Nutrition doesn’t just come from what you put in your mouth. It’s also what you put on and absorbed through your skin.
Many people have heard of Epsom salts and they’re very easy to get hold of. Grandparents tend to use them more than the rest of us as it was something they grew up with. They have been used for hundreds of years as a restorative healing tonic when added to baths. This is a pastime we should keep up with regularly and having Epsom salt baths just twice a week is a powerful way to support the body, increase nutrient stores and aid detoxification…..it can even help with hangovers!!
Epsom salts are basically magnesium sulphate. Magnesium and sulphur are two essential nutrients and using them in the bath means they are absorbed through the skin. This is a great way to get nutrients as it means you don’t have to rely on your digestive system to break down the food and absorb the nutrients. Many of us have digestive issues, so this is a great way to make sure you get these nutrients.
Other benefits include -
- Aiding detoxification - Sulphur is an essential nutrient for detoxification. You can get it from foods such as garlic, onions and leeks as well as green vegetables, meats and eggs. However it can have trouble absorbing though the gut so bathing in Epsom salts is a great way to get it into the system. It’s a component of several processes that detoxify the body. It is part of glutathione which is the most powerful antioxidant in the body.
- Relaxing and calming the mind - Magnesium is needed for over 300 reactions in the body including the production of hormones and neurotransmitters. It’s needed to produce stress hormones including cortisol. If we are stressed (which many of us are during December!!) our body creates more of this hormone, therefore using more magnesium. This can then lead to stressed adrenal glands and a deficiency in magnesium. Bathing in the Epsom salts is a great way to make sure you're absorbing good quality magnesium.
- Relieving tight and achy muscles - Magnesium is a muscle relaxant and is also needed for muscle contraction, so not only can it help with tight muscles, but it can also reduce cramping. It’s great for speeding up recovery after a tough workout. If you get cramps at night, have a bath before bed and see if it makes a difference.
- Balancing hormones - As mentioned above, sulphur is needed for many different processes in detoxification. One of these is to excrete excess oestrogen, therefore helping to balance hormones in both men and women. If these excess hormones aren’t detoxified they can recirculate in the body and cause many hormonal issues such as PCOS, endometriosis and PMS. Sulphur can also help clear hormone related acne.
- Beautiful skin - As above, due to the detoxification of excess oestrogen, Epsom salts can help clear hormone related acne. However sulphur is also one of the most important structural components in our skin and joints. It helps us make collagen and boosts MSM. Having baths with Epsom salts can make the skin more supple and reduces ageing!
You can get the salts in many places including Boots, but I like to get them online as you can get a large quantity for a very cheap price!
When having an Epsom salt bath don't add any chemical products. You don't want chemicals being absorbed into your skin when your trying to get all the benefits above! If you want bubbles, use an organic brand like Neals Yard. I like to add some lavender essential oil.
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