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Energizing Epsom Salt

I have been aware of the usage of magnesium sulfate since running track in middle school, but only until recently have I been able to understand how, what it actually benefits as well as the many uses. This past Sunday my daughter had been out on the trails in our neighborhood and ran into something that incited a reaction similar to poison ivy. Her skin was super red and itchy, but by the time she arrived home I had ran a tub of steamy water with 1.5 pounds of magnesium sulfate and 1 cup of pink Himalayan salt. After soaking for 20 minutes, the reaction had subsided completely and she fell asleep within 15 minutes of getting out of the water. The power of knowing what to do and having the necessary resources on hand allowed me to save my baby and saved my a trip to the ER. I was not sure if that would be sufficient, but when she woke up the following day, it was as if it never happened. I am a total believer in God's abundance being here for us to utilize for our healing and caring for ourselves and others. Knowing how minerals work within and without our bodies, keeps pushing me to dig deeper into the unknown wonders of Mother Earth's medicinal values that we are afforded, but may not use.

Magnesium sulfate is a type of magnesium supplement. The chemical formula for magnesium sulfate is MgSO4, meaning it can be broken down into magnesium and sulfate, which is a combination of sulfur and oxygen. Magnesium is an essential mineral, the fourth most abundant in the human body, and also an electrolyte that is present in the body in large amounts. It plays a role in numerous functions, like heart health, muscle contractions and more. While some people are able to obtain enough magnesium from eating a healthy diet, the majority of adults are actually believed to be deficient. Magnesium can be conveniently increased through your diet. There are many magnesium-rich foods you can eat and enjoy regularly to help optimize your health. Good dietary sources of magnesium include whole grains, leafy green vegetables (spinach especially), as well as almonds, cashews and other nuts, avocados, beans, soybeans and fish, especially halibut. Be aware that a diet high in fat may interfere with absorption of magnesium and that cooking may decrease the magnesium content of food. Some great examples of magnesium rich foods and the amount they contain:

Avocado 29 milligrams per 100 grams

Atlantic Mackerel — 76 milligrams per 100 grams

Banana 27 milligrams per 100 grams

Pumpkin and Squash Seeds — 262 milligrams per 100 grams

Spinach 79 milligrams per 100 grams

Taking magnesium supplements can boost your magnesium levels as well. However, supplements can be very confusing if you're unfamiliar with them. There are different types of magnesium supplements, such as magnesium chloride, magnesium oxide, magnesium citrate and magnesium sulfate.

Having low levels of magnesium (hypomagnesemia) can negatively affect how your nervous system, cardiovascular system and digestive systems work, which is why supplementation is now widely recommended — including magnesium sulfate supplements.

Magnesium deficiency is a serious cause of concern among Americans today. If your body lacks this mineral, you may develop conditions such as:

  • Fatigue

  • Depression

  • Diabetes

  • Hypertension

  • Insomnia

  • Blood clots

  • Heart disease

  • Tooth decay

  • Osteoporosis

  • Hypoglycemia

The best way to counteract the dangers of magnesium deficiency is to increase your intake. Magnesium sulfate is available over-the-counter in a few different forms, including capsules, soaking salts and also as an IV. Another name for this product is Epsom salt, a brand name for a type of magnesium salt that seeps through the skin. Dissolve Epsom salt in a bath then sit in the mixture and soak for about 20 to 40 minutes. By simply soaking your feet or entire body in a bath containing Epsom salts, you can increase internal levels of magnesium naturally without taking magnesium supplements. It is recommended to use at least 1.5-2 pounds per bath. I was always advised to use a large amount, and boy do I!

Magnesium sulfate products are indicated for those with magnesium deficiency, especially if low magnesium levels lead to symptoms like changes in cardiovascular function, muscle spasms, headaches, etc. Obtaining adequate magnesium is important for maintaining normal function of your muscles and nerves, normal blood sugar levels and blood pressure, and for preventing serious cardiovascular and neurological problems.

There are many benefits to having adequate magnesium levels which include better sleep, and tremendous stress relief. Overall feelings of wellbeing and relaxation is guaranteed! It helps the body draw out toxins, heavy metals and other harmful substances. You feel more energized and your body becomes more oxygenated resulting in better stamina. The digestion process is improved drastically and your ability to absorb nutrients is raised to a more optimal level.

  • Relief from constipation — Magnesium supplements are commonly taken for their laxative effect, and magnesium sulfate has been found to be helpful in this regard. Research suggests that magnesium helps improve bowel movements by pulling more water from your body into the colon.

Ease asthma symptoms — If this condition becomes severe, magnesium sulfate may be administered to provide immediate relief by inducing relaxation in the bronchial smooth muscles. Research suggests that the muscle-relaxing properties of magnesium work by inhibiting calcium influx into the cytosol.

Improved muscle recovery — Research has shown that magnesium may benefit muscle recovery after intense physical activity. Evidence suggests that even a slight deficiency in magnesium can already amplify the negative effects of strenuous exercise, such as oxidative stress. Increasing magnesium intake may help improve physical activity and recovery.

Better cognitive function — Magnesium deficiency has been linked to various neurological pathologies such as migraines, depression, epilepsy, stroke, traumatic brain and spinal injuries.

I am almost certain that everyone has a bag of Epsom salt in their cabinets as we all know of the benefits of soaking sore muscles and joints. As you make your bathing ritual a part of your wellness plan, keep in mind how effective the skin is at transferring necessary nutrients to all areas of your body. Magnesium sulfate is too important for the overall wellness of your life and I know how much my life has changed due to the continued replenishment that comes from my 3-4 baths a week.

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