Epsom Salt Baths: An Old-School Way to Feel Better Fast?

epsom salt Bath

Are showers costing us our health? Probably not, but I do think Epsom salt baths deserve an in-depth scientific look. After all, tradition supports bathing with most ancient civilizations highly valuing baths especially those with therapeutic added salts, minerals and oils.

Epsom salt was discovered in 1618 in England in a town fittingly named Epsom. There’s countless websites and medical practitioners who swear by the healing power of Epsom salt baths. But in today’s age of misinformation should we buy this treatment idea?

There are 2 widespread rumors about the benefits of Epsom salt baths:

  1. Epsom salt baths are an effective way to increase magnesium levels in the body
  2. Epsom salt baths help our body detoxify more effectively

We’ve been recommending Epsom salt baths to help with die-off symptoms since 2009. And at this year’s Weston A Price Foundation conference, I heard two very well-known speakers recommend Epsom salt baths.

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Dr. Campbell McBride, the creator of the Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) protocol for brain and digestive issues, was adamant that one should use nightly baths and some with Epsom salts to help detoxify.

Stephanie Seneff, PhD, from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), talked at length during her presentations about the importance of sulfur in our body and how it’s possible that sulfur is the missing ingredient to overcome chronic diseases like cancer, obesity and Alzheimer’s. She recommends taking regular Epsom salt baths.

So, let’s take an in-depth look at Epsom salt baths and see if there is any scientific basis for our recommendations.

What is So Special About Epsom Salt?

It’s important to grasp a few things about the chemical compound “Magnesium Sulfate” (Epsom salt). From the name, you can see the two biggest parts are Magnesium and Sulfur (there’s an oxygen atom mixed in too).

It has many uses other than potential therapeutic baths. It’s used in farming, manufacturing and brewing beer. Fun fact of the day: it’s also used to coagulate tofu. (1) GROSS! Seriously, don’t eat that stuff. So, let’s dive into the medical side of Epsom salt usage. Epsom salt is basically made of Magnesium and Sulfur, so let’s hear a few arguments for Magnesium:

According to Dr. Carolyn Dean, author of the Magnesium Miracle, “Of the 325 magnesium-dependent enzymes the most important enzyme reaction involves the creation of energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fundamental energy storage molecule of the body.”

And Dr. Steven Johnson agrees adding, “The range of pathologies associated with Mg deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence, aggression, fibromas, K deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Fe accumulation, etc.” (2)

And “Virtually all the components of the Metabolic Syndrome of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and lipid disorders are associated with low magnesium.” Dr. Michael R. Eades M.D.

The point I’m trying to drive home is that Magnesium is very important for our health. And it’s likely that you’re not getting enough of it in your diet. A study sponsored by the National Institute of Health, found 68% of Americans aren’t eating the RDA for Magnesium. (3) I won’t even comment on whether the RDA is an optimal level to shoot for. Not to mention, if your digestion is sub-optimal then there’s no guarantee the magnesium you’re ingesting is actually being absorbed into your body. I’d say the odds are stacked against the idea that we are all getting the optimal level of magnesium.

Do Epsom Salt Baths Help Us Detox?

At the surface, it didn’t make much sense to me how these baths would help detox. Then, I started learning about Sulfur. Sulfur is the 8th most common element in the human body by mass. (4) It’s used in every area of the body in one way or another. Here’s a brief overview:

  • Sulfate is needed for proper pancreatic enzyme action
  • Sulfate is essential at forming the mucin proteins that line the gut walls
  • Sulfur containing compounds are a very important part of Phase 2 detox in the liver
  • Sulfate is necessary for the formation of brain tissue and proper neurotransmitter function
  • Sulfate is needed for proper joint lubrication and function

This isn’t going to be an in-depth talk on Sulfur, but I just want to highlight some point’s readers of this blog probably care deeply about. Bad digestion, detox, bad brain status and hurting joints are all things many of us struggle with. And it turns out Sulfur plays a major role in all of these.

Interesting to note: there are 3 ways to get more sulfates into your body. Eating it, absorbing it through the skin, or creating it from methionine and cysteine. The problem is: the ability to absorb it from eating sulfur containing foods is very inefficient. (5) And if you have IBD or any gut dysbiosis, it’s likely even worse. (6)

Scientific Proof that Epsom Salt Raises Magnesium and Sulfur Levels

As I started to write this, I wanted scientific proof on Epsom salt baths to share with you. I scoured the web for tangible proof that Epsom salt does as described: that it raises Magnesium and Sulfate levels in the body. This appears to be unpublished study that does in fact, actually test whether or not serum levels of magnesium and sulfate rise after bathing in Epsom salts. Here’s what happened:

The researchers took 19 subjects (10M, 9F) in good health and tested both blood and urine magnesium and sulfate levels to get a baseline. Then, they had the volunteers take 12 minute baths between 50-55 degrees Celsius. They did this at the same time each day for 7 days. They tested their blood and urine markers 2hrs after the 1st bath and the 7th bath. Then, they tested their markers 24hs after the 7th bath.

Here’s their Magnesium conclusion: Magnesium levels in blood are very tightly controlled. Of 19 subjects, all except 3 showed a rise in magnesium concentrations in plasma, though this was small in some cases.

Here’s their Sulfate conclusion: Free inorganic sulfate levels in plasma rose in all subjects after bathing in Epsom salts.

If you want to break down the study and look at the specific numbers, you’ll find a few issues to chew on. In my opinion, the only conclusion we can really draw is that Magnesium and Sulfate from Epsom salt baths are absorbed by the body. While this isn’t the definitive proof I had hoped to find, it’s the only thing out there as I’m not aware of any other study that tested the concept and had negative results. So, as Chris Kresser L.A.c likes to say, “Lack of proof is not proof against.”

If you find any relevant research on Epsom salt, please share it in the comments section.

My Personal Experience with Epsom Salt Baths

All that is old is new again. Eat happy, healthy meat? Play daily? Butter is good? Go into the sun? The wisdom of those before us is coming around again. I think bathing… especially Epsom salt baths, should be on this list.

The first time I tried one of these was in 2009. I still vividly remember how I felt afterwards…  like I was drunk and exhausted all at the same time. It was a wild experience. I was glad to have read this might happen and was prepared to go right to bed. It felt like I almost didn’t make it. I sure slept like a baby that night, though. I took more baths that week, and the week after, and the exhausted feeling decreased each time. But as with many things I got bored and stopped.

It wasn’t until earlier this year that I started playing around with them again. And sure enough, I noticed deeper sleep, my skin was less inflamed, and it was a very effective way to further reduce my stress levels.

My focus for the past few months has been to take 2-3 Epsom salt baths a week. I plan to continue this into the future, based on the research I’ve presented above and how effective they are at allowing me to lower my stress levels.

Learn how to take an Epic Epsom salt bath here.


P.S. – What’s your experience with Epsom salt baths? Please share it with us in the comments below.


(1) – http://www.freepatentsonline.com/6042851.html
(2) – http://www.mpwhi.com/magnesium_for_life.pdf
(3) – http://www.jacn.org/content/24/3/166.abstract
(4) – http://people.csail.mit.edu/seneff/sulfur_obesity_alzheimers_muscle_wasting.html
(5) – http://physrev.physiology.org/content/81/4/1499.full.pdf
(6) – http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/articles/sulfation_benefits.pdf

Steven Wright

About Steven Wright

Steve Wright is a health engineer and author. In 2009, he reached a breaking point when IBS took over his life and the doctors didn't know how to help. Since then, he has transformed his health and started HealthyGut.com to help others naturally heal stomach problems. You can check out his story here and find him on Google+, Facebook or Twitter.

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80 thoughts on “Epsom Salt Baths: An Old-School Way to Feel Better Fast?

  1. Avatar

    I was wondering if anyone ever experienced a very red face while soaking in the bath. I usually take a very warm bath with Epsom salts but not so hot that I can’t step into. I stay in for 20 to 45 minutes or as long as I can. I can feel that my face is flushed but when I get out, it is beet red and takes a while to go back to normal again. I do not have high blood pressure. Is this normal? It’s only my face that is extremely red.

  2. Avatar

    A few people mentioned baking soda in the comments but not the reasoning behind it. I learned, after years of epsom salts baths without it, that baking soda purifies the water and also bonds with the magnesium sulfate allowing it to enter our bodies. Without baking soda, epsom salts baths aren’t effective.

    It also sounds like most of the negative side effects mentioned here are due to dehydration/low potassium levels. Dizziness, headaches, heart racing, & palpitations are all signs of low potassium/sodium.

    Also, 20 minutes is enough time to have a productive soak. Any more than 30 minutes is just a good excuse to have some “me time” away from the kids. ?

  3. Avatar

    I have fibromyalgia and hypothyroidism. I had my first float session yesterday evening and today I have a cold and extreme widespread muscle pain. I am very miserable. Is there any explanation for that?

    • Avatar

      Hi Jennie – most people find Epsom salt baths to be relaxing and comforting. It is possible how you’re feeling today is related to your bath, but also possible is isn’t related and is just coincidence. Either way, i hope you’re feeling better soon!

  4. Avatar

    It is funny how many times after I take an Epsom salt bath I lay in bed and Google “benefits of Epsom salt baths” which is how I came across this article now. I am fascinated by the literature out there. Anyways, I struggle with keeping myself from getting too hot and bored while taking a bath. Tonight I lit a candle, burned some sage, the bath water was scalding and I basically used half the bag of Epsom salt ( how much is too much, just wondering??) I took little breaks where I sat on the edge of the tub and chilled out for a minute. But I only lasted for maybe 12-14 minutes. I also enjoy doing stretches and breathing exercises while taking baths. It’s so relaxing. I enjoyed learning more about the science you’ve cited behind Epsom salt baths, very interesting. I also just love that heavy feeling when getting out. Once I visited the blue lagoon in Iceland and had a euphoric feeling while walking out of the water, sometimes I feel the same way after a long bath. Hard to explain but you understand. My old roommate used to watch Netflix on her iPad in the bath, I guess that’s a good idea to stay in the bath for extended period of time. I read somewhere you should try tO be in there for 25 mins, I read somewhere else 40-45 mins! (??) I tried a little chanting tonight, for the first time in my life besides the random chant my yoga teacher once instructed, I really enjoyed it. The only reason I stopped is because I didn’t want to freak out my roommates. I wasn’t able to totally settle my mind, however I do feel more relaxed. I’m happy I took a bath and I’m happy I stumbled across your article! Thank you.

  5. Avatar

    Did the bath tonight. I mixed baking soda and Epson salt. 2 cups of each.
    Warm water and soaked for about 40 mins.

    Felt a little weak afterwards, then I rested and had distilled water infused with fruit , and squeezed lime. Feeling real relaxed.

  6. Avatar

    I woke up with the flu symptoms this morning .I had really achy body & my joints were sore had a horrible headache and a sore throat so I took a nice hot Epson salt bath for maybe 25 minutes about 2 cups of Epson salt and dried off and then went right to bed I slept for three hours and I feel awesome. I really had some interesting dreams. I had a great deep sleep it was like euphoria it really help me .

  7. Avatar

    I had my first bath in what i now believe was far to much epsom salt . I soaked for over an hour and my heart was facing once i got out of the bath . I felt red hot was sweating and had to crawl to my bed as i felt my head was going to explode . After half an hour i had a drink and felt relaxed . I slept without a problem and wome up feeling less stressed than i normally do while getring 8 kids ready for school on time . By dinner time i started with a bad headache my body started acheing and i laid down and feel asleep for half an hour . Woke with a worse headache my bones ached still and ive lost my balance two or three times today whats happening to me is it normal or is there something wrong with me

    • Avatar

      Hi Julie- thanks for reaching out.

      Epsom salts are a great tool, but like any supplement they need to be used with some caution. Soaking for an hour in a high concentration of salts may have been too much for you, as epsom salts can have a detoxing effect on the body. We don’t think you are in any danger – just make sure to drink plenty of water and take it easy until you’re back to feeling your normal self (in a day or so). If you’re not feeling better, please go to the doctor right away.

      If you want to try an epsom soak again, start out with 1-2 cups of salt in a bath of warm water for about 20 minutes.

  8. Avatar

    I know this is an older post, but hoping for some response… The last few times I’ve taken Epsom baths I am so cold during them. I’ve been taking them for years, and this has never happened. I am currently pregnant, but never experienced this in previous pregnancies either. Any info is appreciated!

    • Avatar

      Hi, I have always put Epsom salt in my baths, & it never affected me. But when I got sick last month, I had Epsom salt & ginger, along with a few drops of peppermint oil, in a tub of hot water, got in, & very quickly got very cold, so I got out. It wasn’t even 10 minutes. Two weeks later, I did it again – only I added boiling water to the regular hot water – still got very, very cold, but forced myself to stay in about 15 minutes. I have been better for about 3 weeks, so today, I took a regular bath with just Epsom salt & bubble bath – got cold again – got out quick. Like I said, before, it never bothered me – I don’t know what causes this…but you are not alone. I always enjoyed my baths before.

  9. Avatar

    I took an epsom salt bath each day for the past two days.

    The first day was fine. The second day was horrible.

    I hadn’t eaten that much but I’ve been experiencing the same thing as when I tried to take baths before (and pretty sure those times I ate)

    The first time 2 days ago I just threw in an amount of epsom salt, I didn’t measure. Second day it was either 1-2 cups, I believe it was one. Anyways, after standing up I felt a bit dizzy but this went away almost right away. I was fine until when I went to bed. I fell asleep and woke up having a panic attack. Everytime I try to take one of these baths, I usually get a panic attack that wakes me up. Terrible thing. What is going on? Is it too much salt? Is my blood sugar or blood pressure going too low?

    The baths help my skin extremely and I want to continue them but I don’t want the side effects. I took both of these baths at night and the second time I did drink water afterwards.

    What could be happening? I stayed in for 20 minutes and the water wasn’t that hot.

    I’ve googled this and only came across one person who got panic attacks from this. I believe this also happens when I use sea salt.

    Please help!

    • Avatar

      Hi Sarah, thanks so much for reaching out.

      I’ms so sorry to hear you’re experiencing this reaction. We aren’t familiar with this at all. Epsom salt baths are a source of magnesium, which is known to help with anxiety/panic attacks.

      We’re really uncertain of what about the bath or salt could have caused this reaction. It may have been coincidence that you had a panic attack on both nights you took a bath, or it could have been another factor unrelated to the bath.

      Whatever caused it, we’re really sorry you experienced this reaction, and we hope it doesn’t happen again.

      If you continue to experience panic attacks, we recommend you consult with your doctor.

      I hope you’re feeling better soon Sarah!

  10. Avatar

    After soaking in Epsom Salts for 20 mins. I usually take a shower right afterwards with soap. Will the soap decrease the effects of the salt and is soaking in Epsom Salts everyday harmful?

  11. Avatar

    Hello, great article, thank you. I am wondering if epsom salt baths are safe for me as I am allergic to sulfates. I am just getting over a sever reaction from taking charcoal pills, so I very nervous.
    Thanks! 🙂

    • Avatar

      Hi Jeffery, thanks for reaching out! It is hard to say whether or not this will increase your blood pressure, but we ask that you consult with your treating physician about soaking in warm water and the effects on your Blood pressure.

  12. Avatar

    I always get a cold after I have an Epsom salt bath?? It knocks me about after? I do suffer from raynauds (poor blood circulation), but I’m young,healthy & fit? Am I doing something wrong? I sleep well after but like I say it drains all the energy outta me and get a horrible flu afterwards 🙁

  13. Avatar


    I just had my first “float” in a pod for relaxation, de stressing and detoxing. overall i did like the experience and want to keep going to achieve more physical and mental healing/balance.

    i found myself pretty distracted at first with the sounds of my own body, my heartbeat and with just trying to realize that i wouldn’t sink if i relaxed completely.

    i only had two uncomfortable things happen. one was that my nose got completely stuffed up. to the point of not being able to breathe through my nose at all… i had to find a way to be comfortable with my mouth slightly open. two was that, only during the last few minutes or so, i got really nauseated and i’ve read that this is due to the detoxing happening in the body. i was wiped out and feeling heavy after i got home and i hydrated and listened to my body and just rested for the rest of the day. i did sleep well last night.

    i am concerned that my nasal passages got stuffed up so much. it would definitely hinder my experience if this keeps happening. i’m going to try it a few more times and i’m hoping that my experience gets better each time i go. has anyone else experienced this?

    thank you. 🙂


  14. Avatar

    Funny, I remember Epsom was a pretty standard part of mom’s home medical kit. We soaked infected hands and feet, baths with fevers and skin conditions and drank it too.
    Everything in her kitchen had a medicinal purpose too. Apple cider vinegar, sugar , salt , honey , fillers earth , molasses and herbs all did double duty. A lot safer than the penicillin of the day.

  15. Avatar

    Treat the Lyme Disease like a fungal infection. Find a doctor who will prescribe diflucan for you over a period of time… Longer than for a simple yeast infection. Go to a site called knowthecause.com and learn about the fungal link to almost all disease. I just started watching this show on direct TV a few months ago. Peer reviewed studies back this up, yet most pill pushing doctors seem to be in denial. As for Epsom salt, they can also be used for a gall bladder/liver cleanse. Having ones gall bladder removed is another worthless surgery because then the liver simply accumulates the stones. This cleanse makes you pass dozens of stones through your feces the next day… Amazing results.

  16. Avatar

    Today I put one cup of epsom salts in the bath, I forgot to wash it off, and afterwards my skin was on FIRE, red hot. I felt I had a fever. I was taken to the shower by my mother and she rinced it off. I started to seize. I have lyme disease. My husband is convinced I need to do it again, but now I am terribly worried that I will go through that again. My Dr, prescribe epsom salts as the detox, but man was that scary. Is rinsing important. Did I have the bath too hot? why did I seize?

  17. Avatar

    A lot of the documentation on the back of packages of items such as epsom salts and having hot mineral baths in general state explicitly that you should not do those things if you are diabetic. It sounds strange and counter intuitive, in fact. However, part of the reason for it contraindicating diabetes could depend on the symptoms of the diabetes you are suffering from. If you have open diabetic sores that need to be healed, then soaking for long periods of time in water could affect the sores in a bad way, slowing down the healing process.

  18. Avatar

    I took my first bath last week….With 2 cups of Epsom salts dissolved in it I did a 20 min bath. Just before I got out I rubbed my skin with a wet bath water face cloth and didn’t rinse off… Wow, my senses became amplified…. And I felt extremely over all better… 2 days later I had to try again to make sure it was actually the salts… Yep it was the Epsom salts! I swear by them now! I didn’t realize how much toxins play on our well being!

  19. Avatar
    Rosario Miranda says:

    Hello, thank you for your informational posts. I took a boot camp class last night for the first time. I asked the instructor if Epson Salt baths were a good idea and she replied absolutely. I went to Walmart bought a few bags and headed home.
    I put half the bag into the tub and filled it with hot water.
    I spent at least 30 minutes in the tub. Around two hours later I was in bed with a huge migraine type of headache. I even became nauseated. I spent the night between sweats and heart palpitations, to being cold but my head throbbed all night. This morning I woke up at 530am and I had zero symptoms. I was very happy to have woken up without a headache and sweats.
    I ate a salad and squeezed lime into my water this morning in case the nausea came back. So far I am feeling great. I do not have any unusual aches or pains and the symptoms disappeared thankful.

    I will try this once more and make sure I measure correctly, stay no longer than 12 minutes and drink plenty of water before and after my bath.

  20. Avatar

    When I am in an Epsom salt bath I get goose bumps and feel quite cold even though the bath is quite hot. It makes me feel quite agitated. Is that a sign of detoxing? I drink plenty if water and feel ok afterwards.

  21. Avatar

    Hi. I have a problem with claw toes- but the toes are not rigid yet. My sister suggested Epsom salt baths and massage the tendons on the toes to relax the tendons. Any comments or suggestion are appreciated. Thanks

  22. Avatar

    I am a true believer in Epsom salt. But now I have another health issue My Eye. Can epsom salt bathing be bad for pressure in the eye. Since I was just informed that I have to be on eye drops? Joanna

  23. Avatar

    Hi Steve. So glad I found your article. I have never taken a detox bath but have been seriously considering it simply because I have been feeling terribly fatigued and run down. However, I am diabetic (though I am not on any medications for it) and have read that detox baths might not be a good idea for diabetics. After reading your article about magnesium and sulfer it sounds as if these minerals could be beneficial for diabetics so I am curious as to why a detox bath in Epsom salts could be potentially harmful. I am curious as to your thoughts on this. Why would a diabetic get sick by taking a detox bath?

    • Steven Wright

      Hey Sheila – I’ve never seen anything that would suggest Diabetics would be predisposed to having any worse reaction than any other sick person. As I’ve stated the first bath you do will likely knock you out so plan to sleep. I think it has to do more with Magnesium and sulfate than it does with detoxing both are hard to get enough of in this day and age.

      • Avatar
        Tabia Coulibaly, BA, MA, HES says:

        There are many sources that say diabetics should not use salt or epsom salt; the American Diabetes Association and the following quote among them. Also people with high blood pressure and heart problems should not use these products either.
        Risks for Diabetics
        Diabetics must take caution when using Epsom salt.
        (Photo: Creatas Images/Creatas/Getty Images)
        Diabetics must take caution when using Epsom salt because too much magnesium in the body, absorbed from the salt, can cause uncontrolled fluctuations in blood sugar. Also, frequent soaking in Epsom salt can increase dry skin, especially in extremities such as toes prone to circulation problems
        If you’re a diabetic and interested in using Epsom salt as a solution for a variety of health issues, it is best to consult your physician before frequent use. More than likely, if you are in good control of your glucose levels, then moderate use of Epsom salt will be harmless if used as directed.
        Read more: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5918180_epsom-salt-diabetes.html#ixzz2rN35klmF
        Read more: http://www.ehow.com/facts_5918180_epsom-salt-diabetes.html#ixzz2rN1KTiUX

        I did find some parts of your article informative.

        • Avatar

          So you are saying that if you have hypertension, you should not use epsom salt baths? Should you use magnesium supplements like “Calm”? I am confused about magnesium deficiency and what to use.

  24. Avatar

    Where would you surgest buying epsom salts? Im looking a buying some to use in the bath. I have looked in the supermarkets but it looks like i can save money getting them online. My worry is that can i trust te online stores? Is there a brand of epsom salts that i can trust? Here is a link to the Epsom Salts site that im looking at… http://www.epsomsalts.co.uk

  25. Avatar

    My daughter has had type 1 diabetes since 2005, and a soak in an Epsom salt bath lowers her blood sugar naturally. She was 465 because she ate something without taking insulin and I put her in the bath and about a half hour later she was 365. Then I gave her some insulin to help her come down more. If she has a night bath she wakes with blood sugar within normal range. If she doesn’t want the bath I give her a supplement with 100mg magnesium and this works well too. You can also drink Natural Calm- a magnesium supplement.

    • Avatar

      I am allergic to Sulfa as well and I have been taking Epsom baths all week to aid in the detox I am doing. Doesn’t seem to be an issue. Maybe just soak your feet to start if you are really worried.

      • Avatar

        Hello, I am allergic to sulfa as well, and just got over a sever reaction from taking charcoal 🙁 I am so nervous to try this, but I have soaked my feet before and been fine. Are you still doing ok with it?

  26. Avatar

    Hi I have taken my first magnesium salt bath as hot as I could stand for 20 mins, when I got out my face was beetroot red I was sweating profusely my heart was beating so fast and my head ached..went and laid down for 1 and half hours got up took blood pressure and it was 140/91 is this normal..I also gad headache all evening….is it safe?

  27. Avatar

    I worry about taking baths when i don’t use filtered water. The chlorine and fluoride and other unwanted chemicals soaking into my skin, could they be worse than the benefit of the epsom salts? I heard dr. Carolyn dean recommends clay to absorb toxins like fluoride and chlorine. Thoughts on that anyone?

  28. Avatar

    I started to take baths in Epsom Salt 20 min in a warm bath with 1/2 cup in the tub. Last night I got out of the tub and within a few hours I was so sick. Every muscle and joint in my body ached. My scalp was tender, my back was so inflamed ( on fire) my hubby couldnt even give me a back rub to ease the ache I felt from head to toe. I was shaking, shivering, felt like I got the flu. I was up all night because my legs ached so bad. Today I felt exhausted and now 24 hours later my bones still ache though not as bad as last night. Im very fatigued. Any ideas? I have Gastropareisis from my Postural Orthostatic Tachycardia syndrome. I take numerous supplements stay away from sugar, and gluten. Because of my condition I have to drink lots of water. I read so much about magnesium and I wanted to feel better so much. But I went into the bath not feeling to bad yesterday and came out feeling awful. I thought Id have to go to the ER I was shivering and in so much pain. Someone said this might be severe detox and others say it might be a sulfate intolerance. Any ideas?

  29. Avatar

    What a fantastic post! I wanted to share with you that I stumbled on epsom salt baths because my father used to take them for his hemorrhoids. So when I developed hemorrhoids AND a fistula due to my Crohn’s, the epsom salt baths were the one thing I could go to for relief. You wouldn’t think hot water and salt would feel good on “butt” wounds but it REALLY does. Thanks for sharing Steve. 🙂

  30. Avatar

    I totally agree, and take them twice a week sometimes three. I have been doing this for a long time and they are very good.

    However there is a much better and more efficient way to get pure 99.9% crystal sulfur into your system. Visit my website next week and learn how this is possible and very beneficial. http://www.cellular-oxygenation.com
    I think you will be very pleased to what you will read and what is available for a better health.

  31. Avatar

    I have read that epsom salt baths help children with ADHD.
    My son does not take medication but has a good diet and structured life.
    I am always willing to try natural ways of helping him.
    After the baths I found he was calmer and got to sleep much easier.
    With ADHD getting to sleep can sometimes be tough as the brain has such a lot going on. They find it hard to switch off.
    I have also read that these baths can help children with Austism.
    I think 2 to 3 baths a week would probably be sufficient.

    • Avatar

      I believe my son would have a diagnosed behavioural disorder if we didn’t have him on a salicylate-free diet. Salicylates severely affect both his diet and sleep. I’m no longer convinced that a behavioural disorder causes bad sleep, but that a food intolerance can affect the mind and cause both. I’ve heard the diet can work wonders for children who are diagnosed with autism, ADHD, etc. Epsom salt and baking soda baths help my son calm down when his diet’s gone awry. I’ve heard alkalizing the body can help draw out the salicylates. Whatever the mechanisms, these baths seem to go hand in hand with diet to detox the body. Since I’m still nursing my son, I’m on the diet and take these baths as well to detox myself so that he’s not getting sals through my milk. http://Www.fedup.com has more info.

    • Avatar

      I have done 10-20 minutes of Shiatsu massage ( gentle rocking of the body & gentle compressions to the body) while the child is laying in bed. He was diagnosed with Aspergers & was easily irritated or excited & would wake up often throughout the night. After I started doing the massages he slept through the night & was more calm during the day. Maybe that could help as well.

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    Definitely helps if you stay hydrated. Maximize the good post-bath effects and minimize the bad ones. I get dizzy no matter what kind of bath I’m taking because I’m really sensitive to hot temperatures so I always keep a tall glass of cold water/home-made herbal iced tea/coconut water smoothie nearby.

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    Great post thank you! We are running a Mind body spirit cleanse in January and many of the “old things becoming new” feature including Epsom salt baths. Much of what you post resonates with our reasons and it will be good to reference it. Thank you!

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    Without anyone recommending, I started using Epsom Salts in my bath in 2001 when I had knee problems. I only use one cup and the water is not too hot, comfortly warm and I do it every day. I realize now it probably saved my life since I worked in a very toxic library. I kept getting sicker and not relating what was happening to the work environment. Moved away but kept taking the baths for stiff joints. Withint the last year, I have been able to restore more foods to my diet. Stress is a big factor but the air we breath does really make a difference. And thanks for the Vitamin D information!!! No doc ever told me how much to take even though I have Hasimoto’s disease and had stopped drinking milk and eating dairy.

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      Yep, that sounds like entirely the wrong temperature, Steve! Body temp is 37°C, so going anywhere over 40°C would be insane. With detox salts it is recommended to go a bit lower, so 38°C max and then let it cool while in the bath.

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        You have got the degrees totally wrong. 37 degrees Celsius is the body temp so that’s right. Water boils at 100 degrees Celsius so 55 degrees Celsius is almost cold and not pleasant at all.

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    I don’t feel anything from the baths, so I actually drink the E. Salts in water each day. I disolve 1/2 tsp. in 48-64 oz. of water and drink that throughout the day. My PST pathway (PhenolSulfurTransferase) is deficient in processing phenols, and breaking sulfur into sulfite, into sulfate, so adding the sulfate directly into my system that can’t break it down by itself is really helpful for me. It helps my PMS a ton! The only bummer is that it makes me really thirsty and my skin seems drier as well. My question to Steve is if he’s heard that drinking the E. Salts can do any damage to the digestive system??? I drank them last year for about 5-6 months daily and then I started getting heart burn so I stopped. I wondered if the E. Salts were actually decreasing/damaging my hydrochloric acid levels in some way? What do you think? I’d love some more info. on drinking the Salts vs. bathing in them. I know you mentioned that they may not be well absorbed by drinking them. But what about damage by drinking them? I’d also love to know if you know much about the PST pathway because it’s hard to find info. on it, or anyone who knows anything about it, and I think so many people have problems with it that don’t even know it. It seems to really be related to all of the digestion/detox/disease/stess/food intolerances/allergies/etc. that you and we all deal with so much. Look forward to the response! Merry Christmas everyone!

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      Carolyn Dean’s book, The Miracle of Magnesium, talks about how magnesium is an alkalin mineral (as is calcium) and will act as an antacid. As Steve and Jordan can attest, taking too much antacid will decrease stomach acid and up the likelihood of heartburn/indigestion. There are other ways to get magnesium in addition to Epsom salt baths and supplements. You can use magnesium oil rubbed on the skin, you can also take homeopathic magnesium such as mag phos. Those ways would be less likely to cause digestive disturbances.

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    I have been soaking in Epsom salt baths for about two years (since I started SCD really!!). This was recommended by a natural path I see. I only soak for 10-15 min and then drain the tub and take a shower to remove all the toxins that have been pulled out into the water/skin surface. These baths have helped me so much! These also help me feel better on the days I take my mother to chemo (exposure). One other thing I must recommend are castor oil packs. This helped heal my crohns, inflammation and constipation issues. Another way to safely remove toxins and help the body heal. Thanks for all you guys do Jordan & Steve!

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    Many years ago before I was diagnosed with Celiac disease, I was very toxic. Doctors didn’t know why, but acknowledged the issue. Because I was so toxic inside I was reacting to everything outside.

    A naturopath was able to help me get my life back and one of the things she recommended was a year long regimen of daily baths. I needed to stay in a minimum of 20 mins. preferably 30. Make the water hot to start and let it cool naturally. The cooling process actually helps to pull the toxins out. I alternated each week between 1lb. Baking soda, then 1 lb plain salt, 1 lb. epsom salt, for several months then graduated to combining, like 1 lb b. soda AND 1 lb. salt. Did this for the whole year and it did help tremendously.

    She cautioned me about dizziness and that can be caused by having the water too hot and the loss of potassium through sweating. She had me keep a cup of Bancha twig tea with umeboshi plum paste mixed in (about 1/2 -1tsp) that is very salty and would help balance my electrolytes out. I sipped it while in the tub. Unfortunately, I have given up on the baths because of diabetes and the hot water affecting my feet, but they were very helpful.

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    I rely on Epsom salt baths for my magnesium. I definitely don’t feel exhausted and dizzy after. I feel pleasantly sleepy and relaxed. I equate the feeling with how you feel after you get a relaxing massage. I sleep better and feel better the next day. I did overdo magnesium in the bath once. I was pouring in the salts and something like two or more cups fell in. I had the Big D a few hours later. I was confused about that but then I read that it is used as a laxative. Now i am more careful in my measuring and use only 1 cup for a full bath.

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    On the few occasions that I tried Epsom Salt baths, I got very dizzy afterwards and even the next morning, but I did sleep well. I don’t know if the dizziness is due to detoxing or due to the magnesium lowering my already low blood pressure. I tried them again putting less and less epsom salts in the bath and staying in the bath for less time, but I still felt dizzy, so I stopped having them.

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      The reason for feeling weak and dizzy after the bath is because of your own body exhaustion & weakness and dehydration. Make sure you drink plenty of water and eat a full tummy of food before you get in the tub to take the bath. Do not be afraid because you feel weak. Make sure you lie down for 10 or 15 minutes before attempt to stand up and drink plenty of good mineral water right away to replace the depletion. 2 possible explanation for the feeling are: detox too fast, your body lacks the mineral, magnesium pulls out the bad mineral too fast, you can’t tolerate the heat. Make sure you put some oil on your skin before climbing in the tub or the bath may dry your skin out and make you itch.

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