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Health, Home, and Happiness: Trouble Sleeping? Detoxing? Try Epsom Salts!

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

Trouble Sleeping? Detoxing? Try Epsom Salts!


Epsom salt baths is another natural remedy that costs little, and is the salts are found at just about any drug store.  Most of us have heard of them, but until last summer I wasn't sure what exactly they were used for.  Then a friend who shares a lot of her health related research with me suggested that I try supplementing my one of my children with magnesium.  Being wary of supplements, I saw that you can get magnesium through an epsom salt bath instead of orally, so the next time I was at Walmart I bought a container of epsom salts and dumped the whole 2 cups or so into her bath.  I don't remember exactly what we were trying it out for, but I do remember that night was the first time she slept through the night in nearly 3 years.  

I had thought she was just a light sleeper, and I just kept her in our room and helped her fall asleep and go back to sleep by patting her back every night.  But when she gets her baths, she sleeps so much more soundly and goes to sleep so much more easily.  I'm sure this isn't the answer to everyone's sleep issues, but it worked really well for hers! 

After doing some more research on Epsom salts here are some links and maybe-reasons of how it works:

I asked her doctor if she could overdose, and the doctor replied that she wouldn't overdose by absorbing too much through her skin.  So I feel comfortable with the baths.  If someone was really sensitive, it looks like the first sign of overdose would be diarrhea.

It's always good to look at the criticisms of any treatment you're going to try, especially long term. It's advised to stay away from Epsom salts if you have kidney disease, or have a restricted salt intake.  I think in the Gerson Therapy book (cancer treatment through diet) he strongly advises against even touching Epsom salts during therapy.

Dead Sea Salts (our health food store has them in the bulk bin- that's what's pictured above, with lavender and rose hips) are supposed to be high in magnesium as well.

Epsom salts, or dead sea salts, at the least are a nice natural bath additive.  Add in couple drops of your favorite essential oil and you're good to go, and may even detox or supplement at the same time!

Have you noticed Epsom salts working visibly in someone you know? 

Some other simple, easy, and inexpensive remedies:
And then there's all about GAPS, which isn't simple but I think it's fascinating




Anonymous Jenny said...

I've never had a BATH in this stuff but I DID use to soak my feet in it when I had planters warts ;) They fell right out. Pool water also works for them ;)

But next time, yea I'll try using it for baths and see how I feel after. Great tip!

March 17, 2010 at 8:02 AM  
Blogger Jodi said...

Oooh, I'm going to try this with my light sleeper!

I'm wondering---I was given magnesium sulfate during pre-term labor a couple of years ago and it was *awful*, a horrible experience (worse than the pain from natural childbirth). Do you think soaking in epsolm salts would help relax pre-term contractions if they occur in a future pregnancy? (I realize this is a crazy question, just wondering if you'd read anything on it!)

March 17, 2010 at 9:29 AM  
Blogger Steph said...

This just might be an answer to our prayers!

March 17, 2010 at 11:36 AM  
Blogger Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

Preterm labor- I have no idea if it would work, but it may be worth a try.

I really hope this works for some of you!

March 17, 2010 at 11:48 AM  
Anonymous Mountainash said...

I definitely sleep better when I take a lavender salt bath and when I was expecting Livy the bath salts made the swelling in my feet go down considerably. I should try adding a little to the bathtub when I bathe my children before bedtime.

March 17, 2010 at 12:21 PM  
Blogger Lisa said...

I would like to add that I tried Epsom salt bath with my son & I overdid it the first time- he ended up being a complete basket case (instead of relaxed) for several hours. I'm surprised you were able to start with 2 c.- I'm sure I had to start with way less than that, but maybe my son has way more detox issues than your daughter... I haven't done the salts for quite a while since bath time doesn't usually happen at bedtime around here but I'll have to try it again.

March 17, 2010 at 3:02 PM  
Blogger Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

That's interesting. I know some kids respond differently to different things- I've heard of kids who get calmed down by coffee, but revved up by Benydril- wonder if this can be similar? Good point with starting slow. I didn't really know what I was doing when I started.

March 17, 2010 at 3:08 PM  
Blogger Raine Saunders said...

I think you have to be careful with epsom salts like anything else, but I also believe they are incredibly healthy and useful. Some people who are detoxing, especially in the beginning should not use a lot of detox methods at once. Maybe using salts after one detox is done and then moving on to some other detox after you have used salts is useful.

When I was first detoxing, I did things fairly slowly to make sure I didn't feel sick and had an easier time, I think, than if I had done it all at once. Any of the times I've used epsom salts I have had a good experience. I think the key is to not try to do too many things at once, and stagger detox protocols apart from one another.

March 17, 2010 at 3:22 PM  
Blogger Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

Raine, it's interesting to hear different people's experiences- thanks for sharing! I had heard that it helped to cut the symptoms of detoxing- like I'd get detox symptoms (red cheeks for me) from a strong probiotic, but the epsom salts were supposed to help alleviate these symptoms by pulling the stuff out that my body was having a hard time handling.

March 17, 2010 at 3:28 PM  
Blogger Jessie said...

So, if the salts help with detoxing, is it safe the take epsom salt baths while breastfeeding?

March 18, 2010 at 12:17 PM  
Blogger Cara @ Health Home and Happiness said...

I suppose that's something you'd want to ask your care provider about ;) I am comfortable doing it, but I could tell it didn't send me into massive detox or anything.

March 18, 2010 at 4:32 PM  
Blogger stacey said...

good to try! will put it on my "cara" list! :)

March 24, 2010 at 9:16 AM  
Anonymous Ronnie said...

Magnesium, from Epsom Salts, is also good for reducing bruxism (night time teeth grinding). I had sore jaws for years until I started soaking in The Salts regularly.

A soak is a wonderful treat for Mom. A few minutes of peace and quiet in which we can slow down and prepare our body for sleep. Try lighting a candle in the bathroom and turning off the lights while you soak.

The reason Epsom Salts (Magnesium Sulfate) help with detox is that the Sulfate is absorbed through the skin, providing a nutrient crucial to completing the liver's detoxification reactions. What this means is that Epsom Salts permit the body to detoxify wastes that might otherwise be stored in fatty tissues until enough Sulfate is available to complete waste processing.

Sulfate isn't the same thing as a sulfa drug, so it is safe for people who are allergic to sulfa (like me).

April 27, 2010 at 1:42 PM  

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