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Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) Maff Hot

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Written by Maff     August 26, 2008    
 
9.2
20613   0   0   0   1

Epsom salts are composed of magnesium and sulfate (sulphate). Both of which are nutrients which may be of benefit to those suffering from environmental illnesses.

The salts dissolve in water so can be used in a bath or footbath and have traditionally been used in this way to aid relaxation. Research conducted by Dr Rosemary Waring at the School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham, UK, demonstrated that both magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed through the skin during bathing in epsom salts. The optimum level of epsom salts required seemed to be 400-600g per bath (60 litres UK/15 gallons US). Blood levels of both magnesium and sulfate continued to rise with repeated daily baths. Epsom salts baths are therefore a highly effective way to increase the levels of these important substances in the body. Epsom salts may now be available in transdermal patches and some parents of autistic children reportedly make up their own if baths are not an option.

Magnesium: A very important mineral in the body. Magnesium acts as a co-factor for numerous metabolic reactions including but not limited to those involving energy production, muscle function and the production of neurotransmitters. Magnesium is calming to the nervous system and as such acts as a natural tranquiliser. Sufficient levels of this mineral therefore are essential to maintaining healthy energy levels, mental functioning and mood. Studies and the clinical experience of doctors such as Dr. Sarah Myhill have demonstrated that red cell magnesium levels are low in those with chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) and that supplementation brings symptomatic improvements in patients. Some researchers have also noted magnesium deficiencies in autistic children and those with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) suggesting supplementation may help, particularly with hyperactivity and behavioural problems.

Sulfate/Sulphate: A form of sulfur which the body requires for important processes including detoxification, protection of the gut lining, and activation of hormones such as DHEA. Sulfate is needed to detoxify a wide range of environmental toxins. Researchers including Dr Waring, Professor Malcolm Hooper, and others at Sunderland University, UK, and elsewhere have found that individuals with autism, ME/CFS, Gulf War Syndrome and possibly other environmental illnesses have low levels of sulfate. This may be due to an inability to convert sulfur from the diet into the sulfate form or because the individual has been subjected to a high load of environmental toxins therefore depleting sulfate levels in the body. Epsom Salts would therefore seem to be an ideal way to restore sulfate levels and detoxification potential as the sulfate is supplied in the readily useable form rather than as sulfur as it appears in the diet.

note: epsom salts (USP/BP) used internally are prescribed as a treatment for constipation as they are not well absorbed from the gut.

 

 

 

Editor reviews

I've used epsom salts as part of my treatment regime for a couple of years now and wouldn't be without them. Having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) for going on 18 years now I have been aware of the importance of magnesium and its reported calming qualities for a long time. I had never experienced these however until trying epsom salts. I had had blood tests showing low red cell magnesium levels and tried oral supplements in various forms as well as injections without noticing any improvement. Epsom salts however rapidly produce a very profound calming effect which lasts for much of the day. My anxiety and stress levels decrease, my muscles relax and my mood brightens. I have taken tranquilizer drugs such as diazepam (Valium) on occasion and have to say that the effect I get from the epsom salts is comparable to the drug (while being much safer).

As research shows sulfate is well absorbed through the skin from epsom salts as well as magnesium. It's harder to tell if I have benefitted from this or not however. It is true that my chemical sensitivities have remained minimal during the period I have used epsom salts which could certainly be in part due to the extra sulfate but I have also been using other treatments. Sulfate is very important for the detoxification of chemical pollutants such as vehicle exhaust and petrochemical based products such as perfume.

I use foot baths as I don't have a bath in my flat/apartment. I dissolve around 100g of epsom salts in a plastic bowl that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. This is probably more epsom salts than needed based on Dr. Waring's research mentioned above but it dissolves well and hasn't caused any side-effects. I have read elsewhere that people have had skin irritation when too much has been added to the water but I haven't experienced this. The salts can leave a rim around the bowl/bath though but can be washed off easily enough.

I'm in the UK and have found it quite hard to buy epsom salts in the shops/pharmacies so I now buy online which works out much cheaper anyway. Various websites sell 10kg buckets (which I buy) for around 20 Pounds including delivery. These buckets last me around 5-6 months doing foot baths every other day so are very good value. Oral supplements which I have found ineffective would cost many times more over the same period.

I would recommend epsom salt baths or footbaths to anyone suffering from environmental illnesses, particularly those suffering badly with mood disorders and chemical sensitivities. They are effective, safe and cheap.

Overall rating 
 
9.2
Perceived Effectiveness  
 
9.0
Lack of side effects (tolerability)  
 
10.0
Ease of use  
 
7.0
Value for money  
 
10.0
Would you recommend? 
 
10.0
Maff Reviewed by Maff August 26, 2008
Last updated: July 29, 2009
#1 Reviewer  -   View all my reviews (107)

Very calming - Great magnesium & sulfate source

I've used epsom salts as part of my treatment regime for a couple of years now and wouldn't be without them. Having suffered from chronic fatigue syndrome (ME/CFS) for going on 18 years now I have been aware of the importance of magnesium and its reported calming qualities for a long time. I had never experienced these however until trying epsom salts. I had had blood tests showing low red cell magnesium levels and tried oral supplements in various forms as well as injections without noticing any improvement. Epsom salts however rapidly produce a very profound calming effect which lasts for much of the day. My anxiety and stress levels decrease, my muscles relax and my mood brightens. I have taken tranquilizer drugs such as diazepam (Valium) on occasion and have to say that the effect I get from the epsom salts is comparable to the drug (while being much safer).

As research shows sulfate is well absorbed through the skin from epsom salts as well as magnesium. It's harder to tell if I have benefitted from this or not however. It is true that my chemical sensitivities have remained minimal during the period I have used epsom salts which could certainly be in part due to the extra sulfate but I have also been using other treatments. Sulfate is very important for the detoxification of chemical pollutants such as vehicle exhaust and petrochemical based products such as perfume.

I use foot baths as I don't have a bath in my flat/apartment. I dissolve around 100g of epsom salts in a plastic bowl that would otherwise be used to wash dishes. This is probably more epsom salts than needed based on Dr. Waring's research mentioned above but it dissolves well and hasn't caused any side-effects. I have read elsewhere that people have had skin irritation when too much has been added to the water but I haven't experienced this. The salts can leave a rim around the bowl/bath though but can be washed off easily enough.

I'm in the UK and have found it quite hard to buy epsom salts in the shops/pharmacies so I now buy online which works out much cheaper anyway. Various websites sell 10kg buckets (which I buy) for around 20 Pounds including delivery. These buckets last me around 5-6 months doing foot baths every other day so are very good value. Oral supplements which I have found ineffective would cost many times more over the same period.

I would recommend epsom salt baths or footbaths to anyone suffering from environmental illnesses, particularly those suffering badly with mood disorders and chemical sensitivities. They are effective, safe and cheap.

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