Magnesium sulfate – better known as Epsom salt – has been soothing aching bodies and feeding gardens longer than you can imagine. It’s named for the English town where it was discovered in the early 17th century. The salty concoction bubbled up from an underground spring, but local cattle refused to drink the bitter water. Locals soon discovered that sipping the solution worked well as a laxative (and the cows that waded around in the water seemed to heal faster). A spa town was born.
These days, Epsom salt is still added to warm bath water to soothe aching muscles. (It also reportedly works great at removing splinters!) You can also exfoliate your skin by adding a tablespoon of the salt to shower gel before you massage it in. And green thumbs still say Epsom salt gives their flower, fruit and vegetable gardens the added oomph they need to grow faster and stronger.
Here are several great Epsom salts to get started with.
This brand, from the San Francisco Salt Company, uses a small enough grain size to start soaking quickly. It’s USP grade and GMO free. The bag is resealable so those 19 pounds won’t go to waste. Plus, once you discover the benefits of Epsom salt soaking, you’ll go through that full bag faster than you’d think.
So we realize that maybe you don’t have room for 19 pounds of Epsom salt in your bathroom or linen closet. This 8-pound bag might be the solution. Users rave about its uses in their reviews with one person saying he uses it as a weed killer (after mixing it with vinegar and dish-washing soap). We can’t first-hand vouch for that application, but we applaud the ingenuity.
Soap to the rescue
Instead of trying to manhandle a huge sack or tub of crystals, consider this foaming-bath liquid from Dr. Teal’s instead. It combines Epsom salt with essential oils to create a more soothing bathing experience. (And you won’t throw your back out in the process.) It’s available in six scents: lavender, eucalyptus and spearmint, pink Himalayan, ginger and clay, menthol and citrus , and finally, avocado oil.
You don’t need a dozen additives to make for a good soak. This Epsom salt from SaltWorks has just two ingredients – USP grade magnesium sulfate and 100 percent pure lavender essential oil. The crystals dissolve easily in the tub so they can get to work quickly soothing sore muscles, helping ease dry skin, and calming aching bodies.
The natural essential oils of lavender and eucalyptus give this option the added bang. Lavender helps relax the body and promotes better sleep while eucalyptus stimulates the senses while soothing sore muscles. (Ginger and Pink Himalayan scents are also available.)
Steve Spears is editor of Florida Travel & Life, an online brand that inspires active, affluent travelers, providing them with insider information on discovering the best of Florida. Informative and engaging, the website showcases travel destinations, arts and cultural venues, vibrant dining scenes, recreational activities, the great outdoors and the revitalized real-estate market. He is based in Orlando and counts St. Augustine, Key West and the Gulf Beaches among his favorite destinations in the state.