What Is a Home Substitute for Epsom Salt?

Updated April 17, 2017

Epsom salts, also known as hydrated magnesium sulphate, have a wide range of health benefits. Rich in magnesium, which is a major component of human cells, Epsom salts can be absorbed both through the skin and the gut. Depending on its use, the benefits derived from Epsom salts can be easily replicated at home using simple substitutes.

Bath To Soothe Tired Muscles

Epsom salt baths are a popular way to relieve sore and tired muscles. Magnesium and sulphate are both absorbed easily through the skin and reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps. A sea salt bath is an alternative to Epsom salts. Rich in magnesium, sodium, potassium, calcium and bromine, a sea salt bath can soothe tired muscles as well as improve skin circulation.

Bath To Induce Relaxation

The magnesium found in an Epsom salts bath also acts as a natural stress reliever to those suffering from a hectic lifestyle. Instead, try adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to your bath. Lavender is renowned for its ability to relieve nervous tensions and pain. Another great alternative is chamomile essential oil, which has shown to be effective in alleviating irritation, impatience and moodiness.


Epsom salts are an effective and soothing skin exfoliant when mixed with water to form a scrub. Instead, try adding a tablespoon of quick-cooking oats with a tablespoon of water until it forms a thick paste. Use this paste as you would any other exfoliant on your face or body. Oatmeal absorbs and removes surface dirt and impurities while gently exfoliating the skin, leaving it soft and clean.

As a Saline Laxative

Mixed with water to form a solution, Epsom salts can be used as an occasional laxative to induce bowel movements. Instead, try adding stewed prunes and flax seed to each meal, both of which are fibre-rich alternatives to decrease the incidence of constipation. Laxative teas such as those made with senna leaf are also effective alternatives to Epsom salts. Try having a tea with each meal.

As A Hair Wash

Epsom salts can be used as a hair wash to remove excess oils by mixing the salts with water and then applying directly to your hair and scalp. To achieve similar results, try combing one part lemon juice with two parts apple cider vinegar and applying directly to your hair and scalp as you would shampoo. Let it sit for a few minutes before rinsing.

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