Relax...while getting nutrients. The benefits of Epsom salt baths

December 16, 2014

Epsom salt baths have become my latest indulgence, especially with all the craziness of final exams and papers. My mother told me about it when I moved to Houston to start graduate school, probably anticipating days of complete stress. So when I want a quiet, relaxing moment, I pour an Epsom salt bath, turn down the lights, play some music, and … soak.
Yet Epsom salt baths don’t just help us relax, they also improve our health!

That’s because Epsom salt is not salt at all, but really magnesium-sulfate. The Journal of the American College of Nutrition says that at least 68% of Americans are magnesium deficient, which is of great concern since magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body. It helps the body regulate over 325 enzymes and plays an important role in organizing many bodily functions, like muscle control, electrical impulses, energy production and the elimination of harmful toxins. Thankfully, soaking in a bath with Epsom salt is one of the easiest ways to get a boost, because magnesium and sulfate are both easily absorbed through the skin. And for the athletes out there, or anyone with muscle pain from working out, Epsom salt is also a well-known remedy for muscle aches and pains.

Add 2 cups of bath salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub. I love to add 10-15 drops of lavender oil, light some candles, and listen to soft music to increase the relaxing effects.

Where to buy it? You can buy Epsom salt baths at any pharmacy, or online, like amazon. The Epsom salt council states that any package that has a "drug facts" box or that's labeled "USP" has been manufactured, tested and certified to meet stringent regulatory standards that are safe and acceptable for human use.

(If you are pregnant or have any health concerns, please check with your doctor before using Epsom salts).
King, D., Mainous, A., Geesey, M., & Woolson, R. (2005). Dietary Magnesium and C-reactive Protein Levels. Journal of the American College of Nutrition, 24(3), 166-171. Retrieved December 17, 2014.

First photo taken by Steve Cole from GettyImages "bubblebath"/ Second photo, my own


  1. do you add bubble bath in the epsom salt bath? i just feel weird sitting in bath with no bubbles in it

  2. I would not add bubble bath, it reduces the Epsom salt's benefits. I would also just stick with the basic salt. I have tried lavender Epsom salt, but they add too much lavender. I prefer to add a few drops of oil myself.

  3. Definitely trying this out :)