Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Healing Epsom Salt

My arms look like I got in a fight with a cat and lost. Really it's only scratches from picking ollalaberries, but painful none-the-less. It didn't hurt today when I was picking, but later it started to burn a bit. (I thought better about posting a photo of my arms). Apparently, the berries have a small bit of poison in the thorns. Yep, I think they do.

Anyway, I'm trying an Epsom Salt soak tonight while I watch the new BBC version of Jane Austen's Emma. I'm hoping it will take the sting away and speed up the healing process.

Back in June, a friend recommended I try soaking my finger that I had cut with a butcher knife in Epsom Salt. I had a deep cut which should have been stitched up, but I was in a hurry and didn't want to go to the hospital. After about 3 or 4 weeks of triple antibiotic cream and a band aide, it was getting worse. (Think maybe it was infected?)

So when my friend recommended that I soak it in epsom salt, I started a routine of twice a day in hot water and epsom salt. In one day, the improvement was huge! And the tenderness that had been getting worse - painful, in fact - began to subside. Within 3-4 days the pain was gone and the healing was almost complete! It was amazing

What is Epsom Salt?

First, it isn't really salt. It's a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Second, it got it's name from a bitter spring at Epsom which is located in Surrey, England.  

Why does it work so well?

Because it is easily absorbed through the skin, epsom salt is ideal for soaking sore muscles and skin issues in the bath. 

What does the magnesium do?

Magnesium regulates over 325 enzymes in the body, reduces inflammation, and can reduce muscle soreness as well as help with nerve function. And according to Salt Works, it can help prevent artery hardening.

What about sulfates? 

Sulfates are helpful with improving nutrient absorption. It also helps flush toxins from the body, thus the reason some wise doctors recommend a good soak in the tub with epsom salt. If you have a migraine headache, you can try soaking in it as well.

A Few Uses for Epsom Salt

• relieves muscle cramps
• sooth sprains and bruises
• soothes hives, poison ivy, and other stings
• eases the discomfort of gout
• helps treat toenail fungus
• exfoliates dead skin
• dislodge blackheads
• hair volumizer
• eliminate foot odor
• relieve constipation
• eases stress and relaxes the body
• helps with insomnia
• relieves migraine headache
• eliminates body toxins
• helps heal cuts
• and lots of other things, such as in the garden!

Do I have your attention yet? Thought so. It certainly got my attention when it worked so well on my cut. Please remember that I'm not a doctor. I'm just a mom that found something that worked for me. I can't make any promises; I can only share what I've researched and my own experience. But, it certainly is something that you might want to add to your medicine cabinet and try once in a while.

For more information on Epsom Salt, you can visit the Epsom Salt Council or Salt Works. There's more information than I can include in a blog post. You may want to hop on over there and look around and glean some more nuggets. I just wanted to pass along the idea to give it a try. I'm certainly glad I did!

Bath Soak Recipe

Add 2 cups of Epsom Salt to a standard size bath tub (double the amount for a large soaker tub) and add warm or cool water to your preference. Throw in a handful of peppermint leaves if you have skin irritations and you want additional benefits. Or add a few drops of your favorite essential oil, such as lavender to help you relax. Soak at least 12 minutes.

For a foot soak, add 1/2 cup to a dish pan of water.

Please share your experience using Epsom Salt and what you do with it?


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