Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4·7H2O) or Epsomite, has been used for several hundreds of years for therapeutic purposes like relieving stress, relieving aching joints, and eliminating certain skin conditions.
Made up of magnesium, sulfur, oxygen, and water, Epsom salt looks like table salt, the difference is that it has no sodium chloride.
Click here to read our in-depth post about what Epsom salt is made of.
If you are looking for a way to supplement your body’s natural production of magnesium, Epsom salt may be the way to go.
Benefits of Soaking Your Feet in Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, when dissolved in hot water, gives your body the opportunity to benefit from its magnesium content. This is the major reason why they are mostly used in foot soaks and warm baths. This tends to help in replenishing the magnesium levels.
According to a study, up to 80% of Americans struggle with magnesium deficiency. This is mostly caused by stress and anxiety. However, a daily 20-minute Epsom salt foot soak significantly increases the magnesium levels.
Here are some of the benefits of soaking your feet in an Epsom salt bath:
Soaking your feet in Epsom salts relaxes tight muscles around your feet and in turn, eases inflammation and relieves stress. As this relief travels through your body, it helps you be in a better frame of mind, leading to better cognitive functioning.
Exfoliation of dry and cracked heels
If you are struggling with dry and cracked heels, it could be that you are not giving your feet the care they deserve. Soaking your feet in Epsom salt solution is known to exfoliate dry skin. For best result, properly moisturize your feet after soaking.
Relief from fungal infections
When you soak your feet in Epsom salt solution, it tends to draw out fungal infections at the same time. This foot soak does not in any way, replace doctor prescribed treatments for fungal infections but it may help.
Reduces foot odor
With each Epsom salt foot soak, you enjoy clean, fresh, and deodorized feet. Although a soak will keep your feet clean and odorless, you should also ensure that your stockings and the insides of your shoes are clean and dry as well.
Eases discomfort associated with gout
When you soak your feet in moderately hot Epsom salt solution, it goes a long way to ease the discomfort of gout. A 30-minute soak reduces inflammation around the affected foot or joints.
Easy splinter removal
If you have been dealing with a stubborn splinter that has refused to come out, a few minutes Epsom salt soak will soften the skin. This will loosen the splinter, making removal easier and less painful. This can also be applied to splinters on your hands.
If you are dealing with sore feet as a result of standing all day or walking long distances in uncomfortable heels, an Epsom salt bath may help. Epsom salt soaks decrease inflammation and muscle cramps around your feet.
Elimination of toxins
When you soak your feet in Epsom salt solution, the sulfates may help to eliminate toxins from your body. A 20-minutes soak triggers reverse osmosis, which is a process that pulls salt and other harmful toxins out of your body.
Tips for effective foot soaks with Epsom salt
Soaking your feet in a basin of water containing Epsom salt is a routine that will help improve the look and feel of your feet. However, there are certain things you can do to get better results.
- Always soak with warm water. In cold weather, you can soak feet in moderately hot water.
- Always apply natural moisturizers like coconut butter or shea butter after soaking. This helps to lock in moisture.
- Keep the insides of your footwear clean and dry at all time.
- Soak feet several times a week until you find relief from the discomforts.
Click here to see our top foot bath picks!
If you are pregnant or suffering from an ailment, it is important that you check with your healthcare provider before soaking your feet in Epsom salt. You should never, for any reason, use Epsom salt solution as a substitute for foot treatment. The soak is to help you find relief and not to wholly treat your underlying feet ailments.
Should you experience unexplained sores, blisters, or pains after soaking your feet in Epsom salt solution, you should stop use immediately and schedule an appointment with a podiatrist or general physician. Although it is unlikely to experience any side-effects with Epsom salt foot soaks when done appropriately, you should never leave things to chances.
If you have been in search of easy home remedies to give your feet that extra pampering it deserves, Epsom salt soak might just be what you need to get started. Apart from the therapeutic effect of soaking your feet in Epsom salt, it is also an opportunity for you to have some “me time” as you unwind from the stress of the day’s activities.
Your feet are doing a lot of hard work and deserve to be pampered. If a look through your drug cabinet or bathroom vanity shows an absence of Epsom salt stash, don’t hesitate to buy some and pamper your feet.
Sources & Additional Reading
- Natural Living Ideas: 7 Reasons to Soak Your Feet In Epsom Salt
- Salt Works: Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits
- Health Line: Epsom salt foot soak
- Health Extremist: Reduce Stress, Anxiety, and Inflammation
- Web MD: Why Take An Epsom Salt Bath
- Natural News: Optimum magnesium intake might prevent ADD/ADHD, Alzheimer’s and mental decline