Epsom Salt-Simple but true!
According to the National Academy
of Sciences, most Americans are magnesium deficient, which the academy says helps to account for high rates of heart disease,
stroke, osteoporosis, arthritis and joint pain, digestive maladies, stress-related illnesses, chronic fatigue and a number
of other ailments. Who knew?!
Americans' magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last
century due to changes in agriculture and diet. Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from soil and the typical American
diet contains much less magnesium than that of our forefathers. And in fact, the modern American diet with its fat, sugar,
salt and protein actually works to speed up the depletion of magnesium from our bodies.
Epsom salt is
rich in both magnesium and sulfate. While both magnesium and sulfate can be poorly absorbed through the stomach, studies show
increased magnesium levels from soaking in a bath enriched with Epsom salt! Magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed
through the skin. Sulfates play an important role in the formation of brain tissue, joint proteins and the proteins that line
the walls of the digestive tract. They stimulate the pancreas to generate digestive enzymes and are thought to help detoxify
the body of medicines and environmental contaminants.
Researchers and physicians suggest
these health benefits from proper magnesium and sulfate levels, as listed on the web site of the Epsom Salt Industry Council:
- Improved heart and circulatory
health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved ability for the body
to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
- Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate
nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium
is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
- Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
- Improved oxygen use.
- Improved absorption of nutrients.
- Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
- Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
All this from a bath, hurray! While there are many different brands of Epsom salt, they are all the
same product chemically, and can be found at most drug stores. Add two cups of Epsom salt and soak for at least
12 minutes. Do this three times weekly. A few drops of your favorite essential oil can be added also.
If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, check with your doctor before
using Epsom salts.