Epsom, which lies in the county of Surrey, a few miles south-west of London, first appears in records dating from Saxon times. For around 700 years it was just an obscure market town – and might have remained so, were it not for a severe drought in the summer of 1618. A local boy, Henry Wicker, was seeking water for his cows on Epsom Common, when he noticed a small pool that had collected in a hoofprint. He dug a hole around it, then took his animals home for the night. When he returned next morning, the hole was filled with clear water. Delighted with his new water source, Henry enlarged the pool, but was dismayed when his cows refused to drink from it. On tasting it himself, he realised why: the water was salty. (In so doing, he also inadvertently identified its mild laxative properties.) Others were quick to exploit the water’s commercial potential. In 1621, the Lord of the Manor cleared the area around Henry’s original pool, where several more springs had subsequently been found: the area is known as The Wells to this day.

By 1660, Epsom was a thriving spa town, with jars of Epsom Waters being sold all over England. Horseracing was first staged at Epsom around this time as an entertainment for the growing number of wealthy visitors coming from across Europe to ‘take the waters’. The first Derby – now Britain’s richest and most prestigious flat race – was held in 1780, attracting many famous dignitaries of the day.

By the early 1700s the Epsom Wells were drying up, and the town’s heyday as a spa was over. But four centuries later, its name remains famous the world over, thanks to Epsom salt.


Epsom salt is the common name for magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) – it’s spelled ‘sulfate’ in America. It occurs naturally in solution in water, as it was originally discovered at Epsom; today, most Epsom salt is produced from mineral deposits of magnesium sulphate, where it appears as a white, crystalline solid resembling sea salt.

Since the early 17th Century, it has used to treat and prevent a wide range of internal and external disorders in conventional medicine and complementary therapies. It is a natural source of magnesium, an essential mineral in a healthy diet. An increasing number of products are now being fortified with magnesium, since today’s consumers tend to eat smaller amounts of magnesium-rich vegetables such as spinach, peas, broccoli, cabbage, green beans, artichokes, asparagus and Brussels sprouts, and fish including salmon, mackerel and tuna.

Magnesium sulphate is highly soluble in water, making it easy to dissolve. It is also hygroscopic, which means it attracts moisture from the atmosphere, so it is important to keep the packaging sealed when not in use. Magnesium sulphate is neither flammable nor highly reactive with other chemicals, making it completely safe to handle, store and use in your home.


Newton Wood crystals really does have something for everyone, every day. It is a 100% natural, organic product, free from colourings, perfumes, sodium lauryl sulphate (SLS) and other additives, so you can use it if you have sensitive skin, or want to avoid using artificial ingredients in your personal care regime. Epsom salt is widely used in expensive spa treatments; with Newton Wood crystals, you can enjoy the same cleansing, exfoliating and rejuvenating benefits in the comfort of your own bathroom, and much more cost-effectively. You can also avoid using products containing plastic microbeads.

Soaking in Epsom salt after hard exercise is often recommended by sports coaches and athletes. But you do not need to be playing to win: a relaxing soak in a warm bath with Newton Wood crystals will help your muscles recover from your regular gym session, spin class, training ride or other routine exercise. Plus, it is the perfect way to relax and soothe your sore hands and aching limbs after working in the garden or around the house.

Newton Wood crystals can also help if your job involves spending a lot of time on your feet (or a long walk to get there and back), soothing and reducing swelling and leaving you ready to do it all again tomorrow.


Soaking in Epsom salt dissolved in warm water has long been recommended for relaxing and reviving tired muscles and joints after hard work or exercise. It is also widely used to soothe a variety of skin conditions, including eczema and psoriasis. With its crystalline substance, it makes a wonderful natural exfoliator and deep cleanser when mixed with soap or shampoo, leaving hair and skin softer, more radiant and vibrant.


Soaking in warm or hot water with dissolved Epsom salt is widely recommended for soothing aches and pains in muscles and joints associated with arthritis, fibromyalgia and other conditions. More generally, Newton Wood crystals can help ease away aches and pains following sport, exercise, gardening, or just spending a long time on your feet. Just add Newton Wood crystals to a warm bath, or a bowl of warm water, and soak.


Mix equal amounts of your regular shampoo or conditioner and Newton Wood crystals for a deep cleanse.

Newton Wood crystals make a wonderful natural exfoliant. Added to regular shampoo, they will help to remove excess oils and dead skin cells from your scalp and the roots of your hair, leaving your whole head feeling cleaner and fresher. We recommend you add Newton Wood crystals to your shampoo every other time you wash your hair, to avoid over-drying your hair and scalp.


Gently soaking your hands, feet or whole body in warm water and Newton Wood crystals is a relaxing, soothing  experience in itself, and a great way to recharge after a long day. The ritual of adding Newton Wood crystals to your regular bath, or preparing a daily hand or foot soak, is calming and grounding, helping to reduce stress and anxiety and enhancing your general sense of wellbeing. It can also help alleviate common cold and flu symptoms, helping you on the road to recovery, and reduce soreness caused by sunburn.


Newton Wood crystals dissolve easily in shampoo, shower gel and other skin and hair products, where they act as a gentle but effective exfoliant. The fine crystals help to scrub away dead skin cells and clean deep into the pores, leaving skin feeling softer and smoother. Added to face cream, it provides a microdermabrasion effect, helping to reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Soaking in warm water and Newton Wood crystals can also soothe skin left sore and irritated by eczema, insect bites and sunburn.

Used as part of your regular hair care routine, Newton Wood crystals dissolved in shampoo helps to deep-clean your roots and scalp, removing dead skin cells, excess oils and residues from other haircare products.