What is Epsom Salt?

Deriving its name from the English town of Epsom in the county Surrey, Epsom salt is the common name for the chemical compound magnesium sulphate. It is made up of sulphur, oxygen and magnesium and is completely different from regular table salt that is used for food. It is called a salt due to its chemical formation and structure. The taste is quite bitter and totally not palatable. However, there are people who dissolve it in water and drink it, as it is believed to be a home remedy for a few ailments such as fibromyalgia, which is a skeletal-muscle pain, insomnia and constipation.

Commonly, it is used in bathing water and drawing foot baths to help relax the foot and body muscles and ease pain. It is generally available off-the-shelf and you would not need a prescription to buy Epsom Salt.   

How to Draw a Foot Bath

You can follow these simple steps to draw a foot bath using Epsom Salt

–              Fill some warm water in your basin or bathtub. The water level should be enough for you to submerge your feet in it.

–              Then add Epsom salt into this water.

–              Put your feet into this and keep it soaked for half an hour to an hour, depending on how you feel.

–              If you wish to, you could add a few drops of essential oils like eucalyptus, peppermint or lavender into the water to give slight fragrance and help with the pain.

–              It is advisable to properly moisturise your feet after you take them out of the foot bath.

Whenever you are trying out something new, it is prudent to be observant about how your body is reacting to the treatment. In case you experience a pain or burning sensation, remove your legs and wash them in clean water immediately.

Quantity of Epsom Salt in Foot Bath

When drawing a foot bath it is advised to use about half a cup of Epsom Salt in a small tub of warm water that is enough to soak and cover your feet. If you have drawn water in a standard size bath tub, it is recommended to add two cups of Epsom Salt into that. In case you have an extremely dry skin around your feet, it is best to use only half of this amount of Epsom Salt in your foot bath.

While soaking your feet, you could use the soles of your feet to rub the salt into the water, as it not only dissolves the salt, but also helps in exfoliating your feet and removing dead skin.

Putting a higher amount of Epsom salt could result in making your skin very dry, and result in irritation or cracked skin, especially around your heels. It might also have other side effects due to a high level of magnesium or sulphate in the water.

In case you see a rash, redness, sores or experience any kind of pain, talk to your physician immediately and schedule a visit to get the same treated. Ignoring any such issue could lead to the problem becoming worse.  

Do not use Epsom Salt in your foot bath if you have an open wound or a staph infection as it could aggravate the problem. If you have a swollen ankle, or any other kind of foot injury, we would encourage you to first consult your doctor and use a foot bath on their recommendation only.

Also, it is advised to use a foot bath once or twice a week only, it is not something that you should do every day.

Advantages of Using Epsom Salt in Foot Bath

For ages, Epsom salt has been used as home remedies for treating ailments like foot pain and body aches. Although no medical research has proven, it has also been used for relieving sleep disorders, bowel issues, and muscle pains.

Nonetheless, its regular usage in foot baths and bath water has been hugely popular as it is known to act like a healing agent to help with pains and reduce stress.  

When Epsom salt is used in the best heated foot baths, it dissolves in water and releases magnesium ions, which is a mineral that is in scarce supply for the human body. It also releases Sulfate ions and these particles are believed to be absorbed by the human skin, helping in relaxing the body, and easing aches and pains. It is also known to help in healing fungal infections, removing splinters and exfoliating.