Why Epsom salt baths?

Why Epsom salt baths?

Epsom salts are magnesium sulphate (or sulfate). They dissolve easily in water and are readily absorbed through the skin. Taking a bath with Epsom salts is an easy way to supplement the body, and relatively harmless. Epsom salt baths are used to calm and soothe the body and mind, help detoxify neurodevelopmental toxins such as heavy metals and chemicals, and to supplement the system with magnesium and sulphates. Sulphates are formed with sulphur (sulfur) and oxygen and can be readily used in the body.

Toddlers with limited palates might not ingest enough of either magnesium or sulphur. Magnesium is found in dark leafy greens, nuts, whole grains, avocados, dried fruit, bananas and such. Sulphur is found in cruciferous vegetables and protein-rich foods.

Magnesium is the most critical element in the body. Sufficient magnesium ensures optimal emotional and physical health. It is responsible for electrical stability of cells, by affecting the flow of ions through cell membranes.

A magnesium deficiency may be related to more diseases than any other element. Only 1% of magnesium is stored in the blood, so a lack does not show up in a blood test. This means magnesium deficiency often goes undiagnosed and unrecognized. Magnesium needs B vitamins to be properly utilized.

The main symptom of even slight lack of magnesium is hyperirritability. Deficient people may become highly strung and aggressive or depressed. Deficiency may be linked to mood disorders and tantrums. A lack of magnesium is linked to tooth decay and poor bone development.

A magnesium deficiency may contribute to ADHD behaviours, anxiety and nystagmus.

Magnesium affects sensory processing. Low levels may cause sensitivity to noise and tantrums, or in the extreme, seizures. Deficiency causes a hyperness or excess of movement in children.

Stimming is a characteristic on the autism spectrum. Stimming is the repetition of movements or sounds, or the repetitive movement of objects. It is viewed as a way in which autistic children can self-regulate. They use it to calm themselves down or stimulate activity. Another possible reason for stimming has to do with sensory processing. This behaviour is viewed as a protective response to sensory overload, or too much stimuli. Both magnesium and sulphate deficiencies can mimic stimming behaviours in healthy children. 

Magnesium and calcium compete for absorption in the body. Children who drink too much milk may present with magnesium deficiency. Similarly, too much magnesium in the system may create a calcium shortage.

Post-pregnant moms and moms who enjoy their wine might have a magnesium deficiency. Pregnancy can deplete magnesium; so can alcohol.

Sulphur is the third most prolific element in the body. It is vital to digestion and eliminating toxins from the system. Sulphates bind with toxins in the liver through the process of sulphation. Sulphates bind with artificial food colourings, steroid hormones and certain drugs and phenols to make them water-soluble for excretion.

In the body sulphur is either oxidized into sulphates, or excess sulphur is stored as glutathione. Many autistic children are genetically deficient in their ability to produce glutathione, which is the body’s most potent anti-oxidant, produced in the brain. Glutathione keeps all other anti-oxidants performing at their best levels. It binds with toxic metals such as mercury and lead, drugs such as paracetamol, penicillin and alcohol in phase 2 of the normal liver detoxification process. This makes them into water-soluble compounds that can be excreted in the urine or bile.

Studies have shown that autistic children generally have low sulphate levels. This may be due to inadequate supply of sulphates, or inability to convert sulphur and other compounds into sulphates.

To boost sulphates: Limit phenols, artificial flavour, colourings, preservatives; or present more sulphates.

In summary: Magnesium may help to calm down over-active, sensory sensitive children. It may help with self-regulation and to stabilize moods. Sulphates help to cleanse the system of metals and artificial food additives.


How to make an Epsom salt bath:

  • Fill the bath.
  • Add a sprinkling of bicarbonate of soda. This helps neutralize the chemicals and chlorine in the bath water.
  • Stir in some Epsom salts. To test sensitivity in the first bath, one tablespoon is a good start. According to the literature an adult can use up to two cup fulls per bath. Children can use up to one cup. I use 100 grams. The amount depends on the amount of water and the ages and sizes of the children.
  • A soak should be at least 12 minutes long for salts to be absorbed through the skin in sufficient quantities.
  • Magnesium has a time-release effect: If you don’t rinse it off, you will keep benefiting even after the bath.
  • Do a bath once or twice a week.
  • Take this bath in the evening, as magnesium calms and soothes the body and mind.
  • Do not use soap or bubble bath.
  • Drink water afterwards to help eliminate any toxins.

Always consult your doctor or physician before starting supplementation.




Epsom salt bath absorption study

Magnesium deficiency: Possible symptoms and causes

Phase 2 of normal liver detoxification process explained

Sulphates and the brain (autism links)

Stimming and hyperness possible link

Epsom salts and autism


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