Magnesium Deficiency and Epsom Salt Baths
Magnesium is the second most abundant element in human cells and the fourth most important positively charged ion in the body.
Magnesium plays a critical role in over 300 enzymes, reduces inflammation, improves blood flow, regulates temperature, detoxes the liver and helps to improve muscle and nerve function.
Unfortunately, many people are magnesium deficient without even knowing, and the American lifestyle lends itself to magnesium depletion so rapidly that magnesium therapy should be an ongoing process for many of us.
Some symptoms of magnesium deficiency are high blood pressure, anxiety, fatigue, sleep disturbances, insomnia, muscle cramps, irregular heartbeat, back pain, headaches, migraines, depression and hypertension.
Why are we deficient?
Due to diet, agricultural practices and stress, our magnesium levels have dropped by half in the last century.
Industrial farming has depleted magnesium from our soil with the use of pesticides that are sprayed on produce that we eat daily, and the American diet of refined and processed foods are stripped of their vitamin, mineral and fiber content. For consumers who love their sugar intake, think about this for a second. For every single molecule of sugar you consume, 50 times the amount of magnesium is depleted from your body.
Stress is a large cause of our levels dropping as well. Stress hormone production requires high levels of magnesium and stressful experiences lead to depletion of magnesium stores.
For those with a daily workout routine, you sweat out important nutrients during exercise. This is why sports drinks market themselves as an “electrolyte drink” containing magnesium, potassium and sodium. Many athletes suffer from muscle cramping, which is from losing these great nutrients during a workout. And guess what? Magnesium isn’t just a mineral, it’s an electrolyte. So you can get back your nutrients after a hard workout with a good bath soak.
Epsom Salt Baths
Epsom salt is a naturally occurring pure mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. By using Epsom salt baths you can detox your body and experience amazing health benefits.
Our skin is a highly porous membrane and readily absorbs both magnesium and sulfate through the skin into the body’s blood stream. By using Epsom salts in your bathwater, it creates a process called reverse osmosis that pulls salt and harmful toxins out of your body, allowing the magnesium and sulfates to enter.
According to the Epsom Salt Industry Council, researchers list health benefits from sufficient magnesium and sulfate levels.
- Improved heart and circulatory health, reducing irregular heartbeats, preventing hardening of the arteries, reducing blood clots and lowering blood pressure.
- Improved ability for the body to use insulin, reducing the incidence or severity of diabetes.
- Flushed toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances.
- Improved nerve function by electrolyte regulation. Also, calcium is the main conductor for electrical current in the body, and magnesium is necessary to maintain proper calcium levels in the blood.
- Relieved stress. Excess adrenaline and stress are believed to drain magnesium, a natural stress reliever, from the body. Magnesium is necessary for the body to bind adequate amounts of serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of well being and relaxation.
- Reduced inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps.
- Improved oxygen use.
- Improved absorption of nutrients.
- Improved formation of joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins.
- Prevention or easing of migraine headaches.
Ready for a bath already?
I know what I’m doing this weekend! Spring is a time for detox and cleaning out, so start with your own internal system. Your body will thank you!
Add two cups of Epsom Salt and soak for 20 minutes, up to 2-3 times a week. Epsom salts are inexpensive and can be purchased at Wal Mart, Lowes and Home Depot among many places. Also, try to add magnesium rich foods into your diet such as roasted pumpkin seeds, spinach, almonds, brown rice and sunflower seeds.