Epsom Salt Bath and Foot Soak – Benefits and Recipes (Ultimate Guide)

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Epsom Salt Bath and Foot Soak - Benefits and Recipes

Taking a relaxing Epsom salt bath offers health benefits that have led many people for years to make soaking in the tub a regular routine. Epsom salt baths are fantastic for relaxing and detoxing your body and getting the health benefits of magnesium, but if you don’t have time to take a bath, you can get the same benefits by doing an Epsom salt foot soak.

What is Epsom Salt?

Epsom salts are a naturally occurring pure mineral compounds made of sulfate and magnesium. They were named after a saline spring in Surrey, England, where they were first discovered.


There are many extraordinary uses for Epsom salt, however it is most commonly added to a hot bath or foot soak where the salt penetrates into the skin to reduce stress, detox the body and even promote weight loss.

Advocates or using Epsom salt claim that the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt are natural substances that help in many bodily functions, including the removal of toxins, such as metabolic wastes and pollutants. However there is still little scientific research regarding the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt.

Epsom Salt Bath Benefits

When Epsom salt is added to a hot bath, magnesium and sulfate are broken down and readily absorbed through the skin where they penetrate into the blood stream. Through a process called reverse osmosis, Epsom salt pulls harmful toxins out of the body through the skin and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter.

Magnesium is involved in over 300 biochemical reactions in the body so make sure you are aware of the hidden warning signs of low magnesium levels. Magnesium supports nerve and muscle functions, reduces inflammation, and it improves circulation throughout the body.

Sulfates are needed to maintain and build healthy joints as well as nervous and skin tissue.

The Benefits of Epsom Salt Foot Bath

Using Epsom salt foot soaks regularly can improve athlete’s foot, toenail fungus, sprains, gout, muscle soreness and bruises. It may also be able to restore immunity as it pulls out harmful toxins from the body and reduces inflammation.

Other benefits of Epsom salt baths include relief from:

  • Stiff joints and tight muscles
  • Arthritis pain and swelling
  • Insomnia
  • Psoriasis
  • Soreness from diarrhea
  • Swollen and tired feet
  • Complications from sunburn
  • Fibromyalgia
  • Ingrown toenails
  • Insulin sensitivity
  • Poor circulation
  • Acidity
  • Stress
  • Inflammation
  • Migraines

Epsom Salt Bath Recipe

If you’re suffering from chronic pain, migraines, stress or other general aches, you may want to hop in the tub for some relaxation time.

Try this ultimate Epsom salt detox bath recipe for all your general care needs:


Fill the bathtub up with warm water. Do not make the water so hot that you will not be able to sit in it.

Add 1-2 cups of Epsom salt directly in the water and soak for approximately 15-20 minutes up to three times per week. Don’t use Epsom salt in a hot tub, whirlpool, or other tub with jets unless the manufacturer says it’s okay.

Some sources recommend soaking in Epsom salt bath for about 40 minutes in order to allow your body time to get rid of the toxins and fully absorb the magnesium, while other sources recommend soaking for no more than 30 minutes. In any case, start gradually and see how you feel.

Essential oils in your Epsom salt bath

You can also add 10-20 drops of your favorite essential oil such as eucalyptus or lavender to the bath for extra relaxation and medicinal benefits.

It’s recommended to dissolve the essential oils with a base carrier oil such as sweet almond, jojoba, apricot kernel or evening primrose before adding them to the bath water. These carrier oils nourish and invigorate the skin as well. Mix in your bath a few drops of essential oil in one tablespoon of base oil. You can learn more about essential oils and their uses in my e-book Magical Aromatherapy.


Apple cider vinegar in your Epsom salt bath

For added detoxification and benefits add apple cider vinegar (ACV). ACV is an excellent skin softener and rebalances your skin’s pH. It’s also an effective natural cure if you’re suffering from a fungal or microbial infection, due to its anti-fungal and antimicrobial properties. Add in 1/3 cup of ACV.

Baking soda in your Epsom salt bath

Some people like to add 1 cup of baking soda to their Epsom salt bath due to its fantastic cleansing ability as well as anti-fungal properties. Baking soda also leaves the skin very soft and helps soothe irritated skin.

Be sure to properly hydrate with water as the combination of Epsom salts and warm water will pull a lot of toxins from the body. Standing up too quickly after the bath may result in dizziness. You may want to sip on water with lemon throughout the duration of your Epsom salt bath to help support the detoxification process while also staying hydrated.

How Much Epsom Salt to Use According to Your Weight

I found a few references claiming that the quantity of Epsom salt you use should correlate with your body weight.

Here are the quantities of Epsom salt to use in your bath according to your weight:

  • Children under 60 lbs (27 Kg): ½ cup to a standard size bath
  • Individuals between 60-100 lbs (27 kg- 45 kg): 1 cup
  • Individuals between 100-150 lbs (45 kg – 68 kg): 1½ cups
  • Individuals over 150 lbs (68 kg): 2 cups

Related: 37 Brilliant Uses of Epsom Salt for Plants, Home and Great Health


Epsom Salt Foot Soak Benefits

Your foot contains 26 bones, 33 joints and more than 120 ligaments, muscles and nerves. With so many opportunities to experience pain, it is no wonder that approximately 75 percent of people in the United States are plagued with foot pain.

A foot soak with Epsom salt pulls toxins from the body while reducing inflammation and body aches. If you suffer from painful bunions, corns and calluses, hammertoe, plantar fasciitis, flat feet or tarsal tunnel syndrome, consider taking a warm Epsom salt foot bath two or three times per week.

Epsom Salt Foot Bath Recipe

Fill up a large bucket with hot water. Add ½ cup Epsom salt to the bucket and soak feet for 10 minutes at a time. Be sure to take foot baths even when your feet are not in pain to reduce the likelihood of sore feet later.

Other Epsom Salt Uses and Benefits

You do not need to soak in a tub to experience the benefits of Epsom salts. Use them to whiten your teeth and improve mouth health by brushing your teeth or gargling with a mixture of Epsom salt and water.

Because of their rough exterior, Epsom salts make excellent exfoliators. Combine Epsom salts with olive oil or jojoba oil and scrub on your face, hands or body. Rinse with warm water and you should experience softer skin, improved absorption of facial products afterwards, and removal of blackheads.

You can also combine Epsom salt with your natural conditioner to thicken hair, add volume, soften hair or treat a dry scalp.

Internally, Epsom salt is a laxative that can help promote regularity. It is not recommended that you take Epsom salts internally often. Check with your doctor before using it to treat constipation. For more information read my article about the best natural laxatives.

As a cleanser, Epsom salts can be used to get rid of soap scum on tiles. You can also use it to whiten your floors, keep raccoons out of your garage and even fertilize your lawn! For recipes and more details, read the article about the most extraordinary uses of Epsom salt.

Where to Buy Epsom Salt

You can buy Epsom salt in most pharmacies and health stores. You can also find it in Amazon here.

Did you know that Epsom salts can be used to help you lose weight?

Most of us wouldn’t mind relaxing in a tub full of warm water and coming out a few pounds lighter. Epsom salt can be used to help you lose weight.

A research published by British biochemist Rosemary Waring found that blood levels of magnesium and sulfate rise after taking an Epsom bath. These minerals can help get rid of toxins, heal skin issues and de-stress, all of which help you lose weight!

For more information, read my article on how to make Epsom salt bath for weight loss.

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35 Responses to Epsom Salt Bath and Foot Soak – Benefits and Recipes (Ultimate Guide)

  1. Kerry mollis says:

    Would carpal tunnel in hands if not operated on, later cause oesto arthritis in my hands..,

    • Jenny says:

      From what I’ve read in Mayo Clinic, although carpal tunnel syndrome and osteoarthritis can happen together, the causes of the two conditions are not related. Arthritis happens when the cartilage in your joints wears away, whereas carpal tunnel syndrome happens as a result of your median nerve becoming pinched or compressed.

    • MICHAEL Victor JOZWIAK says:

      I have delayed carpel tunnel syndrome surgery by icing the wrists at night, taking Tylenol, wearing wrist braces found in pharmacies and some grocery stores, stretches found online and soaking my wrists in cool water epsom salt bath soaks. I hope this helps.

  2. Emily Alcindor- Clarke says:

    What if you have diabetes can you d0 same

  3. MJ says:

    Hi, can epsom salt be used to treat scalp folliculitis? If so, how do I go about it?
    Thank you 🙂

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      I’m not sure if Epsom salt is a good option. Usually inflammatory skin conditions are treated with diluted tee tree oil which has antiseptic properties. Dilute 3-4 drops of tee tree oil with a tablespoon of carrier oil (such as coconut oil, olive oil, sweet almond oil etc) and apply the mixture twice a day for several days. Do a skin patch test before applying on a large area to make sure there is no adverse effect. If you see no improvement or the condition deteriorates, see your doctor or dermatologist.

      • lyn peel says:

        As someone who was a late discoverer of the benefits of Epsom Salts I can highly recommend them in a bath of hot water, together with baking soda, salt, baby oil and some drops of lavender. After a bath my whole body responds significantly for the better and I can sleep. If I didn’t have these baths I would not be able to sleep.

  4. lyn peel says:

    Epson Salts [magnesium]is fantastic for hot baths and is the best way to use magnesium. The body draws magnesium in through the skin much better than internally via tablets. I use sea salt crystals with 400gms Epson in a deep bath, together with Lavender, Peppermint, Clove and Eucalyptus Oil, and 1/2 container Radox. Music is an important ingredient and resting on the bed afterwards until the body cools down is also important for destressing.

  5. Mike Fletcher says:

    What is an example of a toxin that is in my body that Epsom salts will pull out?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Advocates of using Epsom salt claim that the magnesium and sulfate in Epsom salt are natural substances that help in many bodily functions, including the removal of toxins. Examples of toxins are substances discharged from the body by the liver, kidneys, lymphatic system, colon, lungs and skin (metabolic “wastes”). Also Environmental toxins and pollutants such as air and water pollution, cigarette smoke, alcohol, medications, chemicals, pesticides, particles inhaled by cleaning agents etc. However, there is still little scientific research regarding the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt.

    • Samantha green says:

      Ive only ever used it once, bit only used tbe epson salts on there own, i felt worse when i came out the bath, is this maybe because i didnt add the other things

  6. Roger E says:

    Will a epsom salt bath help with the pain caused by post hepatic neuralgia brought on by a cars of shingles?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      To be honest Roger I don’t know, but I guess it worth trying.

    • lyn peel says:

      I have great success with these baths for severe fibromyalgia and other conditions. I would be careful of using essential oils if you have shingles. I use a base of epsom salts, bicarb soda and sea salt crystals together with baby oil. I’m a new person after a bath.

  7. Melody B Smith says:

    I am using a Epsom salt soak for my eczema on my hands. Can you re-heat the soak to re-use with the same benefit? Also how much Epsom salt would you use in a small pan of water?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Hi Melody, don’t re-use Epsom salt bath. It is intended for a single use. For a large bucket filled with hot water add 1/2 cup Epsom salt. For a small pan use 1/4 cup.

  8. Leigh Boyd says:

    Do you have to rinse off after you bathe in Epsom salts?

  9. Katherine says:

    I have intense body itching at times. No sign of
    a rash or inflammation. Would epson salts help?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      I haven’t heard that Epson salt helps to reduce itching, so I don’t thing it will help. However you can try oatmeal bath to relieve itchy skin: put 2 cups of ground oatmeal into an old pair of pantyhose. Set this under the faucet of your bath and fill the bath with tepid water. Squeeze the oatmeal occasionally to draw out more liquid. Then relax in the bath and let the oatmeal relieve the itch.

  10. Juanita says:

    Are Epsom salts good for relief from carpal tunnel release surgery. Will it help with reduction of scar tissue associated with surgery? It has been several weeks post surgery. Can I do a soak of just my hands. If so how much of the salts to water should be used?

  11. Rich says:

    Have you any scientific studies that back up any of these claims?
    If so can you link me to a few please?

    • Jenny Hills, Nutritionist and Medical Writer says:

      Hi Rich, it is said in the beginning of the article that ..”there is still little scientific research regarding the detoxifying effects of Epsom salt”.

    • lyn peel says:

      I have been wary of trying these sorts of remedies for years. When I finally, in desperation, got around to trying them, I’ve found a whole new world of comfort opens up from regular baths with magnesium, bicarb and sea salt.

  12. Ashley Kraushar says:

    Will Epsom salt baths be beneficial for someone with Lupus

  13. Susan Hayes says:

    My legs and feet swell often and i take a water pill for help but it dont my feet expecaly the bottem of them i have alot of numbness and sometimes i cant walk i have toe fungues problems with all my toe nails and i cant aford a dr right now so would the epson salt help my feet and the fungues

  14. MA says:

    All research I’ve done with reputable sources say don’t sit in epsom salt bath longer than 20 minutes because toxins start to reabsorb. Don’t think I’d chance that. But love my epsom salt baths when I can get one.

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