Do you soak in Epsom salts? I was recently sent some Epsoak, Epsom salts from the San Francisco Salt Company, so I gave it a shot.
Epsom salts are not salt, it’s magnesium sulfate. And based on some things you read online, it’s veritable witchcraft the amazing things it can help with! Here are the purported benefits one can get from Epsom salts:
- Ease stress and improve sleep and concentration
- Muscles and nerves function properly
- Regulate activity of 325+ enzymes
- Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps
- Improve oxygen use
- Flush toxins
- Improve absorption of nutrients
- Form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins
Epsoak comes in 3 varieties:
- Sleep: Epsom salts with lavender essential oil to encourage deeper sleep
- Muscle Soak: Epsom salts with eucalyptus and peppermint for soothing muscle pain
- Epsoak: just plain old Epsom salts
I took a soak in the tub with Muscle Soak Epsom salts and I did find that it was relaxing. I could feel an added buoyancy to the water, which was nice. (Have you heard of float centers? They have float chambers and apparently people lay in them for a while to relax. They have A LOT of Epsom salts in the water in these tanks. You can also float in the Great Salt Lake due to the high mineral content… but floating there is stinky.) The scent was nice, not too strong and overpowering but enough that you could definitely tell it was there. I emerged from my soak feeling calmed down, but taking the time to relax in the tub can almost always do that. Provided you can block out the “ambient” sounds of spouse/kid/dog. The sore spot I’ve had in my hip/glute/IT band/leg in general felt better… but it wasn’t magically healed.
You can also use Epsom salts as a scrub, so I tried that. I mixed some into a bowl with some oil and used that in the shower. It’s a great exfoliant, but so far I’ve not ever experienced magical release from muscle knots by targeted application of an Epsom product.
So do Epsom salts work? This is one of those areas that I feel is kind of gray. Some people swear by them, some people dismiss them entirely. I think there can absolutely be placebo effect in play. If you’re hopeful and optimistic, outcomes are usually going to be better. (That’s why I tell myself “You’re not going to get sick.” whenever my daughter comes home with a cold. I’m sure that 50% of the time when I don’t catch whatever she had it’s all due to positive thoughts! LOL!)
That said, I have purchased a little milk carton-y thing of Epsom salts in the past at the drugstore and the contents were super compressed and almost had to be chiseled out. Maybe I got a dud. But that wasn’t the case with the San Francisco Salt Company’s product. Epsoak poured out of the bag easily. I liked them all well enough to use again, although I can’t say with any certainty that it was healing physical ailments. But it was definitely relaxing and that’s worth looking at in itself. I don’t find very many moments to just relax and be these days.
PS – They also have gourmet culinary salts for sale. If you’ve never sprinkled fancy salt on a salad or sandwich, you’re missing out. I’ve not tried these, but they sound good.
I’ve always thought Epsom salt helps my sore muscles, but it could also be the fact that your sitting in a warm bath.
exactly my thoughts, sara. I use them at least 2-3 times week.
I’m one of those who swear by epsom salts. I had a bad hip injury a couple years ago and after hearing that professional ballet dancers use them regularly, figured it couldn’t hurt to try. I was surprised at how much they seemed to help my hip and subsequently my recovery from long runs even more than a regular hot bath might’ve. I usually get a big bag of the plain from the drugstore and supplement with whatever bath oil sounds good at the moment.
The commenters on Facebook agreed with you, they swear by epsom salts too. I’m convinced enough to try working them into regular rotation! 🙂
I am a soaker. Usually after a long run, it helps to relax the muscles (but heat application will do that anyway!). I enjoy it as part of the after run ritual, but as for miracles I do not know.
My post run rituals have decreased dramatically since I had a kid! I’m lucky I shower! But I do like the idea of a post run soak.
It gets easier when they get older! You should be able to find a little more time to make sure mom is happy and healthy too! (around age 5 for my kiddo)
That’s a relief! Thanks for the reassurance! 😀
So I have tried epsom salt for sore muscles and never really noticed a difference from a normal bath. But one thing that I will say for it, is one time i had an infected toenail (sorry, I know gross), and soaking my foot in it every day actually noticeably drew the infection out. It was really cool, and it reduced the swelling and seems to help a bit when my rheumatoid arthritis flares up so maybe there’s something there?
Also it makes for a good exfoliate scrub. I prefer it over sugar.
I don’t think that’s gross, I think that’s interesting. I did soak my foot in epsom salts when I ripped my toenail off. I did it as an “I’m trying everything I can think of to help” effort. I didn’t ever think that it may have helped in the healing, but perhaps it did!
Well, from what I understand of Epsom salt it’s supposed to draw out things from your body that don’t belong there, much like certain herbs do for bee stings and snake bite venom. But I don’t know if there’s anything scientific behind it.