Epsom salt has been used medicinally for hundreds of years. The salts come from a material in the earth called dolomite, which is rich in magnesium sulphate. The compound came by the name of Epsom salt because the material was distilled from waters near Epsom, England. The "salt" part of the name refers to the chemical structure of the compound. Epsom salt has many uses, but as a medicine, it is used to treat heart arrhythmia, autism, digestive problems, fibromyalgia, osteoporosis, wounds, and skin eruptions.
Use Epsom salt in a soothing bath. The salt has anti-inflammatory properties that are particularly useful in post-surgery wounds of the extremities. About a quarter-cup per 1 quart of water dissolved in warm water is the standard treatment. It can also be used to help the itching and lesions associated with herpes and shingles.
Buy Epsom salt in gel form to help fibromyalgia, a medical condition characterised by widespread pain in muscles, ligaments, and tendons, and osteoporosis, a thinning of the bone tissue that creates pain and tenderness. Anecdotal evidence from users suggests that using Epsom salt in gel form helps the aches and discomfort of these two conditions. The gel form can be purchased at drug stores, at health food stores, or online.
Apply Epsom salt to dehydrate boils and abscesses. Epsom salt has drying properties that can be beneficial in the dehydration of wounds. Applying a poultice of Epsom salt can also help treat pimples and acne, and helps in removing blackheads.
Use Epsom salts for foot wound care, as advised on the James River Foot & Ankle Center website. Epsom salts has a natural soothing and anti-inflammatory effect on ingrown nails and on wounds from foot surgery. Consult with your podiatrist about after-surgery care. Sore feet are relieved by Epsom salts baths. The skin absorbs the magnesium, which relieves aching muscles and tissues.
Try Epsom salt instead of topical antibiotic creams. Overuse of antibiotics is becoming a concern for many people, so try an Epsom salt soak on wounds instead to stop infection. A bath of a half-cup per gallon of water, four times a day, will draw the infection out of a superficial wound. If the wound does not improve within two to three days, see your physician for additional care.
Draw out a splinter with Epsom salt -- particularly in fingers and toes which are easiest to keep immersed in the solution. Soak the area in a half-cup of Epsom salt dissolved in water. The Epsom Salt Council says it will soften the skin around the splinter and dry the area enough to allow you to easily pull the splinter out.
Soak burns in Epsom salt. About a quarter-cup per quart of water for 10 minutes as a soak helps dry blisters and soothe pain. Epsom salt's mild antiseptic action helps keep burns from getting infected. Burn scabs will heal quickly without scarring.