Why you should have Epsom salts baths

Photo by Kevin Dooley
Photo by Kevin Dooley

My Mama Claire has never been wrong.

Years ago when I was suffering terribly from severe pain in my feet and legs, she instructed me.

“Run the water as hot as you can take it, pour a good bit of Epsom salts in there and soak in the tub” she said.

In conjunction with other remedies like regular ginger tea, magnesium supplements and light exercise, I found great relief in Epsom salts baths. Now it is a regular routine which I swear by and encourage other fibromyalgia patients to take up.

Named after a spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, these God-sent salts are actually a mineral of magnesium and sulphate. Magnesium is useful for many ailments including chronic pain, so it’s no wonder Epsom salts offer relief for pain conditions, as it is easily absorbed through the skin.

Here are three very good reasons why you should make Epsom salts baths a regular routine.

Pain relief

Epsom salts baths ease pain, migraines, and alleviate inflammation. Send away the migraines, muscle pains, cramps and spasms with a proper Epsom salt bath. Magnesium is crucial for bone and teeth formation, and research associates high magnesium intakes with greater bone density. Thus, it’s been shown to be effective for decreasing the risk of osteoporosis in post menopause. Just to say that my ‘balloony’, swollen feet are both nicely back (thank GOD!) to their normal size after my regular soaks in Epsom salts bath.

Aids in muscle and nerve function

Magnesium is one of the most vital minerals for our bodies, with responsibility for two of the most important cellular functions, energy production and cellular reproduction. Consequently, Epsom salts contribute to the proper functioning of muscles and nerves. The magnesium in Epsom salts, aid and regulate our bodies’ use of calcium and other minerals.

Relax, de-stress and sleep better 

Those of us with fibromyalgia know that sleep can be a luxury, thanks to insomnia and other sleep disorders associated with fibromyalgia. The magnesium in Epsom salts produce serotonin, the chemical in the brain which regulates our mood and sleep. Loading up on magnesium can help us to relax, sleep better and feel better. Sounds perfect for us! given that many fibromyalgia patients also live with depression and anxiety. If like me you also suffer terribly with fatigue, an Epsom salts bath can help. Due to magnesium’s important role in energy production, Epsom salts may increase energy and stamina.

This is not an exhaustive list. I summarised what I thought to be the most important uses that we (fibromyalgia patients) would have for an Epsom salts bath.

Naturally, I must continue to encourage you to take a holistic approach. So together with your Epsom salts baths, you can increase your intake of magnesium through foods rich in this mineral. These include:

  • Green leafy veg
  • Nuts
  • Beans and peas
  • Soymilk
  • Broccoli
  • Banana
  • Peanut butter
  • Brown rice
  • Whole grain cereals

Just do as Grandma said. A hot bath with a generous amount of Epsom salts (generous us open to interpretation but I’ve always used about three handfuls of it).

For more information on eating right for fibromyalgia, read My Top Five Favourite Fibromyalgia Foods. Whoa! that alliteration got me dizzaay!

Gentle Hugs 🙂 x

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