Benefits of Epsom Salts Print

benefits of epsom saltsRecent research in Birmingham University, at the School of Biosciences has shown an amazing result. Magnesium and sulphate will pass through the skin, raising the levels detected in the blood. This can have important benefits to health because both Magnesium and Sulphate deficiency are common.

Magnesium is found in vegetables and grains, derived from the ground in which they are grown. However many soils are magnesium deficient either naturally or through over cropping. Magnesium is also found in sea water. It is essential to life and deficiency is linked to many diseases including cardiovascular disease. See:

 Sulphate (sulfate) is also essential to life in several ways. Sulphate is essential for the formation of proteins in joints, also for digestive enzymes and the gut wall lining. Furthermore sulphate is essential to the formation of brain tissue and is also involved in detoxification. Sulphate is not easily absorbed from the diet.

Bathing in magnesium sulphate is therefore a significant, safe and easy way to correct deficiency. The evidence also shows that surplus is naturally removed by the kidneys, just as it is if you have surplus in the diet.

benefits of epsom saltsThe recommended amount for regular bathing is 1% solution which means ten grams per litre, or ten kilograms per 1000 litres. (0.1 lb per imp gallon, or 6.4 lb per cu ft.) A standard UK bath is about 60 litres, (about 15 US gallons) requiring about 600gm (about 1.5 lb). A small four person hot tub holds about 1000 litres requiring ten kg of spa salts. At one percent, there is no risk of floating in the hot tub.

Please note that most normal commercial bath salts are based not on Magnesium sulphate, but on common (and cheaper) salt, Sodium Chloride. Sodium chloride is generally speaking derived in the diet in excessive quantities, and absorbing more through the skin would not be advantageous in our opinion.

Clearly the benefits of Magnesium sulphate also apply to floating where the concentration is much higher, normally 50% solution using the same definition as above, 1 kg per 2 litres solution. We now see that as well as the healing effect of muscle relaxation, capillary dilation and endorphin generation coming from floating at skin temperature we can add the chemical benefits of magnesium and sulphate absorption through the skin.

We know of no similar research into this aspect of floating. However The Birmingham team point out in their published paper that the mechanism of transfer through the skin is probably saturated at about 1% solution, so our preliminary assumption from the Birmingham research is that floating will raise the blood levels of Magnesium and Sulphate at about the same rate. The study also concluded that optimal levels will be maintained in the body thanks to natural excretion.

It is clear form the research that some of the long lasting benefits of floating are due to the Magnesium Sulphate itself, and these benefits can be substantial.