Is It Safe to Use Epsom Salts?

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  • Written By: Harriette Halepis
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 20 October 2019
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Epsom salts are made from magnesium sulfate, which is a chemical compound that contains magnesium and sulfur. These salts have been used for centuries for a number of uses ranging from farming to medical applications. Whether or not they are safe largely depends on how they are used.

Using Epsom salts as a laxative is quite popular, though this use may also be harmful to your health. Even though the Food and Drug Administration within the United States has stated that these salts are safe to ingest, some researchers and scientists do not agree with this claim. Those who disagree with the ingestion of these salts claim that too much magnesium can harm the body and may even result in death.

Before ingesting Epsom salts, make sure to consult with your doctor. These salts can be a great alternative to other laxatives that may not be as gentle on your body, though only your doctor can determine what kinds of laxatives you should be taking. If any amount of cramping occurs following an Epsom salt-based treatment, stop using these salts immediately. This is especially true if you are pregnant or breastfeeding.


Many people use Epsom salt gel to relieve pain caused by fibromyalgia and osteoporosis. In addition, these salts can be used for a number of ailments including boils, abscesses, herpes, shingles, and muscular pain. Also, this substance is believed to reduce swelling and inflammation, which is why these salts are often added to a hot bath.

Whether you plan to soak in Epsom salts or to ingest them, using more than a package directs is never a good idea. The contents of packaged salts do not change too much from manufacturer to manufacturer, so selecting any product will likely provide the same results. These salts should not be confused with sea salt, table salt, or any other kind of salt. Epsom salts are largely in a category all its own, and should never be used as a substitute for sea or table salt. They can be purchased online, in pharmacies, and even in most supermarkets.


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Post 4

I wanted to use epsom salts to simulate snow on my dining room wood table. Will they mar the wood surface?

Post 2

You can use some epsom salts for plants as a kind of fertilizer but don't use too much. Epsom salts are supposed to be particularly good for tomatoes as well as peppers and even roses. They can help if you've got a bit of a magnesium deficiency in your soil.

Just add about one tablespoon of epsom salts to the soil when you are planting or add some to the water once or twice a week. You might want to look up how much for each plant though.

It is also a good idea to test your soil first to make sure epsom salts are suitable. Or ask around the area to see if anyone else is using epsom salts as garden fertilizer.

Post 1

Epsom salts are pretty safe, but you have to be careful with anything to use it in moderation.

We use epsom salts as a foot bath. I get really sore feet from standing all day at a cash register, and sometimes after a night out they can be quite sore and swollen as well.

And my mother sometimes gets quite swollen and sore feet too, just because she's at that age and her circulation isn't very good.

So, I give her a foot rub when her feet don't feel good and then we both soak our feet in an epsom salt bath.

Some benefits include removing foot odor and making my feet a bit softer as well as helping them hurt less.

We use about half a cup of salts for a few gallons of water.

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