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19 Surprising Ways Epsom Salts Can Improve Your Life

I can recall vividly—and count on one hand—the migraine headaches I’ve had in my life, all of them before age ten. Once I turned double digits, I outgrew them. Until about two years ago.

With no warning at all, there I was back to my 8-year-old self, flat on my back with a raging migraine. Why then, after all these years?

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In reading up on the latest findings on what might cause my migraine headaches, I discovered the importance of magnesium to overall health.

Turns out that an estimated 68 percent of the U.S. population suffer from magnesium deficiency causing all kinds of health issues—one of them being migraine headaches. One study from the National Center for Biotechnology Information, U.S. National Library of Medicine concludes that all migraine patients should be treated with magnesium. 

You could have knocked me over with a feather when I learned that common, ordinary Epsom salts is one of the richest sources of magnesium. Studies like this one offer scientific evidence that magnesium can be absorbed through the skin—by soaking in it. In a nice warm bath! Just make sure the bathwater is not too hot, otherwise your skin will eliminate rather than absorb

You can be sure that Epsom salts soaks are now part of my routine to boost my magnesium and hopefully continue to avoid migraines in the future.

In the nearly two years since my recurring migraine experience, I’ve been working Epsom salt baths into my regular routine and I have not had even the hint of another migraine.

Epsom salts, also known as hydrated magnesium sulfate (not to be confused with table salt, which is sodium chloride and NOT even close to the same thing) is plentiful, inexpensive, and available at drugstores, supermarkets, and online. And it has dozens of other practical uses and health benefits, too!


Sedative bath

Soak in a warm bath to soothe muscle pain and aches and to keep you feeling rejuvenated and your skin hydrated and healthy. Add two cups of Epsom salts to a bathtub of very warm water (double that to four cups if you have an extra deep soaking tub) and soak for at least 12 minutes. Treat yourself to a soak three times weekly for optimal results.

Sleep aid

Because of its ability to soothe skin and relax muscles, Epsom salts can contribute to a good night’s rest. Take a nice, warm Epsom salts bath right before bed and say goodbye to insomnia.

Sprains and bruises

Soaking in a warm Epsom salts bath will reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises.

Foot soak

To combat the swelling and soothe sore feet, add 1/2 cup Epsom salts to a gallon of lukewarm water and soak your feet for 15 minutes at the end of the day. Especially helpful for painfuil ingrown toenails.

Splinter remover

Soak in Epsom salts to draw out the splinter. It really works.

Sunburn relief

Epsom salt’s anti-inflammatory properties make it a great tool for treating mild sunburn irritation. Take an empty spray bottle, mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with one cup of water and spray on the affected area.

Bug bites

To help relieve common insect bites, just mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with one cup of water, dip a cotton washcloth in the solution, and apply to the affected area. Relief!

Bee stings

Battle minor swelling from bee stings by using an anti-inflammatory Epsom salt compress. Mix two tablespoons of Epsom salts with a cup of cold water and soak a cotton washcloth in the solution. Apply to affected area. (If you have severe swelling or trouble breathing following a bee sting, seek emergency medical attention.)


Facial cleanser

To clean your face at night, mix a half-teaspoon of Epsom salt with your regular cleanser. Massage into skin and rinse with cool water.


Massage handfuls of Epsom salts over your wet skin, starting with your feet and continuing up towards the face. Rinse well in a bath or shower.

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Dry lips

Try giving your lips a deeper treatment using Epsom salt. Combine a few tablespoons of salt with a teaspoon of petroleum jelly (such as Vaseline). Apply and gently rub it in. The solution helps remove dry skin and will leave your lips looking fuller and healthier.


Adding Epsom salts to conditioner helps you to rid your hair of excess oil, which can weigh hair down and leave it looking flat. Create your own homemade volumizer by combining equal parts Epsom salt and conditioner. Apply and leave in for 20 minutes before rinsing. Repeat the treatment weekly. Consult with a professional if this treatment might have any negative affect on colored hair.


Epsom salts’ natural exfoliation properties will help soften rough and callused skin, leaving your feet feeling spa-fresh. Add 1/2 to 1 cup Epsom salts to the foot bath.



Tests show that Epsom salts (not table salt, which is sodium chloride much different and would prove deadly to lawns and gardens) help produce more flowers, larger plants and make fruit taste sweeter.

House plants

Feed houseplants monthly by adding 2 tablespoons Epsom salt per gallon of water.


Apply 1 tablespoon Epsom salt diluted in water per foot of tomato plant height per plant.


Feed three pounds of Epsom salt to every 1,250 square feet of lawn. Apply with a spreader or dilute the Epsom salt in water and use a sprayer.


Use 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet by diluting in water. Apply 3 times each year over the root zone.


To feed evergreens, azaleas, and rhododendron, dilute 1 tablespoon in water for every nine square feet and apply over the root zone every 2 to 4 weeks.

I hope that some of this information is helpful, especially for my readers who suffer from debilitating headaches. Even if you’ve never had a migraine, do yourself a favor and consider how making magnesium may improve your health. I’m convinced there is something to this “miracle.”


First published: 6-13-17; Updated 10-27-21


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10 replies
    • Mary Hunt says:

      Epsom salt contains magnesium, which is beneficial to good health. It “softens” water which aids in cleaning. It is an abrasive. It nourishes the soil to fertilize plants, vegetables etc. I’m not sure what you are asking, specifically.

  1. Gail says:

    Epsom salt bath may be fine for migraine. I was taking a magnesium supplement and it affected my kidneys (I have 2) as well. So use caution with the supplements.

    • Sheri says:

      I was told by an ER dr to take Magnesium Citrate only. The other ones cases kidney stones. And I take 500mg every night for years and no kidney problems. I take it because I have an abnormal heart rhythm problem and it has stopped that as long as I take it. Look it up on the web about taking Magnesium Citrate or the other ones you tried.

  2. Judy says:

    Caution with magnesium if you have poor functioning kidneys or only one kidney. I have only one kidney and my doctor warned me to limit use of magnesium as it can overwork kidneys.

  3. Merryl Christen says:

    Hi Mary, magnesium also strengthens fingernails that are splitting or weak. I discovered this remedy by accident. It works!


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