Posted by Sue Landsman on Apr.26, 2009
It used to be that the wide variety of cleaning, health, and garden products available posed a wonderful choice and bounty for the consumer. But with the economy the way it is, buying lots of different products is no longer a luxury that people can necessarily afford. A better solution is to learn how to use simple products in different ways. Finding one product that can do a multitude of things is cost-effective as well as environmentally sound. Why pay for and dispose of tens of different boxes and jars when one container will do the trick? Why not reuse the containers your old products came in to make new “at home” products of your very own?
Epsom Salt, aka magnesium sulfate, is one of those great products that’s so simple and low-cost that it’s often overlooked. Many people may have bought Epsom Salt just once, after pregnancy, and never used it again. But what they don’t know is just how many kinds of uses this simple product has. Here are some of them.
The magnesium in Epsom Salt has a crucial role in heath. It’s the second-most abundant element in human cells and is involved in many important bodily processes. Magnesium regulates the activity of more than 325 different enzymes in the body, makes insulin more effective, helps muscles and nerves function properly, and improves sleep and concentration. It also eases stress and relieves pain and muscle cramps by reducing inflammation.
The sulfates in Epsom Salt flush toxins from the body, improve the absorption of nutrients from your food, help build the proteins that make up your joints and brain tissue, and also can help avoid or lessen migraine headaches. It’s also been shown that the sulfates in Epsom Salt help the digestive system by improving enzyme production and increasing the ability to remove toxins from medicines or the environment. While sulfates are easily absorbed through the skin, it’s a lot harder to absorb them from food, so bathing in an Epsom Salt bath is a great way to supply your body with these crucial molecules.
With the many uses of Epsom Salt, figuring out where to look for it can be difficult. Supermarkets and drugstores reliably stock Epsom Salt with the laxatives. As a saline laxative, two to four teaspoons of Epsom Salt in a glass of water relieves constipation in as little as a half hour.
In the Garden
The magnesium and sulfur in Epsom Salt are just as good for plants as they are for the human body. They can help seeds germinate, make plants grow more vigorous, produce more flowers, increase the plants’ nutrient uptake from the soil and the expensive fertilizer you buy, and also increase chlorophyll production. It’s the chlorophyll in plants that helps the plant turn sunlight into food. Unlike most fertilizers, though, Epsom Salt does not build up in the soil so you don’t have to worry about using too much or dangerously altering your soil conditions. Epsom Salt has been shown to be very useful in growing healthier roses, tomatoes, shrubs, and houseplants. You can even put Epsom Salt around your trees.
Epsom Salt can be used topically to exfoliate your skin and smooth out rough areas. You can also mix it in with your hair conditioner to help add body to your hair. Epsom Salt also has many internal benefits to the body, since it is absorbed through the skin. It does this mainly by replenishing the body’s supply of magnesium, which is often depleted by stress or the amount of work and strain we put our bodies through. Magnesium has been shown to ease stress, lower blood pressure, and raise energy levels. It also promotes relaxation and happiness by raising the body’s level of serotonin as well as counterbalancing the often high levels of adrenaline that are released by the body in response to stress.
One of the first things people cut when they need to save money are luxuries like spa treatments or expensive beauty products. But you don’t need to go without; it’s quite easy to make many spa products at home using Epsom Salt. You can make your own facials and soaks, foot scrubs and hair products, as well exfoliating creams and scrubs. It’s easy to make your own bath salts with a little bit of your favorite essential oil or fragrance and some herbs or coloring in a pretty glass jar. With personal and beautiful packaging, these items make great gifts for yourself or others.
Directions and recipes for these uses can be found at the official Epsom Salt web site.
Article By: Sue Landsman
Profile: “I am a freelance writer with a background in science and technical writing. I currently enjoy writing about parenting and education with the occasional extremely short story thrown in. Or not. “
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