Epsom salt baths are often recommended when you suffer from achy joints, sore muscles, or are recovering from an injury, but are they really all that they are cracked up to be? We’re about to find out by diving into what an Epsom salt bath is, what it actually does, and why they're so popular for reducing joint and muscle pain.
Let’s start by talking about what Epsom salt is, and why it is commonly used for everyday aches and pains, bumps, and bruises.
What is an Epsom Salt Bath?
Chances are, you’ve heard about the mighty pain-soothing Epsom salt bath, but not everyone is familiar with what Epsom salt actually is or why it is so well-known for reducing joint and muscle pain.
Epsom salt is much different from table salt, and it gets its name from where it originates — a place in England where the Epsom salt is extracted from the natural spring water. When added to a bath, the Epsom salt breaks down into magnesium and sulfate (which is also a great way to get a nice magnesium boost!) The magnesium is believed to be absorb-able by the body, which can help support muscle and pain relief efforts.
What do People Use Epsom Salt Baths For?
Many people soak in an Epsom salt bath to help reduce symptoms related to some of the following issues:
- Bruises & sprains
- Sore muscles due to exercise
- Difficulty sleeping
- Arthritis pain
- Swollen feet
- Joint & muscle pain
Epsom Salt Bath Benefits for Joint & Muscle Pain
While Epsom salt baths hold a wide variety of potential benefits, one of the most common uses has to do with its ability to help provide some relief for joint and muscle pain. This has partly to do with the warm bath water helping to improve circulation, and partly with the magnesium content, which can help reduce inflammation and thus reduce some of the pain associated with sore muscles and achy joints. According to theArthritis Foundation,most Americans aren’t getting enough magnesium, so adding Epsom salt to your bath water can help bring magnesium levels up while also supporting bone health and easing pain.
The increase in circulation can also be super beneficial for joint pain since increased blood flow can help reduce the pain associated with super stiff muscles and locked up joints.
So, if you find yourself suffering from frequent bouts of joint and muscle pain, try taking an Epsom salt bath a few times per week. Want to kick up the relaxation benefit of your bath? Try adding a few drops of pure-grade lavender essential oil, and a tablespoon of coconut oil for added skin health support. Sit back, relax, and feel those tight muscles and joints loosen up as your body becomes more relaxed.
Supercharge Your Epsom Salt Bath with These Oils
If you want to supercharge your Epsom salt bath to make it even more effective at reducing painful muscles and joints, you can try making a homemade blend of pain-reducing essential oils. Make a sore muscle and joint pain blend by mixing the following ingredients together and using one cup of the mixture per bath.
- 2 cups of Epsom salt
- 1 cup of baking soda
- 8 drops of pure grade peppermint essential oil
- 5 drops of pure-grade lavender essential oil
- 3 drops of pure-grade cinnamon essential oil
- 3 drops of pure-grade rosemary essential oil
How to Take an Epsom Salt Bath
So, how do you actually take an Epsom salt bath? The first thing you will need is the actual Epsom salt. You can find big bags of this salt for a pretty reasonable price at most grocery stores or online.Try to stay away from the scented Epsom salt, and add your own pure-grade essential oil if you want an added boost and relaxing aroma.
Once you have your Epsom salt, pour two cups of salt into a standard bath, pouring the salt under the running water as you fill up your tub. Add a few drops of the pure-grade essential oil (if using) and soak in the tub for at least 12 minutes. Follow up your bath by rubbing some coconut oil onto your skin to lock in moisture.
It’s that easy, and you can take an Epsom salt bath a few times per week to help maintain adequate magnesium levels, and reduce any pain you may be experiencing.
The Bottom Line
Epsom salt baths have been around for ages, and they’re not going anywhere. Their benefits have been demonstrated, and they can be a super easy, all-natural alternative to taking pain medications. If you can help ease painful muscles and joints by taking a regular Epsom salt bath, you will be doing your body a favor by staying away from pain-relieving medications and their side effects. Plus, taking regular baths is also a great way to practice self-care and reduce stress, so you take care of two things at one time!
Make it a habit to get into an Epsom salt bath at least a few times per week and see what it can do to help reduce some of the pain and tension you may be experiencing.