SEP 11, 2017 3:41 PM PDT

The Science Behind Epsom Salt Baths

WRITTEN BY: Xuan Pham

Epsom salt baths are often recommended as an easy at-home remedy for sore muscles. But not many people know what these salts are and why it works.

Epsom salts are not the same as the table salt sprinkled on French fries. The salt refers to the molecular structure of the compound, and the name "Epsom" comes from Epsom, England where these salts are found in natural springs.

In water, the salts dissolve into magnesium and sulfate, minerals that play important roles in how the body functions. In particular, magnesium can be absorbed through the skin, which helps to relax the muscle and loosen stiff joints.

In addition to soothing sore muscles, Epsom salt baths can also be used as a home treatment for bruises, arthritis, fibromyalgia, and psoriasis.
About the Author
  • I am a human geneticist, passionate about telling stories to make science more engaging and approachable. Find more of my writing at the Hopkins BioMedical Odyssey blog and at TheGeneTwist.com.
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