Whether you’ve ever used it or not, Epsom salt has likely always been nearby. Whether in your mom’s medicine cabinet or sitting on the shelf at the drugstore, Epsom salt is useful for many different health and beauty applications. Believe it or not, it may also be effective at fighting anxiety.
So why not order up a big bag to be delivered to your door as the days grow cold this winter? Draw a warm bath, and let’s learn about Epsom salt for anxiety.
What is Epsom Salt?
“Epsom” salts are so-called because they were discovered in a town called Epsom in the United Kingdom. Epsom salt, more precisely, is magnesium sulfate, or a combination of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur that creates a stable mineral compound. What’s interesting here is that magnesium is an essential mineral in the body.
A study by Wacker and Parisi explains that a magnesium deficiency can result in many different negative emotional symptoms, including “anxiety, apathy, depression, headaches, insecurity, irritability, restlessness, talkativeness, and sulkiness.” Therefore, it seems clear that restoring magnesium to the right balance within the body would reverse these unwanted feelings and symptoms.
While Epsom Salts can be taken by mouth, they tend to mostly work as a laxative when used this way, so you may not want to ingest them directly. This is why Epsom Salts are often dissolved into a bath, as magnesium is absorbed through the skin. Magnesium is also available in creams and oils.
How to Have an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt baths are generally easy to make. Follow these steps to get the best results.
Start by drawing your bath at the right temperature. If you make the bath as hot as you can stand, your pores will react to the extreme heat by closing, making it difficult for your body to absorb the magnesium. Choose a temperature that is warm and comfortable without having to painfully adjust to the temperature.
As the bathtub fills with water, take your bath bomb (Bath Bomb from Good Earth) or 1 to 2 cups of your Epsom salt (Ancient Minerals Magnesium Bath Flakes from Enviromedica) and put these beneath the flow of water. The agitation from the incoming water will help everything dissolve quickly and evenly. Basically, you shouldn’t feel any grit when you step into the tub and lay down. If you do, run your hand through the water to stir things up, or add more water.
Time to relax! Normally you would bath for around 10-12 minutes at a minimum, but when you are soaking in an Epsom salt bath, you may choose to stay in longer. Some health conditions may require that you avoid soaking in warm or hot, so check with your primary care physician before staying in the bath for too long. If you want to turn your bath into a relaxation session, be our guest. It’s important to note that the simple act of relaxing in a bath may also have a positive impact on your anxiety, over and above the effect derived from the magnesium entering your system.
Take your bath to the next level with essential oils! Let There Be Peace & Quiet Essential Oils Kit from NOW Foods is a specially curated collection of pure plant oils that may provide additional relaxation support during an Epsom salt bath soak!
When you’ve bathed to your satisfaction, stand up, empty the tub, and shower to wash off any salts remaining on your skin. For best results, repeat this process daily for a week. Some studies have shown that the cumulative effect may be positive for people who are low in magnesium.
After you’ve soaked for several days in a row, continue to take these baths every few days, especially if you notice improvement after the first few repetitions.