Magnesium Salt or...

magnesium saltWhen people talk about taking a salt bath, usually they are referring to a bath with Epsom salt, which is, technically, magnesium salt. Epsom salt is a naturally occurring mineral salt that consists mainly of magnesium and sulfate.

Magnesium is the second most abundant element in our bodies, and is used in regulating over 300 enzymes and reactions to keep our vehicles running in tip top shape.

While science is still out on whether or not the skin can absorb magnesium or other minerals through the skin, a plethora of folks stand by this tried and true remedy for all kinds of ailments, from aches and pains to helping recover from sports injuries. And there are a number of proven skin-related benefits to bathing in water enriched with mineral salt.

How do magnesium salt baths work?

mineral salt bathWhen you add Epsom salt into a warm bath, it dissolves, spreading the minerals throughout your bathwater. Proponents of magnesium salt baths believe that your skin absorbs magnesium and sulfate particles from the dissolved mineral salts.

Because the body doesn't naturally produce magnesium, and some people have difficulties getting enough from their diet, bathing in Epsom salts is believed to help supply the abundant amount of magnesium the human body needs for optimal health. Magnesium plays a key roles in muscle and nerve function as well as blood pressure regulation.

Some estimates suggest that over 90% of us are magnesium deficient, indicating such deficiency is a widespread problem. Moreover, magnesium supplements can be particularly difficult for the body to absorb orally, especially for those with digestion and intestinal issues.

This is where magnesium salt and other types of mineral salt baths can come in very handy --as does magnesium oil. As the body’s largest organ, skin has an amazing ability to absorb as well as protect from external elements. While there's limited fully accepted scientific evidence regarding whether or not the skin is capable of absorbing magnesium, proponents swear by the efficacy of a warm mineral salt bath high in magnesium for improved relaxation and aiding aches and pains, including joint stiffness and tenderness from injuries or arthritis.

What about Dead Sea salt? It's got magnesium salt and more!

Dead Sea salt has a large amount of magnesium, though not as much by volume as Epsom salt. However, Dead Sea salt has a much wider spectrum of mineral salt constituents. This greater variety of mineral salt come with a matching wider variety of benefits. So the next time you reach for the old familiar bag of Epsom salts, consider using sea salt instead or in conjunction to enjoy even more healthful benefits.

It can be helpful to get analysis of your vitamin and mineral levels so you can fine tune the bath salt blends you use, however generally speaking, adding more sea salt to an Epsom salt bath tends to provide more robust mineral balance for most folks.

Both magnesium salt and mineral-rich Dead Sea salt provide relief for a variety of common health complaints

Bruises and sprains

Though there is yet to be confirmed scientific research showing that magnesium salt baths heal bruises or muscle sprains, magnesium supplementation has been shown to reduce inflammation, which helps with healing sprains and bruises as well as other wounds.


Sore muscles after working out

Again, despite direct evidence, many proponents claim that Epsom salt baths can help soothe muscle soreness from exercise. That said, it's worth checking out oral magnesium supplements to help with muscle recovery after exercise.


Arthritis pain and swelling

Taking a warm bath to reduce joint tenderness and swelling is recommended by the Arthritis Foundation, as heat therapy can go a long way in alleviating pain and tension. The foundation mentions that adding magnesium salt to a warm bath can help to increase your magnesium levels, which is important for heart and bone health.

Evidence suggests that magnesium may also play a role in pain management, as it plays a key role in transmitting nerve signals that regulate tension and relaxation of muscles. Low magnesium levels have been shown to possibly be related to the formation of osteoarthritis.



Fibromyalgia is a condition marked by fatigue and pain, for which many people use mineral salt to soothe pain and reduce stress. Research on the specific use of magnesium salt baths for fibromyalgia is lacking, yet studies show that adding mineral salt like magnesium to a warm bath may well provide a lasting pain-ameliorating effect for people living with this condition.