What are Bitter Salts and How to Use Them for Health Benefits
Bitter salts, also known as Epsom salts or magnesium sulfate, are a natural mineral compound that has many uses and benefits for the body and mind. Bitter salts can help relieve stress, ease muscle pain, improve skin health, detoxify the body, and more. In this article, we will explain what bitter salts are, how they work, and how to use them safely and effectively.
What are Bitter Salts?
Bitter salts are not actually salt, but a crystalline form of magnesium sulfate. Magnesium is an essential mineral that plays a role in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, such as regulating muscle and nerve function, blood pressure, blood sugar, and bone health. Sulfate is a compound that helps flush out toxins, improve absorption of nutrients, and form proteins in joints, brain tissue, and mucin proteins.
Bitter salts are naturally found in some mineral springs and salt lakes around the world, such as the Dead Sea and Epsom in England. They can also be produced synthetically by dissolving magnesium carbonate or oxide in sulfuric acid. Bitter salts have a bitter taste, hence the name, but they are odorless and colorless.
How do Bitter Salts Work?
Bitter salts work by providing the body with magnesium and sulfate through the skin. When dissolved in warm water, bitter salts can be absorbed through the skin into the bloodstream, where they can reach the cells and tissues that need them. This is especially beneficial for people who have low levels of magnesium or sulfate in their body due to poor diet, stress, medication use, or other factors.
Bitter salts can also help draw out excess fluids and toxins from the body through osmosis. This can reduce inflammation, swelling, bloating, and infection. Bitter salts can also stimulate the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that regulates mood, sleep, appetite, and pain perception. This can help relieve stress, anxiety, depression, and insomnia.
How to Use Bitter Salts?
Bitter salts can be used in various ways depending on the desired effect and preference. Here are some common ways to use bitter salts:
Bath: Add about two cups of bitter salts to a warm bath and soak for at least 15 minutes. This can help relax the muscles, soothe the skin, calm the nerves, and detoxify the body.
Foot soak: Add about half a cup of bitter salts to a basin of warm water and soak your feet for 10 to 20 minutes. This can help soften the skin, remove odor, treat fungal infections, and ease foot pain.
Scrub: Mix bitter salts with some oil (such as coconut oil or olive oil) and a few drops of essential oil (such as lavender or peppermint) to make a natural exfoliating scrub. Massage the scrub onto your skin in circular motions and rinse off with water. This can help remove dead skin cells, unclog pores, improve blood circulation, and moisturize the skin.
Compress: Dissolve some bitter salts in warm water and soak a cloth or towel in it. Apply the compress to the affected area (such as a sore muscle or an insect bite) for 10 to 15 minutes. This can help reduce pain, inflammation, and itching.
Sprinkle: Sprinkle some bitter salts around your plants or garden to deter pests and improve soil quality. Bitter salts can also be used as a natural fertilizer for plants that need more magnesium or sulfur.
What are the Precautions for Using Bitter Salts?
Bitter salts are generally safe and well-tolerated by most people when used externally and occasionally. However, there are some precautions to keep in mind before using bitter salts:
Consult your doctor: If you have any medical conditions (such as kidney disease or diabetes), are pregnant or breastfeeding, or are taking any medications (such as antibiotics or diuretics), consult your doctor before using bitter salts. Bitter salts may interact with some medications or affect your electrolyte balance.