Epsom salt

water-soluble, usually inorganic, solid products designed to be added to water during bathing
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Bath salts or Epsom salt are things that people add to the water when they take a bath. Some bath salts have things to make the water smell good. Some bath salts have medicines in them. Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is made of magnesium, oxygen and sulfur. It is named after the town in England where people first learned to use it.[1] Sometimes people call things that are not Epsom salt "bath salts" too, if they are meant to be thrown into a bath to make the water feel or smell good.



People have put herbs and perfumes in their bathwater for a very long time. Epsom salts were discovered in Epsom in England, a spa town, in the 1600s. Doctor and botanist Nehemiah Grew studied the salts in the water and tried to patent the salt. He got into a fight with apothecaries about it.[2]



There is anecdotal evidence that bath salts improve human health. This means that many people take salt baths and then say they feel better, but not in a scientific way.[1]

When bath salts mix with the water, they dissolve in the water. Then they give off ions of magnesium and sulfur. The idea is that the person will absorb magnesium through his or her skin. Having enough magnesium in the body can help with sleep problems, digestion problems, and other problems. Some people say it can help with sore muscles after exercise and other types of pain.[1]

Scientists have not found proof that human bodies can really take in magnesium through the skin. When doctors treat people with low magnesium, they give them magnesium to eat or drink through their mouths.[1][3]


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "Epsom Salt: Benefits, Uses, and Side Effects". Healthline. 13 December 2018. Retrieved July 12, 2021.
  2. A Sakula (1984). "Doctor Nehemiah Grew (1641-1712) and the Epsom salts". Clio Med. 19 (1–2): 1–21. PMID 6085985.
  3. Uwe Gröber; Tanja Werner; Jürgen Vormann; Klaus Kisters (July 28, 2017). "Myth or Reality-Transdermal Magnesium?". Nutrients. 9 (8): 813. doi:10.3390/nu9080813. PMC 5579607. PMID 28788060.