What is Epsom Salts? It is not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of sulfate and magnesium. It started out from a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. Do you remember your family always having Epsom Salts? I remember seeing this blue bag in the hall closet with the rest of the medicinal products my mother had stored. We only had a few items for any ailment we had. The ones that I remember were Epsom Salts, Merthiolate, Mercurochrome, and aspirin.
Yes, that was it. We did not go to the doctor much, and if we did, we must have been close to death. I do remember having my throat painted with a purple violet ointment (Gentian Violet) , something for strep throat. I would love any comments to help refresh my memory on that stuff. We also had a yellow mustard paste you’d smear on your chest for bad coughs. Today it is all about Epsom Salts. Thank you to several readers that reminded me of the purple/violet ointment name! Another reader just emailed me and said she always puts a couple of tablespoons in the hole before she plants her tomatoes. It helps them grow stronger and prevents blossom end rot. Thanks so much for these awesome tips!
My 15 Reasons Why I Store Epsom Salts:
1. Throw a cupful into a warm bath along with some lavender essential oils…….relax and read a book. No need to buy expensive bath salts, plus you choose the essential oils you prefer.
2. Make a paste with water and Epsom Salts to soothe a sunburn. Take a small container and mix water and enough of the Epsom Salts to make a paste similar to thin toothpaste. Gently rub the mixture onto the sunburned skin.
3. You can do your own pedicure by soaking your feet in a bucket of warm water with a 1/2 cup Epsom Salts added. Relax and let the dry skin fall off. Use a pumice stone to remove the remaining dead skin, and then rub coconut oil into your feet to soften them. I wear socks so I won’t fall from the slippery oil on my bare feet. It really helps with those cracked heels in the summertime.
4. It is great for splinters….soak and then remove the splinter ever so carefully with clean tweezers.
5. Gout can be treated by soaking your foot in as hot as the water can be and still be comfortable, along with 1/4 cup Epsom Salts. Soak the foot for about thirty minutes. This will help ease the discomfort of a sore foot feel better.
6. Sprains can be treated by following the instructions for gout. The water with the Epsom Salts seems to ease the discomfort of the sprained ankle or foot.
7. Athlete’s Foot is treated by soaking the feet in warm water with 1/4 cup Epsom Salts for about 30 minutes. Drain the water, clean the container and repeat if necessary.
8. Gardens are benefited by preventing slugs when you sprinkle some Epsom Salts around where you do not want the slugs to enter near your garden plants.
9. Epsom Salts is a natural insecticide….sprinkle lightly around your plants to keep those plant pests away.
10. Keep your lawns green with 2 tablespoons to one gallon water and spray onto your lawn. Cheap way to keep your lawn healthy and green.
11. Fertilize your house plants. Sprinkle a little each week to keep them healthy and keep the pests away. (high in nitrogen, phosphorus & potassium)
12. Make your own hand wash with baby oil and Epsom Salts. Soothes dry chapped fingers and knuckles.
13. Clean your bathroom tile with equal amounts of Epsom Salts and your favorite liquid detergent, use a rag to just wipe away the grime.
14. Add a tiny amount (about 1/4 teaspoon give or take) to your regular face cleansing cream and wash your face as usual. It feels fabulous!
15. Fungus toenail or fingernail can be treated by soaking the infected nail(s) in hot water mixed with Epsom Salts at least three times a day.
If you have other ideas please comment. I would love to add them to my list. We all learn from each other. The really nice thing about Epsom Salts is the fact that they are fairly inexpensive to purchase and store in your food storage stash or pantry.
My friend, Karen @Blue Yonder Urban Farms Why we should store Epsom Salts
My friend, Shelle @PreparednessMama has even more ideas using Epsom Salts
My friend, Sara @Frugal Mama And The Sprout. has a post on how to make Epsom Salt Lotion
My friend, Sara @Frugal Mama And The Sprout has a great post showing why we need Epsom Salts in our first aid kits
My friend, Kristi @Homestead Wishing She has some Epsom Salt relaxing tips
Jan: I use Epsom salts to give more volume to my hair. Don’t know the amount you use. I used a tablespoon per 16 ounces water. You could probably use less. Mix with warm water in spray bottle. I am a hair dresser and this gives more volume to your hair than any expensive hair products I’ve used. Plus it doesn’t make your feel like it has product in it. Also, I learned in beauty school that magnesium makes your hair curl. Not if you have straight hair but if you have some body in your hair it is suppose to make it curly.
Sue: My physical therapist recommends an Epsom salt bath to help reduce inflammation. This is good for people who have an injury, feel achy or have fibromyalgia or arthritis.
Veronica: I learned from one of the nurseries that Epsom salt makes the plant yield more flowers, I tried that for my roses and they look very great!!
Roberta: When my hubby plants his vegetable garden he digs hole puts a tablespoon of Epsom salt in adds a little dirt back then plants tomatoes. This year he yielded so much more because of Epsom salt he also sprinkles around plant before watering
Barb: When someone is coming down with the sniffles or you just want your room to smell really good, I take a cup of Epsom and add about 4 drops of peppermint oil in a pretty container and put it in the bedroom, close the door ad your room will smell wonderful, plus it seems to get rid of the sniffles! I don’t know if there is any medical backing this up, but it works for us!
Rebekah: Epsom salts make a great laundry softener also! I mix 4 cups Epsom salts with 25-30 drops of my favorite essential oils (right now I’m hooked on the fresh clean scents of lemon and lime) and store it in a big sealed container. I put about 2 tablespoons in my laundry with the detergent, and my clothes get softened as well as smelling great!
Siobhan: Epsom salt is also good in healing bruises faster. I will soak a towel with hot water and Epsom salts and place on bruise and repeat. I think it works best if you do this within the first 24 hours of the bruising This definitely speeds the healing process. This past winter I slipped and fell. I had a very large bruise and this cleared it up in a week.
Gabe: Hello, I’m a geologist and use Epsom salt for all sorts of things. It really is a wonderful substance. I appreciate the information here. I wanted to let you know that Epsom Salt is the household name for a mineral called Epsomite MgSO4 * 7H2O. It is great in the garden if your soil pH is too high and for plants that like high acidity. It does not, however, contain any amount of Nitrogen, Phosphorous, or Potassium.
Please don’t take this as criticism. I am just trying to offer helpful knowledge to pass on. Thank you for writing this article and sharing your knowledge with us.
PS: It also works as a gentle (if very yucky tasting) laxative.