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According to research, magnesium is rated as the eight most abundant mineral found on earth and the third most abundant mineral in sea water. It is also rated as the fourth most abundant mineral in the human body and significantly impacts over 300 enzymatic reactions within our bodies.
Further research shows that for the cells in the human body to function effectively, there must be a significant presence of magnesium. Without magnesium, these cells will die off. Not good!
From balanced hormones to a healthy nervous system, strong bones, healthy cardiovascular system, strong teeth, fully-functional detoxification pathways and more, there will always be the need for sufficient magnesium.
Click here to learn more about why magnesium is so important to our bodies.
What Is Epsom Salt Made Of?
Also known as magnesium sulfate heptahydrate (MgSO4·7H2O) or Epsomite, Epsom salt is a chemical compound that is made up of magnesium, sulfur, oxygen, and water.
The history of Epsom salt dates back to the early 17th century when the mineral bubbled up in water from an underground spring in the town of Epsom in Surrey, England.
Even though it is referred to as salt, this mineral is very different from the table salt (a.k.a. sodium chloride). Its chemical structure is similar to table salt, prompting it to be referred to as salt. But in taste, Epsom salt is bitter and unpalatable, unlike table salt, which is um…salty.
Since its discovery, this mineral has been dissolved in bath water and used to eliminate a variety of health conditions. This is why it is often referred to as “bath salt”. Apart from dissolving this mineral in bath water, it is also easily dissolvable in warm water and may be taken as a laxativeWhat is Epsom Salt Made Ofsalt
There are four major components to Epsom salt. They are:
1. Magnesium (Mg)
Magnesium has a lot of functions that it performs in the human body. For example, magnesium is needed for proper calcium absorption in your digestive tract. The mineral is also responsible for processing DNA synthesis and transmitting nerve impulses through the human body.
Deficiency of magnesium often results in diarrhea, nausea, insomnia, irregular heartbeat, muscle weakness and others.
Excess magnesium, on the other hand, could result in kidney failure if the body is unable to excrete it through urine. Moderation is the key.
2. Sulfur (S)
As an element of its own, sulfur can be very toxic. However, when it is introduced into the body as part of the body’s amino acids, sulfur becomes essential. Some of the amino acids containing sulfur include cystine, homocysteine, cysteine, taurine, homocysteine, and methionine. Sulfur is also known to impact on effective protein bonding in the human body, even as the ionic forms balance the body’s acid-base levels in the blood, helping it to detoxify certain medications within the body.
3. Oxygen (O)
The earth’s atmosphere is made up of oxygen. When oxygen and sugar go into the human body, it is exchanged for carbon dioxide and water. There is hardly any component within your body that does not have oxygen as part of its structure, from proteins to water, fats, sugar, and others.
4. Water (H2O)
It may not seem like it but Epsom salt contains water which it absorbs from the air. This is the reason why it dissolves easily when it comes into contact with water or is exposed directly to air. It is also the reason why Epsom salt serves as a reliable drying agent where moisture needs to be absorbed.
Even though Epsom salt contains magnesium, it should not be used as a replacement for natural sources. Some of the most magnesium dense foods include:
- Whole Wheat
- Almonds, Cashews, & Peanuts
- Dark Chocolate
- Black Beans
- Cultured Yogurt
The same thing applies to sulfates. The fact that you can introduce some quantity of sulfur into your body through the use of Epsom salt should not stop you from exploring other sources of sulfur. Some of these sources include:
- Cruciferous Vegetables (broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, kale, and brussels sprouts)
- Allium Vegetables (onions, garlic, leeks, and shallots)
- Beans (all of them but mostly steamed soybeans according to AlgaeCal)
- Fruit (Avacad0, kiwi, bananas, pineapple, & strawberries)
- Seeds (Sesame & sunflower seeds)
- Nuts & Legumes (Brazil nuts & peanuts)
How it works
In order to make the most of the huge benefits of using Epsom salt, it is important that you understand how this mineral works. After Epsom salt comes in contact with water, it dissolves and in the process, releases magnesium and sulfate ions.
When you bath with the Epsom salt solution, it is believed that these mineral particles are absorbed through your skin. This tends to provide your body with some of the magnesium and sulfates it needs for effectively bodily functions.
Click here to learn more about how Epsom salt absorbs into your body.
Magnesium is a very important mineral when it comes to the day-to-day functioning of the human body and deficiency could be disastrous. With a commendable Epsom salt bath routine, you can be sure of replenishing some of the lost minerals and help your body to function at maximum. Please remember to talk to your doctor if you have concerns.
Sources & Additional Reading
- Weston A. Price: Magnificent Magnesium
- Wellness Mama: Are You Low on Magnesium
- Health Line: Epsom Salt – Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects
- Apartment Therapy: A Brief History of Epsom Salt
- Epsom & Ewell History Explorer: A Super Detailed History of Epsom Salt
- Epsom Salt Council: All-Natural Home Remedy
- Live Strong: What Are the Ingredients in Epsom Salts?
- The Secret Yumiverse: 7 Unexpected Uses for Epsom Salt
- Salt Works: Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits