Did you ever imagine that taking a bath could actually slow the aging process? Nor did I until a girlfriend introduced me to the wonders of Epsom Salts.
If you are anything like me, you’ve heard about Epsom Salts throughout your life but never really registered what the Hell they’re all about. They also seem to have cobwebby links to grandparents and other oldies. But in fact, Epsom Salts are back in the news as more and more film starlets and climbers admit to a soak before a strut down the red tongue of fame.
Epsom Salts are named after an area in Surrey, England and are not actually salt but a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Studies have shown that magnesium and sulfate are both readily absorbed through the skin, making Epsom salt baths an easy and ideal way to enjoy the amazing health benefits.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Magnesium
Magnesium plays a number of roles in the body including regulating the activity of over 325 enzymes, reducing inflammation (critical to anti-aging!), helping muscle and nerve function and helping to prevent artery hardening. More than half of all Americans have a magnesium deficiency, which is believed to be a factor in all kinds of health problems.
Stress (a trigger for BAD hormones) drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline (a BAD hormone). When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical (GOOD hormone) within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy. Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They lower blood pressure, create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body – which keep all systems running and efficient.
Anti-Aging Benefits of Sulfates
Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and ease migraine headaches. The sulfates in Epsom salt push toxins and heavy metals from the cells, ease muscle pain and help the body eliminate harmful substances. Skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it. (Note: by getting rid of toxins and salt you can expect some reduction in cellulite!)
How to Use Epsom Salts Effectively
Take relaxing, stress-relieving Epsom salt baths two to three times weekly.
Add 2 cups to a warm bath and soaking for at least 12 minutes.
For the added benefit of moisturizing your skin, add 1/2 cup olive oil or baby oil.
Do not use soap as it will interfere with the action of the salts.
Additional Beautification Uses
Exfoliate dead skin – In the shower or bath, mix a handful of Epsom salt with a tablespoon of bath or olive oil and rub all over your wet skin to exfoliate and soften. Rinse thoroughly.
Exfoliating face cleanser – To clean your face and exfoliate skin at the same time, mix a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleansing cream. Gently massage into skin and rinse with cold water.
Dislodge blackheads – Add a teaspoon of Epsom salt and 3 drops iodine into a half cup of boiling water. Apply this mixture to the blackheads with a cotton ball.
(To see how wonderfully nutritious Epsom Salts are sprinkle them once a week on your household plants (or in the garden) and watch them flourish!)
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