Every night when my father comes back home from work, he takes a bowl of warm water, adds a spoon of Epsom salt, and soaks his feet. It’s natural enough to want to soak your feet after a hard day on the farm, especially when the days are often long.
I never asked my father why he always added Epsom salt to the warm water. He is now nearly eighty and during a recent visit to the chiropodist, he was told that he had the feet of a young man. As he told me this, I made a quick mental note and fleetingly thought that perhaps it was something to do with soaking his feet for all those years.
I thought that it was a daft notion, but decided to see what I could find out about the properties of Epsom salt. I became more interested when I discovered that many spa salons also use them as a foot soak to help cleanse the feet of impurities. This was just the start of things and I discovered that Epsom salt has many applications for humans, animals, and plants.
For the moment, I will only be focusing on its benefits to humans.
Health Benefits of Epsom Salt
There are many benefits of Epsom Salt, and the common ones are discussed below:
John Pollard describes “The Gallbladder Flush” in his book, “The Digestive Awareness Diet”. This flush involves drinking a large amount of organic apple juice for three days, drinking a mixture of grapefruit juice and olive oil, and drinking Epsom salt water the following morning. The premise of this is that the apple juice will soften the gallbladder and loosen the stools, and the Epsom salt will evacuate the toxins dumped into the digestive tube to improve digestion. Please note that this is only a quick overview of the process. 
There are several other books that mention the Epsom salt detox as it acts as a laxative. It also opens the capillaries and is therefore effective in removing gallstones.
Relieves Muscular Pain
An Epsom salt bath can promote detoxification all over the skin and the salts are traditionally used as a soaking agent to bring relief from muscular pain and stiffness.
Epsom salt is rich in magnesium sulfate and bathing with Epsom salts not only makes magnesium readily available to the body, but also draws out toxins, and as magnesium is a natural stress reliever, the bath lifts the mood and aids in relaxation. According to the National Academy of Sciences, the majority of people living in America today are deficient in magnesium. This is related to fast-food living, as well as modern farming methods.
The Academy believes that this is why there is such a high incidence of stress-related illnesses, digestive problems, arthritis, osteoporosis, chronic fatigue, heart disease, and strokes.
Research indicates that raising magnesium levels can promote a healthy heart by improving circulation and lowering blood pressure. It also improves the body’s capacity to use insulin. Magnesium is necessary to sustain calcium levels in the blood.
Sulfates are not easily obtained through the food that we eat but are absorbed through the skin. They stimulate the pancreas to make digestive enzymes and assist in detoxifying the body. Epsom salt flushes out toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body eliminate harmful substances.
Epsom salts are a natural emollient and exfoliator and many aromatherapy skin care products incorporate carrier oils, essential oils, and sea salt with Epsom salts. With a little know-how, it is easy to experiment and make your own skin scrubs and cleansers.
Acts as a Conditioner
Mixing Epsom salts with a few drops of your favorite essential oil acts as a good hair conditioner that will add body to the hair.
Mixing half a teaspoon of Epsom salts into any cleansing cream will make an effective facial cleanser, which can then be massaged into the skin and rinsed off with lukewarm water. And depending on the skin type, different cleansers can be made with Epsom salt as one of the key ingredients. 
Normal to Oily Skin: An excellent homemade skin mask can be made from a tablespoon of cognac, a quarter cup of dried milk powder, the juice of a lemon, five drops of lavender essential oil, and half a teaspoon of Epsom salt.
Dry Skin: For those with dry skin, two teaspoons of mayonnaise, five drops of lavender essential oil, a quarter of a cup of grated carrots, and half a teaspoon of Epsom salts can be mixed together to prepare a facial cleanser.
Experts say that soaking in an Epsom salt bath at least three times a week will help you feel better, look better, and have more energy. So, maybe it’s time that I took a leaf out of my father’s book.
Written by HealthyNewAge, the natural care website and blog.