Well as it turns out, quite a lot. Epsom salt is not actually salt at all, its a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate, the name comes from Epsom in England, this is where the original compound was identified, it was initially used as a treatment for constipation and then as a spa treatment; people flocked to Epsom in the 1600s to experience the healing waters.
Unfortunately by the 1700s a huge amount of salt had been removed through mining and most of the spa’s were closed and excavation was stopped. Today Epsom salt has to be created and it’s important to buy a product that is as pure as possible. Wendyl’s Premium Epsom Salts is 99.5%
This remedy from days gone by has an incredible amount of uses once you start investigating, but so you don’t have too, here’s our top picks.
Make a salt spray to thicken hair
For splinter removal, soak the area in concentrated Epsom Salt water or make a compress
Dissolve a cup in a warm bath, hop in for 20 minutes to help relieve tired and aching muscles
Sprinkle one handful per square meter around tomato and citrus plants, water well to distribute, promotes strong growth and yield
Clean tiles and grout by mixing 50/50 with dish wash liquid, apply to the area, leave for 5 minutes then scrub off
Rub a handful over damp skin to remove dead skin cells
and leave your skin feeling clean and soft
To help treat constipation take 2tsp dissolved in a glass of water once a day
If you’d like to get rid of slugs, sprinkle around your plants to deter them and give your plants a boost
For more plentiful roses add a tablespoon a week to the soil around rose bushes before watering for faster growth
To help with itchy skin or bug bites, dissolve a tablespoon in
1/2 cup of warm water, let cool, then spritz on or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching.
Clean your washing machine by filling with hot water, then add 500ml of white vinegar and one cup of Epsom Salts, let the machine agitate for about a minute, then stop the cycle and let the solution soak for about an hour. Finish the cycle.
Make a facial wash by adding a pinch to your usual face cleanser (or to your oil cleansing routine) for a skin exfoliating magnesium boost.
(Image credit: Bourne Hall Museum, Epsom)
Here’s more on the story of its discovery, from eic.rsc.org
“The summer of 1618 saw England gripped by drought, but as Henry Wicker, a local cowherd, walked across Epsom Common he came across a pool of water from which his thirsty cattle refused to drink. The water tasted bitter and on evaporation yielded a salt which had a remarkable effect: it was a laxative. This became the famous Epsom’s salts (magnesium sulfate, MgSO4) and a treatment for constipation for the next 350 years.”