Saturday, October 13, 2012

Epsom Salt Bath Benefits

I grew up with a container of Epsom salts next to my bathtub. My dad has a PhD in chemistry and worked for the EPA for over 30 years. He's always done some things that seem a little weird to me and one of those things was bathing in Epsom salt. It was always around so it seemed normal to take a salt bath, especially for sore muscles.

It was only as an adult I started buying it for my own bathroom and wondering what the science was behind it. How does it help sore muscles? Does it really flush toxins?

Epsom salt was named for a bitter saline spring at Epsom in Surrey, England. It is not actually salt but a naturally occurring mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. It has long been known as a natural remedy for many health conditions.

Magnesium and sulfate are readily absorbed through the skin and so soaking in an Epsom salt bath gives your body the benefits of these minerals. 

Magnesium regulates the activity of over 325 enzymes in the body. It reduces inflammation, helps muscle and nerve function and helps prevent artery hardening. Most Americans are magnesium deficient but an Epsom salt bath is a great way to absorb magnesium. Studies indicate that the magnesium absorbed during bathing may raise serotonin levels (the chemical in the brain that creates a feeling of well being), and may also offset excess levels of adrenalin caused by everyday stress.

Sulfates help improve the absorption of nutrients, flush toxins and help ease migraine headaches. The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells and help the body eliminate harmful substances to ease muscle pain. 

Adding minerals to your bath causes reverse osmosis which actually pulls salt out of the body and harmful toxins too.

A study done at the School of Biosciences at the University of Birmingham in 2004 measured the magnesium levels of volunteers before and after taking baths in Epsom salt. Researchers concluded that prolonged soaking in an Epsom salt bath is a safe and easy way to increase sulfate and magnesium levels. According to the study it's best to bathe in 2 cups of Epsom salt dissolved in about 15 gallons of water for 12 minutes, 2-3 times a week.

After finding so many positive effects associated with soaking in Epsom salts I'm going to make it a more regular part of my routine.

Monday, October 8, 2012

Menu Plan 10/8- 10/14

Autumn is here and it's beautiful! And cold. The leaves are everywhere and my kids are having a great time raking piles and jumping in them. My oldest loves mazes so every fall he makes a maze out of the leaves and when he's done we attempt to navigate it.

My three year old Luke has become a determined tree climber with no fear of heights. He's picked a small tree in the back yard and calls it "Lukey's Tree." He takes advantage of my mommy distraction moments and climbs up high before I can stop him. So far he's showing such amazing toddler climbing talents that Joe and I are both awed and appalled.

Last week I tried four new crockpot recipes that were ok but NOT loved by all. I think we all universally hated the Lentil Soup but the other recipes were ok. Joe loved the Crockpot Chicken Tacos  while I did not. I'm not trying anything new this week but I want to get back to testing more slow cooking recipes next week.

Menu Plan 10/8- 10/14
Monday: Dinner out at Moretti's (kids eat free;)
Tuesday: Baked salmon, quinoa, steamed broccoli
Wednesday: Pasta with homemade marinara sauce, french bread
Thursday: Crockpot chicken, potatoes & carrots
Friday: Orange chicken, steamed green beans, brown rice
Saturday: Homemade Pizza
Sunday: Ravioli with marinara sauce

Snacks: Healthy Pumpkin Muffins, smoothies

You can find more menus at Menu Plan Monday at I'm An Organizing Junkie.


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