Back before I had slipped into my flip-flops and bared my pale skin to the sun my dear friend Tamar gifted me with a jar of lavender scented bath salts, she offered up ideas for a Simple Spa at Home. which I think any lady worth her salt would enjoy.
Oh the foot soak, sweet memories, with a cup of chamomile and my latest YA obsession: The Wolves of Mercy Falls series by Maggie Stiefvater, Linger in particular, was just about as good as life got. I was wearing my purple Edward from Twilight tee shirt too, is that wrong? No, no it’s not.
Anyway, that foot soak/scrub prepared the rough skin on my tootsies for the coming months, but got me thinking about Epsom salt. I vaguely remember taking a bath in the stuff once as a child for reasons that escape me now, so I did some research, because if you know anything about us at Ladies Holiday, we love eco-friendly natural items that preferably can be made with ingredients straight outta the pantry. And a little science is fun too!
So without further ado I present to you the incredible, versatile Epsom Salt!
Wouldn’t you know it Epsom Salt has a council all to wee self? Check it out!
Or to save you the trouble, I’ll share what I learned.
What is it?
Epsom Salt is magnesium, sulfur and oxygen making it a naturally occurring mineral, but is termed “salt” because of its salt like appearance, it is not in fact a salt (sodium chloride.)
Where does it come from?
It was discovered in the 1600s and originated in the town of Epsom in Surrey, England.
What are the benefits?
The Epsom Salt Council says, “Epsom salt is made up of magnesium and sulfate, which can help improve health in numerous ways. A lack of magnesium—which helps regulate the activity of more than 300 enzymes in the body—can contribute to high blood pressure, hyperactivity, heart problems and other health issues, doctors warn. Sulfate is essential for many biological processes, helping to flush toxins and helping form proteins in joints, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
Doctors and researchers say that soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a safe, easy way to increase the body's levels of both magnesium and sulfate.” Pretty cool, huh?!
And that’s not all! Epsom salt has a variety of applications ranging from the aforementioned foot soak to a full body bath and more! See below for a list of uses for Epsom Salt:
Relaxing bath: Soak in warm water and 2 cups of Epsom salt for at least 12 minutes. Add your favorite essential oil- forget Calgon, Epsom Salt take me away!
Foot soak: Soothe aches and soften rough skin. Add 1/2 cup of Epsom salt to a large pan of warm water. Soak feet for as long as it feels right. Rinse and dry.
Soak sprains and bruises: Epsom salt will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises. Add 2 cups Epsom salt to a warm bath, and soak.
Splinter remover: Soak in Epsom salt; it will draw out the splinter.
Face cleaner: To clean your face at night, mix a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt, massage into skin and rinse and pat dry.
Homemade facial mask: Apply the mask to damp skin. For normal to oily skin, mix 1 tablespoon of cognac, 1 egg, 1/4 cup of non-fat dry milk, the juice of 1 lemon, and a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt. For normal to dry skin, mix 1/4 cup of grated carrot, 1 1/2 teaspoons of mayonnaise and a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt.
Skin exfoliator: Massage handfuls of Epsom salt over your wet skin, starting with your feet and continuing up towards the face. Rinse.
Remove excess oil from hair: Epsom salt soaks up excess oil from hair. Add 9 tablespoons of Epsom salt to 1/2 cup of oily hair shampoo. Apply one tablespoon of the liquid to your hair when it is dry; rinse with cold water. Pour lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar through the hair, leave on for 5-10 minutes, and then rinse.
Remove Hair Product Build-up: Combine 1 gallon of water, 1 cup of lemon juice, and 1 cup Epsom salt. Combine, cover and let set for 24 hours. The next day, pour the mixture into your dry hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then shampoo as normal.
Hair Volumizer: Combine equal parts of deep conditioner and Epsom salt. Warm in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse.
Garden Startup: Prep your garden by sprinkling 1 cup of Epsom salt over 100 square feet. Mix into the soil before planting. Take Note! Do not prepare soil where you grow sage, it is one of the few plants that doesn't like Epsom salt.
House Plants: Feed house plants monthly by adding 2 tablespoons Epsom salt per gallon of water.
Summer Ailments: For mosquito bites, bee stings, mild sunburn and poison ivy, make compresses by soaking a cotton washcloth in cold water that has been mixed with Epsom salt (2 tablespoons per cup), then apply to the skin
Adapted from the Epsom Salt Council (Note: Check with a doctor first if you have any health concerns.)
*And here is a fun one to do with the kids or as a gift: Bath Fizzies from Practically Functional Blog.
Where can I get it?
Most grocery stores, pharmacies and super-centers like Target carry Epsom Salt as well as www.amazon.com
How much does it cost?
A 16 ounce package costs around $6. Pretty affordable!
I love finding out tried and true uses for common and natural products! For more like this check out uses for baking soda and how to make your own laundry detergent.
From one Green Hot Mama to another,