Epsom salt is basically magnesium sulfate and it got its name after the town of Epsom in England, where it was first distilled from water. These salts are widely available in drugstores or supermarkets and it is fairly inexpensive.
Epsom salt has many uses. Mainly, it is used for soothing baths, but, it is also a very beneficial plant food, especially in organic gardening. It has many health benefits, it improves the appearance of the skin and it can also be used to treat certain infections.
Health benefits of Epsom salts
These salts, whose chemical formula is rather complicated- MgSO4-7H2O, have been used for a long time to treat a number of ailments, like sprains, back pain and similar problems. If used on cuts, burns and bruises, they speed up the healing process and prevent complications. They provide relief from colds, flu, congestion, sinus problems and similar. They regulate enzymes in the body and contribute to detoxification.
However, even though their use is wide and very popular, science seems to have ignored Epsom salts for a long time and not many studies have been performed to back what the experience of so many people have already proven.
Epsom salts for infection
Epsom salts have been used traditionally to prevent, reduce and treat various infections. The principle is always the same, and it involves soaking of the affected area in Epsom salt water solution for a certain period of time. In most cases, soaking needs to be repeated several times in order to be fully effective.
A person who has a cur, bruise, scrape or burn can use Epsom salts to accelerate the healing and prevent infections. These salts seem to have an effect on bacteria and fungus, and skin infections caused by those agents can be treated with soaking. Also, infected teeth can be treated by gargling the Epsom salt solution. Even though there is no scientific proof that this will actually cure the infection, it certainly seems to relieve the pain and reduce swelling. The same goes for swelling and pain caused by an ingrown nail.
Athlete’s foot, tinea versicolor, yeast infections and nail fungus can be treated with Epsom salts too, although in severe cases this treatment will certainly not suffice.
The important thing about these salts is that they, or their solution, should never be ingested. They are meant for external use only, for soaking, rubbing, baths or gargling.