What is Epsom salt?

Have you wondered what is Epsom salt and what is it good for? This mineral compound has been used for centuries for a wide range of purposes – as a natural remedy with plentiful health benefits, for beauty purposes to improve the quality of hair and skin, for household related uses, as fertilizer in gardens etc. It is a grandma’s cure-all,  its potential uses are numerous.

What is exactly is Epsom salt? Although commonly called Epsom salt – after a town Epsom in England where it was first discovered, it has nothing to do with table or sea salt. It is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound in a crystal form  – it forms white or colorless needle-shaped crystals that make it look like a sea salt. This compound is scientifically known as hydrated magnesium sulfate.

Composition of Epsom salt differes from that of table or sea salt. Epsom salt is made of magnesium, sulfur, oxygen and water (MgS04-7H2O), while table salts or sea salts are composed of at least 97.5 percent sodium chloride (NaCl). Epsom salt is a recognized natural source of magnesium and sulfur that can help improve health in numerous ways. If you were recommended Epsom salt specifically, you should know that sea salt won´t make the trick.

Epsom salt is somtimes referred to as a bitter salt. This is because of its bitter tasting. The sour taste is due to the small amounts of dissolved magnesium ions Mg2. Magnesium ion in large amounts functions as an ionic laxative –  Epsom salt is often used as a natural laxative.