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Frequently Asked Questions

Here are our most frequently asked questions, which we hope will answer your query. However, if you require more information or have any other questions at all please do not hesitate to contact us.

How was Epsom Salt discovered?

The town of Epsom is a market town in Surrey, England, situated 14 miles (22 km) to the south-west of London and gave its name to Epsom Salt(s). The town is also famous for being home of the Derby horse race which was first run on the Epsom Downs in 1780. Horse racing at Epsom was started as an entertainment for the growing number of visitors to the Epsom Well coming to “take the waters”.

In 1618, during a severe drought, a boy, Henry Wicker, was looking for water in Newton Wood for his cows and noticed a small pool of water which had collected in a hoof print on the ground. He dug a little hole but then left it and took his cattle home for the night.  The next day the hole had filled with clear water and Henry thought he has discovered a new water source.  He enlarged the hole and tried to make his cattle drink from this pool but they refused. The water was found to be “salty”.  Henry drank some and very soon experienced the benefits of its laxative properties.  Being a bright, young lad, Henry set about enthusiastically marketing this new remedy which rapidly caught on.

In 1621, an area of 450 yards diameter around the Well was cleared by the Lord of the Manor, and Commoners Rights on this were cancelled as a means to expand the trade.  As more and more people heard about the Epsom Well, the Assembly Rooms, hotels and bars were built, and horse-racing began on the Epsom Downs to entertain the visitors in the afternoons. There were several springs, and the area was called The Wells, as it still is today.

People also discovered that it had other therapeutic properties, including the treatment of external sores.

By 1660, despite the intervening years of the English Civil War, jars of Epsom Waters were being sold all over England and visitors from as far away as The Netherlands were coming to Epsom to “take the waters” as a remedy for their constipation (a major problem in the 17th and18th Centuries due to the diet being mostly of meat) and to treat their skin conditions.

Famous visitors to Epsom at that time included many high profile individuals and, later, all the great names connected with horse racing.

By the early 1700’s the Epsom Wells were drying up and crystalline magnesium sulphate was being produced.

What is Epsom salt?

Epsom salt is a safe, natural mineral salt which occurs naturally in solution in water, and is used to treat a wide range of disorders and ailments. It is a homeopathic remedy being a salt of magnesium and has been safely used worldwide ever since its first discovery in 1618, 400 years ago.

Epsom salt is the common name for magnesium sulphate (MgSO4) – it’s spelled ‘sulfate’ in America. Today, most Epsom salt is produced from mineral deposits of magnesium sulphate where it appears as a white, crystalline solid resembling sea salt.

How does Epsom Salt work?

There are several reasons why Epsom Salt produces beneficial effects. When Epsom Salt dissolves in water the magnesium and sulphate parts separate and each has its own effects. This is the main reason why Epsom Salts is so useful in so many different ways. It is quite different from sea salt which comprises only sodium and chloride which are much smaller entities and do not possess the beneficial properties of magnesium and sulphate.

It is widely believed that the dissolved magnesium and sulphate can be absorbed through the skin and enter the body. Thus Epsom salt can increase levels of magnesium and sulphate in the body.

The benefits of sulphate:
The sulphates in Epsom Salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. By adding the right minerals to your bathwater, through a process called osmosis, salt is pulled out of the body along with harmful toxins. This osmotic effect also draws water into the bowel and softens the stools which, in turn, eases constipation.

The benefits of magnesium:
When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt can be absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. Proper magnesium levels are needed to maintain the effectiveness a wide range of enzyme and hormone systems in the body, including insulin, so it can help to lower the risk or severity of diabetes. Epsom Salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves, and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the metabolism of calcium. Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. Magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells.

How do I take an Epsom Salt Bath?

The water should be very warm, although not scalding (36-40 degrees Celsius) and add the required amount of Epsom salt to the hot running water so it dissolves quickly. Once the Newton Wood crystals have dissolved, ease yourself into the bath, submerge your body in the hot water and relax for 20-30 minutes.

How do I store my Epsom Salt Newton Wood Crystals?

Please ensure your bag containing your Newton Wood Crystals is resealed and stored in cool dry places when not in use.

What are Newton Wood Crystals?

Our full product name is Newton Wood Epsom salt crystals. Our chosen type of Epsom salt is a crystal that actually sparkles, and is made using the highest-grade Epsom salt from carefully-selected sustainable sources. A 100% natural, organic product, the crystals are free from artificial colours, perfumes and other additives.

What can Epsom Salt be used for?

Epsom Salt is a natural exfoliant and anti-inflammation remedy that can be used to treat dry skin, sore muscles and small wounds. While traditionally Epsom salt is used in a bath as a bath soak, it can also be used in many other ways such as part of your daily shower routine, as a shower scrub, to cleanse and volumise your hair, as a hand or foot soak, and as a face cleanser. There are a wide range of uses to help relax and refresh you after a long day or to help kick start your day feeling fresh and revitalised.

It is commonly used in three forms:

  1. Bathing solution: Epsom Salt is dissolved in warm water and used in bath water or foot & hand spas. Immersion for 20 to 30 minutes is recommended per session.
  2. “Drawing paste”: Used externally comprising about 50% Epsom salt with small amounts of phenol and glycerol.
  3. Laxative to be taken internally: Depending on the quality of the product, Epsom Salt can be used both internally and externally, and as our Newton Wood Crystal is of the highest food-grade salt it can technically be ingested although as a company this is not how we are choosing to promote the product and if this product should not be ingested; in case of accidental swallowing, a laxative effect is possible.

For informative purposes only: Solutions of Epsom Salt in warm water of between 4% and 8% can have a rapid purgative effect. Epsom Salt is an “osmotic laxative” and draws water into the bowel, softening the stools which aids in flushing out the faecal matter. It can be effective within 30 minutes of consumption. The laxative will have a bitter taste. Using Epson Salt as a laxative is not recommended over extended periods – certainly no more than a week. If the constipation persists, a doctor should be consulted. It is recommended that extra water should be drunk to compensate for the water lost in the stools.

Epsom Salt has also been used to treat the following:

  • To soothe and treat skin conditions
  • To relax the body
  • To relieve pain and cramping
  • To improve muscle and nerve function
  • For arterial health
  • To regulate blood sugar
  • Soothe sprains and bruises
  • In asthma, diabetes and fibromyalgia therapies
  • To improve the functioning of the cardiovascular and nervous systems
  • To improve serotonin binding; a mood-elevating brain chemical that creates positive feelings
  • In medicine as an electrolyte replenisher
  • As an anticonvulsant
  • In the pre-eclampsia treatment to reduce the frequency of contractions in pregnant women (we recommend consulting your doctor before use)
  • In the treatment of magnesium deficiency
  • To help remove splinters (as a paste)
  • Keep feet healthy
  • Eases the discomfort of gout
  • To exfoliate the skin
  • As a natural face cleanser
  • Removes hair styling product build-up
  • Adds volume to hair
  • Hangover relief
  • Jetlag relief
  • As a hand wash / moisturised mixed with baby oil
  • As a natural laxative

Is Epsom Salt the same as Magnesium?

Epsom salt is a natural mineral salt, of which a major component is magnesium. The only other element is sulphate. This gives it is scientific name, ‘magnesium sulphate’.

What are the health benefits of Epsom Salt?

There is a wide range of  benefits of using Epsom salt in your health regime.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant macro-mineral in the body and essential for your good health.

Newton Wood Epsom Salt can also gently help to support the removal of toxins from the body, promote stress reduction and improve sleep.

For 400 hundred years, it has also been used to treat ailments such as constipation (by ingestion*), insomnia and fibromyalgia. It also helps to restore the body’s natural pH  balance.

Please note: While Newton Wood Epsom Salt Crystals are of the highest pharmaceutical grade, please be aware that this product should not be ingested; in case of accidental swallowing, a laxative effect is possible.

Does Epsom Salt help with relaxation and sleep?

One of the major benefits of Epsom salt is to help relax the muscle tension in your body which is  a major factor that prevents sleep. By providing an infusion of magnesium the muscles relax and blood circulation is improved.

A good night’s sleep can be achieved after a just a 20 – 30 minute soak.

How often do I use Epsom Salt?

For the maximum ‘full works’ benefit, relax in a bath containing Epsom salt for a full 30 minutes for the best results, 3 – 5 times a week.
For other applications, simply use as and when desired, but regular use will yield better results.

Where does Epsom Salt get it’s name from?

The mineral salt was originally discovered in Epsom Common, in woodland called Newton Wood, hence why we chose the brand name Newton Wood Epsom Salt to represent it’s wonderful heritage and history.

Where can I buy Epsom Salt?

Newton Wood Epsom Salt crystals are available via this website or available from Amazon.  Please click here.

Do you test on animals?

Never! Here at Newton Wood we love animals. You will find no additives or preservatives, this is a completely natural product – just as nature intended.

Can I use Epsom Salt after just giving birth?

The antibacterial and therapeutic qualities of a relaxing Epsom salt bath can be very beneficial to those who have recently given birth.
If pregnant or breast feeding, please consult with your GP before use.

Should I use Epsom Salt if I am pregnant or breast feeding?

We would advise to consult your GP before use.

Does Epsom Salt draw out infection?

A relaxing soak in an Epsom salt bath can help to draw out impurities and toxins from the skin and is a widely used remedy to treat infections.

Please note: Infections can indicate more serious health issues, so we always recommend consulting with your GP if you’re concerned. Epsom salt is not a substitute for prescribed medication.

Are there any risks associated with Epsom Salt?

Epsom salt is used worldwide for a wide range of ailments and regarded as safe by the authorities and health professionals. Its use as a therapeutic agent goes back hundreds of years.

If the crystals clump together in the pack, what does this mean and what should I do?

Epsom salt is hygroscopic, which means it absorbs moisture (even when you can’t see or feel it) from the surrounding atmosphere. Plus, to ensure your Newton Wood crystals are 100% pure and organic, we don’t add anti-caking agents (or any other artificial ingredients, for that matter). Together, these two factors mean that, on rare occasions, you may find the crystals start to form clumps, as you’ll probably have seen in other common hygroscopic materials like sugar and flour.

These clumps are perfectly natural, completely harmless, and don’t affect the products’ quality or efficacy: simply break them up using the pointed tip of the long-handled wooden scoop supplied with the pack and use as normal.

If you have one of the original short-handled scoops, just let us know and we’ll send you a replacement by return, free of charge.

I was recently given these crystals as a gift and was instantly drawn to the wellbeing benefits and the stylish packaging. I have found the crystals to be great! I have been using them for a few weeks now, I have noticed that I feel more energised after a long day at work and it’s also helped restore tired muscles after my exercise sessions.