The healing benefits of bath salts, both Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts, have been known for centuries. Today, Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts are a popular, natural ingredient in many home made bath salts. They both have benefits that make taking a soak in the bath not only a relaxing experience, but a healing one too, as the chemical components of both salts are readily absorbed through the skin. Here’s some facts about the origins, composition and benefits of both types of salts.
Origin of Epsom Salts
Epsom salts were named after the town of Epsom in Surrey, England. The salts were originally distilled from the springs located near the town. Today, Epsom salts are widely available throughout the world and the term refers to the chemical compound, Magnesium sulfate, which commonly occurs in many similar geological environments such as those located near Epsom in England.
Origin of Dead Sea Salts
Dead Sea salts originate from the Dead Sea, a salt lake that is located on the borders of Jordan, Israel and the West Bank. The Dead Sea has been known for its therapeutic properties for thousands of years. The lake is made up of 27% salts whereas normal sea water is made up of just 3% salts (source). For this reason, Dead Sea salts are a popular healing component of natural bath salts.
Composition of Epsom Salts and Dead Sea Salts
Epsom salt is chemically composed of magnesium, sulfur and oxygen. It has the appearance of tiny crystals, similar to that of table salt which is probably why it is thought of as a “salt”; technically, however, it is not the same as table salt, Sodium chloride (source).
Dead Sea salts are chemically composed of magnesium, potassium, calcium chloride and bromides. This differs to regular sea salt in that regular sea salt is principally composed of Sodium chloride. Although there are many salt lakes around the world, including the Great Salt Lake in Utah, the Dead Sea is unique in its chemical composition due to a high percentage of Magnesium chloride as oppose to Sodium chloride.
Benefits of Epsom Salts
Epsom salts have a number of healing benefits. Epsom salts are high in magnesium, a compound that many Americans are deficient in (source). Epsom salts can help to:
- flush out toxins in the body
- help to form proteins in the joints and brain tissue
- exfoliate skin
- relieve stress
- relieve arthritis
- relieve muscle pain
- prevent blood clots
- grow greener and more healthy plants.
Benefits of Dead Sea Salts
Dead Sea salts also have a number of healing benefits. The various chemical components in Dead Sea salts have the following benefits:
- magnesium – calm the nervous system, reduce fluid retention, slow down the aging of skin
- calcium – strengthen bones and nails, increase circulation
- potassium – balance skin moisture, energize the body
- sodium – balance lymphatic fluid and consequently the immune system.
Both Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts are used primarily as a natural ingredient in bath salts. Epsom salts are also used in the garden to encourage higher yields and greener plants, due to the high level of magnesium and sulfur found in Epsom salts. They are also used as part of a natural household cleaner and in many beauty applications, such as face cleansers and foot soaks.
Epsom Salts Vs. Dead Sea Salts
Both Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts have therapeutic benefits. So, how do you choose between the two for a bath time soak? Probably the most beneficial way to absorb the benefits of Epsom salts and Dead Sea salts is to combine the two ingredients! That way, you will benefit from every possible advantage that both salts offer. Consult a medical practitioner first, if you are pregnant or have a medical condition that might be affected by the use of such salts.