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The science behind Epsom Salt

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04 September 2023

Epsom Salt, scientifically known as magnesium sulphate, is like a total superstar in the world of versatile compounds. Having been around for centuries, it has plenty of amazing benefits and therapeutic properties. In this blog post, we’re diving deep into the science behind this magic compound, looking at its chemical makeup, how it’s made and all the cool ways it does good things for us…

The chemical composition

Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral mix of magnesium, sulphur and oxygen. Its fancy formula is MgSO4·7H2O, which basically means part of its makeup consists of seven water molecules. Magnesium is a real MVP (most valuable player) when it comes to human health, and guess what? Epsom Salt’s got loads of it. Then there’s sulphur, doing its thing in all sorts of important body processes, like making proteins and sparking enzymatic reactions.

The creation
When it comes to making Epsom Salt, we’re talking about evaporating water from mineral-rich sources, like underground springs or natural brine wells. These spots are packed with magnesium and sulphate ions. They scoop up the water and let it hang out in big evaporation ponds or tanks. Slowly but surely, the water disappears, leaving behind more and more magnesium sulphate. Eventually, these little Epsom salt crystals pop up, ready to be collected, cleaned and dried, turning into those familiar salt granules we all know.

How it works for you

So, here’s where it gets really interesting. Epsom Salt is like a magic trick for our bodies:

  • Muscle relaxation and pain relief: It’s a pro at relaxing muscles and giving pain the boot. Magnesium steps in as a natural muscle chill-pill, blocking calcium from getting into muscle cells. This means muscles can loosen up and say goodbye to cramps and soreness.
  • Chill out and stress less: Epsom Salt also knows how to zen us out. When you take a warm bath with it, your skin sips up magnesium like a fancy drink, and that boosts serotonin, a mood-improving neurotransmitter. Basically, it’s like a mini holiday for your mind.
  • Skin love and glow: Think of Epsom Salt as your skin’s BFF. When you use it as a scrub, those tiny granules gently slough off dead skin cells, clear out pores and leave your skin looking and feeling fresh.
  • Detox and refresh: Epsom Salt’s been in the detox game for ages. Mix it with water, and it can pull toxins out through your skin. So, when you’re in a soothing Epsom Salt bath, you’re not just relaxing – you’re detoxing too.

Wrapping it all up – knowing the science behind Epsom Salt is like peeking behind the curtain of a magic show. From easing muscle tension and chilling you out to boosting your skin and nurturing your garden, Epsom Salt is like a natural wonder.

So, whether you’re unwinding in a bath or having a detox, remember that it’s nature’s way of making life a little more awesome. Hats off to the wonders of science, right?

Fast facts – did you know…?

  • Epsom salt can form beautiful, intricate crystals. It’s often used in science experiments and educational activities to demonstrate crystal growth and structure.
  • It can be found in various beauty products, such as exfoliating scrubs and foot soaks, due to its purported skin-smoothing effects.
  • Epsom salt baths are often used to alleviate sore muscles and joints, thanks to the potential anti-inflammatory properties of magnesium.
  • Its name is derived from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where natural springs containing the compound were first discovered in the 17th century.
  • Some people use Epsom salt as a natural hair volumiser. By mixing it with conditioner, it’s said to add texture and body to the hair.

Picture credits: Unsplash, Pavel Neznanov

My home and away pack arrived in beautiful environmentally-friendly packaging including this wooden spoon and bright orange tissue paper! I bought the salts as a treat to myself and my goodness, they made me feel brand new!! All I did was sprinkle them into the bath and lay there for 20-30 minutes. All pain was removed from my feet and legs and I got the best night’s sleep ever. HIGHLY recommend!