What are the dangers of epsom salt?

Updated February 21, 2017

People use Epsom salt in hot baths, as an ingredient in enemas or to relieve constipation. Epsom salt should be used with caution. Deaths from Epsom salt use have been reported since 1943, according to the disability Web resource Disabled World.


Using Epsom salt as a laxative is risky. Ingesting Epsom salt can kill a person by causing a condition called magnesium toxicity.


The same risks that apply to swallowing Epsom salt apply to using them as an ingredient in enemas. Up until the early 1970s, it was common to use Epsom salt in enemas for babies, but that practice ended after it was linked to some infant deaths, according to the Disabled World website.

Stomach Ailments

If you are experiencing stomach pain or nausea or if you have recently vomited, using Epsom salt can be extra risky due to the high probability of further irritation of your digestive tract. Numerous other methods of relief for stomach ailments are available and should be considered before you resort to Epsom salt.


Epsom salt may react adversely with certain medications such as doxycycline, minocycline, or penicclamine. Consult your doctor before using Epsom salt to avoid any health risks.

Nursing Women

Women who are pregnant or nursing who want to take Epsom salt for constipation should speak with their doctor first. A doctor may recommend another laxative treatment to avoid any risk of the mother or child falling victim to magnesium toxicity.

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