Thursday, 20 December 2012

EPSOM SALT BATHS: A natural way to feel better fast

epsom salt Bath

All traditions support bathing with most ancient civilizations highly valuing baths especially those with therapeutic added salts, minerals and oils.

Epsom Salt was discovered in 1618 in Epsom in the UK.  

What are the benefits of Epsom salt baths?
  1. Epsom Salt baths are an effective way to increase magnesium levels in the body
  2. Epsom Salt baths help our body detoxify more effectively

Two top speakers at this year's Weston Price Foundation Conference recommend them.
Dr. Campbell McBride, the creator of the Gut And Psychology Syndrome (GAPS) protocol for brain and digestive issues, was adamant that one should use nightly baths some with Epsom Salts to help detoxify.
Stephanie Seneff, PhD from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), talked at length during her presentations about the importance of sulphur in our body and how it’s possible that sulphur is the missing ingredient to overcome chronic diseases like cancer, obesity and Alzheimer’s.  She recommends taking regular Epsom Salt baths.

Epsom salts are Magnesium Sulphate.  From the name, you can see the two biggest parts are Magnesium and Sulphur (there’s oxygen atom mixed in too).
It has many uses other than potential therapeutic baths.  It’s used in farming, manufacturing and brewing beer.  

What is the magnesium doing?
According to Dr. Carolyn Dean author the Magnesium Miracle “Of the 325 magnesium-dependent enzymes the most important enzyme reaction involves the creation of energy by activating adenosine triphosphate (ATP), the fundamental energy storage molecule of the body.”
And Dr. Steven Johnson agrees adding, “The range of pathologies associated with Mg deficiency is staggering: hypertension (cardiovascular disease, kidney and liver damage, etc.), peroxynitrite damage (migraine, multiple sclerosis, glaucoma, Alzheimer’s disease, etc.), recurrent bacterial infection due to low levels of nitric oxide in the cavities (sinuses, vagina, middle ear, lungs, throat, etc.), fungal infections due to a depressed immune system, thiamine deactivation (low gastric acid, behavioral disorders, etc.), premenstrual syndrome, Ca deficiency (osteoporosis, mood swings, etc.), tooth cavities, hearing loss, diabetes type II, cramps, muscle weakness, impotence, aggression, fibromas, potassium deficiency (arrhythmia, hypertension, some forms of cancer), Iron accumulation, etc.” (2)
And “Virtually all the components of the Metabolic Syndrome of diabetes, high blood pressure, obesity and lipid disorders are associated with low magnesium.” Dr. Michael R. Eades M.D.
So as you can see magnesium is very important for our health.  And most people don't get enough in their diet.  Also if your digestion is sub-optimal, then there’s no guarantee the magnesium you’re ingesting is actually being absorbed into your body.

What is the sulphate doing?

Sulphur is the 8th most common element in the human body by mass (4).  It’s used in every area of the body. 
Sulphate is needed for
  • proper pancreatic enzyme action
  • is essential at forming the mucin proteins that line the gut walls
  • is necessary for the formation of brain tissue and proper neurotransmitter function
  • is needed for proper joint lubrication and function
  • Sulphur containing compounds are a very important part of Phase 2 detox in the liver
Bad digestion, bad brain status and hurting joints are all things many of us struggle with.  Sulphur plays a major role in all of these.
There are 3 ways to get more suphates into your body.  Eating it, absorbing it through the skin, or creating it from methionine and cysteine.  The problem is: the ability to absorb it from eating sulphur containing foods is very inefficient (5).  And if you have IBS or any gut dysbiosis,  it’s even worse (6).

How to take an Epsom Salt Bath

Fill your bath with hot water (ideally with the chlorine removed - Healthy House bath ball or whole house water filter or Nikken shower filter if over the bath)

Add up to 1 kg of epsom salts
Skin brush
Soak in the bath for 20mins or more and allow the water to cool before getting out.
Go to bed.
You may find that you feel dizzy, exhausted, need to pee after the bath.  This is your body ridding itself of toxicity.  But you will also find you will sleep deeply after an epsom salts bath and feel better in the morning.

It is a good idea to have a bath once a week and 2-3x a week if feeling a bit under the weather or very stressed.  If you have children, this is a great remedy if they are showing signs of coming down with a cold.  It's my first port of call for all the family.  9 times out of 10 you feel better in the morning.

N.B. If you have varicose veins or are pregnant please ask a health practitioner before using epsom salts.

1 -

A positive attitude with TED

For a fascinating insight into attitude view this talk available on the inspiring TED website, The Happy Secret to Better Work.