Our green goddess on the benefits of Epsom salt
It’s easy to find, affordable, versatile and named after a saline spring in Epsom, Surrey. Used for centuries, it was my grandma’s favourite remedy, and now it’s back in fashion as a cheap, green living wonder ingredient. Yes, that’s right – I’m talking about Epsom salt, and it’s a household must-have!
Did you know that it’s actually a mineral compound made up of magnesium and sulfate and not really a salt at all? More than 300 enzymes in our bodies are regulated by magnesium, which we know helps to reduce inflammation and alleviate the hardening of the arteries. Sulfate, on the other hand, is useful for flushing out toxins and improving the speed at which we absorb nutrients. Both are easily absorbed into the skin so the health benefits are available to the body almost immediately. Here are some of my favourite uses for Epsom salt that I recommend you try too…
As a foot soak
Tired, achey feet can be soothed by an indulgent Epsom salt soak. Put half a cup into a foot bath and leave your tootsies in for 30 minutes, or for as long as you’re comfortable. For a spa-like experience, add a few drops of organically produced essential oil – my favourites are citrus or lavender in the summer and neroli during the winter months.
As a body exfoliator
Rub a handful of Epsom salt over your body while damp to remove dead cells and leave skin smooth, soft and healthy, or take it a step further by making your own scented body scrub. Combine one cup of salt, half a cup of a neutral oil (e.g. almond or jojoba) and five to 10 drops of an essential oil of your choice, then give yourself a good scrub and wash off. You’ll feel and smell gorgeous!
As a hand wash
Mix equal amounts of Epsom salt and olive oil together to create a moisturising hand cleanser that is also environmentally-friendly. Keep it next to the sinks in your house and use regularly for soft, clean mitts.
As a bath soak
It’s said that the absorption of Epsom salt (in particular the magnesium it contains) through the skin can help to relieve muscle tension, pain and inflammation in the joints, and even alleviate stress-induced headaches and abdominal cramps. Add up to a cup to the water, sit back and relax. Again, a few drops of organic essential oil and a candle (please try my new Amka and Usiku candles and let me know what you think!) can transform a simple bath into a home spa experience. Enjoy!
Epsom salt is a popular fertiliser in organic gardening for those who, like me, are interested in green living. It’s affordable, gentle, ecofriendly and doesn’t build up in the soil. Start by adding two tablespoons to a gallon of water and feed your plants with it once a month instead of watering them. This is especially useful for apartment dwellers with no garden space as it allows you to grow blooms even in a confined space. To get your fix, try Westlab’s Epsom salt (£5.99 for 1kg, westlabsalts.co.uk).
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