It’s easy to find, affordable, has many uses and is named from a saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. It’s been used for centuries and was grandma’s favourite remedy. Now it’s back in fashion as a cost-saving, green living wonder. Yes, it’s Epsom Salts and it’s a household must-have!

Did you know that Epsom Salts is actually a mineral compound made up of Magnesium and Sulfate and is not really a salt at all? We are told that both Magnesium and Sulfate can be readily absorbed into the skin so that the health benefits are available to the body almost immediately.

More than 300 enzymes in our bodies are regulated by Magnesium which we know helps to reduce inflammation and to alleviate hardening of the arteries. Sulfates on the other hand help to flush out toxins from our bodies and to improve the speed at which we absorb nutrients. And this from an inexpensive, off-the-shelf product that I believe is truly underrated!

Here are some of my favourite uses for magic Epsom Salts that I recommend you could try too:

Foot soak

Tired and achy feet can be remedied by an indulgent Epsom Salts soak! Add one half of a cup of this wonder product to a foot bath and soak for 30 minutes or as long as you are comfortable. Add a few drops of organically produced essential oil to turn your foot soak session into a spa experience. My favourite oils to add are citrus or lavender in summer and neroli or lavender in winter. The heavenly smell of any of these oils soothe and delight me. Complete the experience by sipping a cup of Organic Macha Green Tea with a squish of lemon or a mint leaf. Aah…home comforts!

Bath soak

It is said that Epsom Salts (particularly the Magnesium) can be absorbed through the skin to relieve muscle tension, pain and inflammation in the joints and even alleviate tension headaches and abdominal cramps. Add up to a cup of Salts to your bath and relax for a while. Here too, a few drops of organic essential oil added to your bath, a candle (please try my new organic Amka or Usiku candles and let me know what you think…) can turn a pain-relieving bath soak into a home spa experience.

Body exfoliator

Rub a handful of Epsom Salts over your skin while it is damp, to remove dead cells and leave your skin smooth, soft and healthier. Take this idea a step further by making your own scented body scrub. To 1 cup of Epsom Salts add one half a cup of neutral oil (almond, Jojoba) and 5 – 10 drops of essential oil of your choice. A lavender body exfoliator? Fabulous! Remember to use organic only….

Hand wash

Mix equal parts of Epsom Salts and organic olive oil to create a moisturising hand cleanser that is also environmentally friendly. Store this next to all the sinks around your home and use it regularly to keep hands soft and clean.

Spread the cheer to your houseplants

Epsom Salts is a popular supplement in organic gardening for those who, like me, are interested in “green” living. It’s affordable, gentle and environmentally friendly and does not build up in the soil.

Start by adding two tablespoons of Epsom Salts to one gallon of water and substitute this solution for normal watering once a month. This is especially useful to apartment dwellers with no garden space as it will help them receive a bounty of blooms within a confined space. It’s also a wonderful way to nurture veggies grown on a balcony but, more about this another time….