3

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Why are Epsom salt baths so relaxing?

Answered on August 19, 2014
Created November 19, 2011 at 1:53 AM

Is it simply the repletion of magnesium via transdermal absorption, or is there another mechanism at play?

I ask this because a single epsom salt bath felt significantly more effective than my oral magnesium supplementation at relieving stress.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on December 30, 2011
at 03:48 AM

I wonder if making a sort of paste to put on the forehead during a migraine would have any effect.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 19, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Brilliant! Thanks.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:16 PM

But you might be right.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:16 PM

It was a distinct sense of relaxation that lasted far after I had cooled down.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 19, 2011
at 01:55 AM

I have tried both mag citrate (Natural Calm) and mag glycinate. Neither came close to the epsom bath.

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7 Answers

4
Medium avatar

on November 19, 2011
at 02:34 AM

I've tried both oral supplementation of magnesium and epsom salts. I agree with you, the epsom salts are much more effective. This is because they're absorbed directly through the skin and into the bloodstream rather than going through the digestive system, making their absorption much more efficient. There's been only a few studies on the absorption of epsom salts, one of them is referenced in a question already asked about this on ph http://paleohacks.com/questions/72155/epsom-salts-for-magnesium-repletion#axzz1e6OlQauH. It showed that epsom salts raise magnesium levels significantly higher than oral forms do. Raising your mg levels calms the mind down by relaxing the nervous system and reducing the excitability of the brain. It also has been shown to lower cortisol levels http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/6527092.

Medium avatar

(2169)

on December 30, 2011
at 03:48 AM

I wonder if making a sort of paste to put on the forehead during a migraine would have any effect.

2
E7e57f3e3a156df4072ca85d463f8ed3

(358)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:54 PM

A few years back I badly broke two toes and they were very painful (zig-zag breaks on Xray & couldn't be taped without hurting more). An oldtimer told me to soak my feet in epsom salts, but I didn't bother since I thought it was an old wives tale with no scientific basis. Two weeks later they were still killing me so I bought & tried the epsom salts and the pain, swelling & redness disappeared for hours. Hot footbaths with plain or tabled-salted water didn't help, so the epsom salts must suck out the inflammation somehow.

4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 19, 2011
at 09:17 PM

Brilliant! Thanks.

2
Bad3a78e228c67a7513c28f17c36b3cf

(1387)

on November 19, 2011
at 01:05 PM

I even got our bathtub fixed so I could try epsom salt baths. I must confess I notice absolutely nothing. I also wonder about the chlorine and fluoride in the water.

2
72b2f2489468df2c0ed624e40b33cbdb

on November 19, 2011
at 05:08 AM

If you can notice it that dramatically that mechanism is probably the heat.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:16 PM

But you might be right.

5ef574d7893bc816ec52e04139e9bc09

(6097)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:16 PM

It was a distinct sense of relaxation that lasted far after I had cooled down.

1
020053fd576e93d1d8fa20bfb10979b9

(410)

on November 19, 2011
at 01:46 PM

For me it might not be the magnesium but the heat, slight sensation of weightlessness, and the quiet. Taking a bath, with or without epsom salts, has always been a refuge. I keep the lights low, the door shut, and relax. I am also a big proponent of keeping technology out of the bathroom though I sometimes take a book in when I need a long soak.

0
4e184df9c1ed38f61febc5d6cf031921

(5005)

on November 19, 2011
at 03:29 PM

I use magnesium chloride which comes from the the Zechlein (?) sea. If Epsom salts do the same then I shall buy some of those. Much cheaper!

Epsom was supposed to be one of the earliest spa towns in the UK, though I am sure that Bath predates it by centuries!

I do find that a magnesium spiked bath works well.

0
4b61b13ed39e5c5d01fe234900cadcf8

(1138)

on November 19, 2011
at 04:31 AM

I had no idea Epsom salt had that effect. I may have to give it another chance. I have an irrational fear of mag sulfate after having preclampsia and being on a mag sulfate drip for 24 hours. It was horrible. But then, I freaked out a few months later when I saw the Epsom salt box at walmart and realized it was the same thing. The thought of being on an epsom salt drip just blew my mind.

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