Epsom salt, also known as magnesium sulfate, is a popular home remedy with several benefits. Now, a new study is focusing on the potential use of Epsom salt to help fibromyalgia patients. The researchers are investigating how Epsom salt baths affect patients and reduce symptoms. Scientists have previously noted that magnesium deficiencies may play a role in fibromyalgia, so soaking in Epsom salt may help.
Understanding Epsom Salt
Although it is commonly called Epsom salt, magnesium sulfate is also known as Epsal, Mag 2 and Magnesium-Rougier. The Mayo Clinic reports that magnesium sulfate can be purchased in the form of powders, suspensions, ointments and crystals. Although it has a variety of uses, some of the most popular ones include fighting constipation and relieving muscle pain. It is important to note that magnesium sulfate is considered a laxative, so you should consult a doctor if you have concerns.
Epsom Salt and Fibromyalgia
Patients and doctors have previously reported that they noticed a reduction in symptoms after using Epsom salt because of the high magnesium content. Research indicates that many fibromyalgia patients also suffer from magnesium deficiencies. A study from researchers in Minnesota focused on the use of transdermal magnesium to help patients improve the quality of their life. The study participants received a spray bottle with magnesium and applied it to their limbs two times a day. The results reveal that patients felt better and noticed fewer symptoms.
Benefits of Epsom Salt
The benefits of Epsom salt vary, but there are several trends that have emerged from studies. The advantages of using magnesium sulfate include reducing muscle pain, relieving stress and reducing soreness. Patients have also used Epsom salt to relieve itching and deal with colds. They report feeling relaxed after using the product, and some have noticed a reduction in bruising.
Soaking in magnesium sulfate is an easy way to use the product. Dr. Rosemary Waring shares that it can be helpful for “treating minor inflammation and muscle aches.” The easiest way to use Epsom salt is to add it to warm water, but you want to follow the instructions on the product you purchase. The magnesium sulfate can be absorbed through the skin.
New Fibromyalgia Study
Researchers are interested in investigating the use of Epsom salt among fibromyalgia patients. The Daily Sentinel reports that study participants will be using pools of magnesium sulfate and staying in the water for an hour. Then, they will analyze their pain levels and symptoms. These float sessions will be used to examine the impact of magnesium sulfate on improving the patients' lives.
Side Effects and Other Risks
Before you try Epsom salt, you may want to consider the side effects. Although they are minimal, it is still important to be aware of them. Epsom salt is a laxative, so you should not take it with other medications that have a laxative effect. In addition, patients with rashes, irritation or infections should talk to a doctor before soaking in the solution. If you notice new irritation or other problems, then you should stop using the product and consult a medical professional.
It is easy to find Epsom salt in most stores and pharmacies. You can also purchase it at online retailers. It is generally sold in large containers, so you will be able to get more than one use out of it. You want to avoid purchasing your Epsom salt at hardware stores or agricultural retailers because they may be selling a different grade of the product. The Epsom Salt Council recommends that consumers purchase packages with the USP or United States Pharmacopeia label because it indicates that the product has been tested.