How Does Epsom Salt Work?

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Epsom salt is a compound mineral that has been used for a variety of medicinal and non-medicinal purposes for hundreds of years. In scientific terms it is referred to as magnesium sulfate.

History

  • Epsom salt was first described by Dr. Nehemiah Grew in 1695. Dr. Nehemiah Grew found and drew the compound from a mineral spring well in Epsom, England. This is why the compound magnesium sulfate is called Epsom Salt.

Uses

  • Epsom salt can be used for a number of purposes. It is used medicinally as a laxative and first aid soak. It is also used in beauty regimens and for garden tasks.

Misconceptions

  • Epsom salt and table salt are not the same. In fact, table salt is chemically known as sodium chloride and epsom salt as magnesium sulfate. They are two completely different things.

Function

  • The magnesium in Epsom salt is responsible for many functions in the body; it helps lower blood sugar, prevents blood clots, protects the arteries and reduces the instance of heart attack and stroke. According to the Epsom Salt Council, overall it is responsible for more vital functions in the human body than any other mineral.

Fun Fact

  • With the right ingredients you can make Epsom salt crystals. Mix one tablespoon of Epsom salt, with one fourth cup warm water, pour it in a glass dish and sit the dish in the sun. After the sun evaporates the water, spiky crystals will be left behind.

References

  • Photo Credit Jupiterimages/Pixland/Getty Images
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