanks for voting up.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

cyndi10, At one time I used it all the time, I need to go back to it. Thanks for reading the hub.

teaches12345 profile image

teaches12345 5 years ago

I can remember our family doctor prescribing epson salt almost every time we went in to see him as children (does that date me?). I didn't know of the usage in the tub and shower to clean and I will try this next time. Yes, let us know how the conditioner mix works. I could use the moisture. Great hub and voted up!

vespawoolf profile image

vespawoolf 5 years ago from Peru, South America

This is very interesting. I had no idea epsom salts were an anti-inflammatory for sunburned or allergic skin. Thank you!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

teaches12345, If that dates you, it does me too because we had a doctor like that too. I've been noticing that some of the old time cures worked better than some of the new stuff.

North Wind profile image

North Wind 5 years ago from The World (for now)

I have always used epsom salts to perk up my plants and I have used it as a foot soak as well. I know it is also an ingredient in some medicines used to treat constipation as well. I had not heard about the hair thing but I will try it. It sounds like it would work because it perks up the trees right? So why not your hair? Ha! Great hub, Barbara Kay

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

vespawoolf, Thanks for reading the hub. Until I did the research, I didn't know this either. I always used as a foot soak and on plants. I'm going to start using it in the bath on a regular basis.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

North Wind, Thanks for your comments and for reading the hub. Yes, it seems like it would work.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

Thanks for outlining the benefits. I will try it on the rough spots on my elbows. Also, my sister just informed me that she uses epson salt as a laxative.

PurvisBobbi44 profile image

PurvisBobbi44 5 years ago from Florida

Barbara Kay,

That was great news--I did not know all this about the value of Epson Salt--but it is now on my list.

I voted up, interesting and useful.


Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

revmjm, Thanks for commenting. I've heard about using it as a laxative, but was afraid to add that as I couldn't find any reference to it, to make sure that it was safe. Thanks for adding that advice.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

PurvisBobbi44, Thanks for visiting the hub and voting up.

revmjm profile image

revmjm 5 years ago from Richmond, VA

FYI: Instruction for using epsom salt as a laxative is on the box.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

revjm, Thanks for the info. Mine is in a bag, so it must be the reason I didn't see that.

Tamarajo profile image

Tamarajo 5 years ago from Southern Minnesota

Interesting information on Epsom salts. I am always looking for helpful and useful natural remedies.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 5 years ago from USA Author

Tamarajo, Thanks for reading and commenting.

b. Malin profile image

b. Malin 4 years ago

Hi Barbara, I Loved the Beauty Tips that can be done with "Epsom Salts" and I intent to try them. And of course I'm going to try the suggestions for the Garden...So Interesting and Informative...Thank You!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

b.Malin, Thanks for reading the hub and commenting. I hope the tips work well for you.

creativelycc profile image

creativelycc 4 years ago from Maine

No wonder I feel so relaxed after soaking in a bath with epsom salts after a hard days work. A neighbor of mine also uses it regularly in her garden. This inexpensive salts seems to have many great benefits. Thank you for this hub!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

creativelycc, Thanks for commenting and you're welcome. Keep enjoying them.

ChristyWrites profile image

ChristyWrites 4 years ago from British Columbia, Canada

I really enjoyed your hub, thanks. I linked to it in my most recent hub about bubble baths. Take care.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Christy, Thanks for reading the hub and thanks for linking to it.

Sunshine625 profile image

Sunshine625 4 years ago from Orlando, FL

Epsom salt is amazing! I've been using it for years and I agree it's very cheap, yet is a cure for many ailments!

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Sunshine, Thanks for commenting and reading the hub. Sometimes the old time remedies are the best.

TToombs08 profile image

TToombs08 4 years ago from Somewhere between Heaven and Hell without a road map.

I'm going to have to start using some of these and pass on the info to hubby about soaking his feet. Great information. Voted up and shared.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

TToombs08, Isn't it great that you can use something so simple for so many uses. Be sure to buy the cheap stuff in the big bag. I just notices at Walmart that they are selling tiny packages with the foot care stuff for a much higher price. They did have the big bags, so I assume they still do and they are cheaper than the tiny packets.

Heather Says profile image

Heather Says 4 years ago from Buckeye, Arizona

Great info. I love epsom salt and so do my tired feet at the the end of the day. Lavender epsom salt is my favorite. Voted up :)

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 4 years ago from USA Author

Heather Says, Thanks for reading and voting up. I haven't used oils in mine yet. Thanks for a good idea.

Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 2 years ago from Oklahoma

I had to take Epsom salts baths during pregnancy because my body has a very hard time maintaining proper magnesium levels. So I would actually crave Epsom salts. Yuck! Taking the bath helped lessen the premature contractions too, so my doctor told me to use them every other night.

Barbara Kay profile image

Barbara Kay 2 years ago from USA Author

Sharkye11,Using them during pregnancy is really an unusual use. I wonder if it works for everyone or just you since you had trouble with magnesium levels. Thanks for reading and sharing your story.

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