Some things never go out of style. So it is with Epsom salts, an old-fashioned remedy dating back
to Greek and Roman times that continues to have many
healthful uses today. Epsom salts reduce swelling, improve
drainage and help get a sluggish system up and running
Environmental activist Annie Berthold-Bond,
the executive producer of the number-one on-line
environmental network Care2.com, finds the salts
particularly soothing and relaxing in the bath. Epsom salts,
made from the mineral magnesium sulfate, are a natural
HOW TO USE EPSOM SALTS
Berthold-Bond has a number of helpful
tips for using Epsom salts...
To reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises or just
to enjoy an especially relaxing bath, add two cups of
Epsom salts to a tub of warm water. Even better, also
add several drops of lavender or neroli oil.
To soothe achy feet, absorb their odors and soften
rough skin, soak them in a pan of warm water with
one-half cup of Epsom salts.
To wash your face, combine one-half teaspoon of Epsom
salts with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into
skin and rinse thoroughly with cold water. This will
help dry out oily skin and renew all skin types.
To exfoliate skin, massage handfuls of Epsom salts
into your wet skin when in the bath or shower. Start
with the feet, and slowly work your way upward.
Afterward, rinse thoroughly.
To make your own facial mask, for normal to oily skin,
combine one tablespoon of cognac, one egg, one-quarter
cup of nonfat dry milk, the juice of one lemon and
one-half teaspoon of Epsom salts. For normal to dry
skin, mix one-quarter cup of grated carrot, one and
one-half teaspoons of mayonnaise and one-half teaspoon
of Epsom salts. Apply the mask to damp skin for
approximately 10 minutes.
To reduce the swelling of minor insect bites, apply a
warm Epsom salt compress. Use Epsom salts with just
enough water to make into a thin paste. Apply the paste
to the bite, then cover with a washcloth saturated with
water that is just short of scalding hot. Put more very
hot water on the washcloth, covering the bite every few
minutes to keep it very hot. Continue this for 10
minutes and repeat every hour. Be sure to remove the
stinger, if present, before starting.
To learn more about the myriad uses of
Epsom salts -- from getting rid of blackheads to cleaning
bathroom tiles to cultivating a healthier lawn -- visit the
Epsom Salt Industry Council's Web site at www.epsomsaltcouncil.org.