Epsom salt is made of crystalized magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, not salt (sodium) as one may expect. It has many wonderful uses, but my nine favorites are listed below.

  1. Epsom bath soak: Add 2 cups of Epsom salt to a warm bath and soak for 20 minutes to help relieve muscle sprains and tame tendonitis. Your body absorbs the magnesium through your skin, which helps to relax your muscles and improve your sleep.

  2. Shower and foot scrub: A homemade Epsom scrub can provide a boost of magnesium and super soft skin. Mix 1 cup of Epsom salt with ¼ cup of almond oil and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Store any left overs in an airtight container since it will keep for months at a time!

  3. Facial exfoliation: Upgrade your favorite facial cleanser by adding a pinch of Epsom salt for weekly skin exfoliation.

  4. Constipation relief: For occasional constipation, a teaspoon of Epsom salt dissolved in water can help clear the pipes. As always, check with your health care practitioner first.

  5. Splinter removal: Soak in concentrated Epsom salt water solution to soften skin enough to easily pull out a splinter.

  6. Bug bites: Dissolve a tablespoon of Epsom salt in to ½ cup of water. Spritz on itchy skin or apply a wet compress to help relieve itching.

  7. Minor sunburn relief: Mix 1 tablespoon of Epsom salt with ½ cup of water and spritz on to minor sunburns to help take out some of the heat.

  8. Tile + grout cleaner: Mix equal parts of liquid dish soap and Epsom salts to scrub tile and grout. If the grout is especially dirty, add a bit of ammonia to help. Rinse well for a streak free shine. To shine your floors, combine ½ cup of Epsom salt to a gallon of warm sudsy water. Add more salt if your floor tiles are especially dirty.

  9. Roses, tomatoes, and houseplants: Your plants love magnesium just as much as you do! Add a tablespoon of Epsom salt to the soil before planting tomatoes to boost growth. You can also help your houseplants grow by adding a couple tablespoons of Epsom to their water to keep them extra green. Epsom even helps roses bushes; sprinkle a tablespoon a week to the soil around the bush before watering for faster growth.

Dr. Susanna Satten, D.Ac, L.Ac. is a licensed acupuncturist in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania specializing in the treatment of emotions, chronic and acute pain, fertility, and women’s health. She loves sharing her passion for natural approaches to improving health through her online articles and at her acupuncture clinic on 17th Street near Rittenhouse Square. Call 215-469-1750 to schedule your appointment, or book online at