Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral. Also called magnesium sulphate, Epsom salt has a wide variety of uses. Sold at pharmacies, gardening speciality shops and other stores, Epsom salt is composed of rocklike crystals and is relatively inexpensive. Use Epsom salt for health and beauty purposes, in the garden and many other ways.
Epsom salt is used to treat different conditions of the body in a variety of ways. Soaking in an Epsom salt bath reduces the swelling in joints such as ankles and knees, and can help reduce the discomfort of injuries. The Gomestic website suggests using Epsom salt soaks to help clear up foot odour, athlete's foot and toenail fungus. You can also use Epsom salt to exfoliate the skin, either mixed with an essential oil or alone, and as a diuretic. Consult your doctor prior to using it as a diuretic.
Epsom salt is useful in the garden. According to the Epsom Salt Council, the sulphur and magnesium in Epsom salt can help increase the production of chlorophyll and the uptake of nitrogen and phosphorous by plants. It can also be used in the garden to increase growth, resulting in thicker bushes and a greater number of flowers, and to help seeds germinate. You can also sprinkle Epsom salt onto the soil of houseplants once a week as a fertiliser.
Epsom salt, according to the Care 2 website, has many uses for hair. Mix equal parts Epsom salt and deep conditioner and heat the mixture in a pan. Use the mixture to coat your hair and rinse it out after 20 minutes for volume. To remove hairspray from your hair, combine one cup of Epsom salt, one gallon of water and one cup of lemon juice. Cover the solution and let it set for 24 hours before pouring it onto dry hair and shampooing out after 20 minutes. To remove excess oil from your hair, mix a half-cup of oily hair shampoo with nine tablespoons of Epsom salt. Apply a tablespoon to dry hair and, after rinsing with cold water, apply lemon juice for between five and 10 minutes.
Epsom salt can be used as a bathroom tile cleaner when mixed with liquid detergent. It is also useful as a splinter remover, as soaking the affected area in an Epsom salt mixture will help to draw the splinter out. Some people also use it as a slug deterrent and for regenerating car batteries. For car batteries, add a mixture of one ounce of Epsom salt in warm water to each battery cell.