Epsom salt foot soak is becoming popular as an easy way to lessen foot pain, reduce general muscle stiffness, provide relaxation, and improve sleep.
The truth is, Epsom salt foot soak has numerous other health benefits. How does Epsom salt foot soak work to provide its numerous benefits and should you try it?
What Is So Great About Epsom Salt Foot Soak?
Epsom salt contains two extremely healthy minerals, magnesium and sulfur. According to research (1), many people are deficient in magnesium levels causing them to have uncomfortable symptoms and health risks. Sulfur deficiency is not uncommon, partly due to more of the soils being demineralized (2).
While magnesium and sulfur supplements can be taken, these supplements are not easily absorbed through the digestive tract to be distributed throughout your body.
This is where Epsom salt foot soak comes in. Epsom salt, which contains abundant magnesium and sulfur, is very highly absorbed into the body through your skin. Epsom salt foot soak is an effective method to absorb the magnesium and sulfur into your body, and provides a relaxing experience at the same time.
Another benefit of Epsom salt foot soak, is that it is very easy to do, and requires only 15-20 minutes of soaking for it to be effective.
Why Do We Need Magnesium?
Magnesium is the second most abundant component in our cells (1), and magnesium deficiency can cause minor to severe health issues including (3):
- various muscle issues such as cramps and tremors
- tingling or numbness
- heart problems
Seemingly normal things like stress and certain prescription drugs can deplete magnesium, so it is best to watch out for our magnesium intake levels!
Why Do We Need Sulfur?
Being the 3rd most abundant mineral in our body, sulfur is important in maintaining our body’s general health. The primary benefit of sulfur when taking an Epsom salt foot soak is detoxification.
Sulfur also helps with preventing wrinkles and sagging skin, which is another great benefit!
Sulfur is also necessary for proper insulin function and cardiovascular and heart health.
Who Should Do An Epsom Salt Foot Soak?
In particular, people with the following illnesses and symptoms would benefit from an Epsom salt foot soak (4) (5).
- Muscle pain and spasms, most likely resulting from magnesium deficiency
- Colds and flus
- Swollen or painful feet
- Fungal infections on the feet
- Toxins in the body
- Heart issues
- Circulation issues
How To Do An Epsom Salt Foot Soak
- Fill up your tub or foot basin with very warm water to a level, so that your feet will be covered up to your ankles
2. Pour in ½ cup of Epsom salt for tub and ¼ cup of Epsom salt for foot basin, and make sure the salt is dissolved
3. Soak your feet in for 15 to 20 minutes
You can of course add essential oils such as lavender oil which as a calming effect, or tea tree oil which has effective anti-fungal properties.
Listening to relaxing music is highly recommended for a soothing experience!
Epson salt foot soaks should be safe to do every day. However, if you have any side effects, stop the use immediately.
Epsom Salt Foot Soak Side Effects
The risks of side effects from Epson salt foot soaks are very low (6).
Side effects, if any, may be experienced if the Epsom salt is ingested. Risks of side effects from Epsom salt, when ingested, are higher for people with kidney problems.
Make sure you do not drink any Epsom salt water without first consulting a physician.
While side effects from Epson salt foot soaks are unlikely, stop the soak immediately if you have any uncomfortable side effects including:
- breathing difficulty
- blurred vision
- heart discomfort
To avoid any risk of side effects, make sure to stick to the recommended dosage when enjoying your Epsom salt foot soak!
(1) Dr. Mercola; Are There Benefits of a Sitz Bath?: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/08/15/sitz-bath-benefits.aspx
(2) Dr. Mercola; The Benefits of Sulfur — Why You Need Epsom Salt, Broccoli and MSM: https://articles.mercola.com/sites/articles/archive/2016/11/28/sulfur-benefits.aspx
(3) Wikipedia; Magnesium deficiency (medicine): https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Magnesium_deficiency_(medicine)
(4) Epsom Salt Council; 6 Reasons Why ‘The Doctor to the Stars’ Recommends Soaking in Epsom Salt: https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/health/6-reasons-why-the-doctor-to-the-stars-recommends-soaking-in-epsom-salt/
(5) WebMD; Epsom Salt Bath: How to Take One, What It Does: https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epsom-salt-bath#1
(6) Healthline; Epsom Salt Detox: Uses, How to Do It, and More: https://www.healthline.com/health/epsom-salt-detox#side-effects