Epsom Salt Baths, Yay or Nay?

For me, Epsom Salt soaks or baths are a solid yay. I brine myself like a pork chop on the regular for two reasons mainly; its detoxifying and anti-inflammatory benefits. 

The chemical compound that makes up Epsom salt is magnesium sulfate (the name comes from the discovery of it, Epsom, England), and it's incredibly awesome for our bodies, in particular when it comes to detoxifying us from unnatural and harmful substances, and reducing inflammation. Our skin is our largest organ, and plays a major roll in detoxifying us. The magnesium sulfate is absorbed through the skin when you take an Epsom salt bath, and this aids in detoxification as the sulfates are essential for the formation of proteins lining the digestive tract, as well as in stimulating the pancreas to form digestive enzymes that are necessary in order to detoxify the body. Simply put, the more flawlessly your gut functions, the better skills your body will have when it comes to rid itself off of toxins.

The fact that Epsom salt baths also increases the body's magnesium levels is huge too. Many of us today actually have a magnesium deficiency, which is a problem since magnesium is so incredibly important to our health. But, to focus on the anti-inflammatory issues, magnesium matters as it literally gives inflammation a chill pill. Inflammation is a response to an irritant from your immune system, so if we keep that in mind, this will be easy to understand. If we fall and hurt ourselves somewhere, our immune system creates a protein called circulating immune complex (CIC), and this is what causes the pain and swelling that comes next. The pain lets us know that we're injured, and the swelling is protective for the injured tissue (for example, a compressed disc in our spine will swell up during compression to protect itself from rupturing, it HURTS, but it's there for a reason) as the body will respond with fresh blood, antibodies and vital cells in order to begin healing and repairing the damage. To counteract the inflammation, our bodies then produces something called proteolyctic enzymes, which helps restore us back to normal. Without these guys functioning properly, our bodies don't get the message that it's time to stop the inflammation. The pickle here is that these enzymes are mediated by magnesium, meaning that without enough magnesium, the proper function and activity of them won't be good enough to calm down the inflammation. This is of course where Epsom salt baths comes in, as one way of helping us absorb magnesium quickly, and help reduce inflammation.

By no means is this a cure all thing, but I find it to be very helpful with acute inflammation. At the very least, it won't hurt you to try it out! Go to CVS, and you can get a big bag of it for around $5. I say it's totally worth it.