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Epsom Salt Regular and out of ordinary uses

Updated on November 13, 2011

Epsom Salt What is it?

First a little quick chemistry lesson and then on to the applications of Epsom Salt.

 It is a naturally occurring mineral that is found in water, especially oceans. Epsom salt is also known as magnesium sulfate.  It was discovered in Epsom, England around the 1500's, from distilled water.  The chemical formula is MgSO4-7H2O, and has a white crystalline appearance.  

Epsom Salts can easily be bought at drug stores or supermarkets.  It also may be available at some hardware stores.  Inexpensive and has a wide range of applications.  

Medical and Health Applications.

Starting with the most popular application:

Epsom Salt Baths. Two cups in a tub of hot water brings a stress relief, especially after a hard day. Through this it eases the stress, increase energy levels, and gives a relaxed feeling. In other words an escape from the stress we are in. It should be noted that your skin is your biggest organ, and that some of the magnesium in Epsom will get absorbed into your body. That is good, for the Magnesium helps some 325 enzymes, as well as a key role in muscles control, elimination of harmful toxins, muscle control, and so on.

Also as a bath salt, it leaves no residue like regular salt would, and doesn't dry out your skin. Fact is it softens it. Which leads to:

Face Cleaner: Suggestion is to mix a 1/2 teaspoon Epsom with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into your skin and rinse with cold water. It will then serve to soften and exfoliate old skin cells.

Blackheads: 1 teaspoon Epsom and 3 drops of Iodine in 1/2 Cup of boiling water. Let the the mixture cool, to where you can insert your finger in it. Now apply with a cotton ball (or swab) to the blackhead. Repeat 3-4 times, reheating the solution if necessary. Gently remove the blackhead and then dab the area with an alcohol based astringent.

Note: It is safe to ingest Epsom Salt, and is an FDA approved laxative. But as with anything medical consult your Doctor before doing it yourself. Remember your skin will absorb the Magnesium and Sulfates.

Exfoliate: 2 cups of Epsom Salt with 1/4 cup petroleum jelly, and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Gently scrub the dry skin patches, with the mixture.

Soaking Feet: Same benefits as bathing, it reduces the stress. But it is also used to eliminate fungi that cause athletes foot. Once to twice a day soak your feet in warm water with a handful of Epsom Salt. Combine this with keeping your feet dry, and changing your socks, plus applying an anti fungus cream. (what has worked for me, in prevention is just regular changing of socks).

Nail Fungus: Same application as the feet but also filing the nail down before soaking so as the Epsom Salt can reach the fungus.

First Aid Treatments

Sprains and Bruises:  An Epsom salt bath to the area of the sprain or bruise will provide relief, by reducing swelling and minimize the soreness.  Twenty to thirty minutes will get the relief plus a refreshment to your mind as well.  Also great for relieving muscle pain.

Splinter remover, Bug bites, and sore muscles:  Yes, it works there too.  By softening the area and drawing out the splinter.   Recommended 2 cups Epsom Salt per gallon of water for the compress.


Now lfor our plants the benefits of Epsom Salt.

A greener Lawn: Mix 2 Tablespoons to 1 Gallon water.  Spread on your lawn.  Then water with plain water to soak it in.  Epsom salt provides the needed magnesium.  From the Epsom Salt Industries Council they recommend 3 lbs per 1250 sq. ft. then water.

Tomatoes and other plants: Every second week for every foot of height of your tomato plant add one tablespoon.  It is good for your houseplants, roses and other flowers, and trees.   For houseplants (2 tablespoons per gallon of water)  Don't treat Sage with it.  

Slugs:  Sprinkle Epsom salt where they glide.  It will desiccate them. (suck the moisture out of them).

Raccoons: Need to control them around your trash can. Try a few tablespoons of Epsom salt, spread around the area.  If it rains reapply, Rocky raccoon doesn't like the taste. 

For the General Garden:  1 cup per 100 sq ft. mixed into the soil before planting.  This will help the germination of your plants, aids in the absorption of phosphorus and nitrogen (two very important fertilizer minerals).

Some other not so Common usages

 Bathroom tiles: The grungy look, equal parts Epsom salt with liquid dish detergent.  Dab it onto the area needing to be cleaned, and scrub.  The salt works with the detergent to scrub and dissolve the grime.

 Frost your Windows:  For the those wanting a white Christmas on their windows look.  Mix Epsom salt with stale beer until the slat stops dissolving.  Apply to the windows with a sponge.  Get creative, sweeping the sponge in an arc at the bottom corners.   When it dries, viola you have a frosty look.

 Regenerate a Car Battery:  If your battery is reaching it's last legs.  Try this: Dissolve about an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water and add it to each battery cell.

Also of note, for the most part all Epsom salts are much the same, unless something is added or not taken out. 


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