Wellness Encyclopedia: The Benefits of Magnesium & DIY Magnesium Bath Soak

Magnesium and magnesium-rich foods have long been used to promote relaxation; however, depending on how it’s used, magnesium can bring a host of benefits to the entire body.

After a month and-a-half of having my life completely wrapped up in the nightmare that is moving, this past weekend I was finally able to make it up to the mountains for my first hike as a returned New Englander. It was a great day, with the last of fall’s incredible foliage clinging to the trees just for me (or at least that’s how I like to think of it). I was looking for a challenge, since anything resembling a gym routine has felt like a distant memory throughout my relocation process, and a challenge is exactly what I got. The hike was gorgeous, but the aching muscles afterward left much to be desired.

If you’re like me, stretching after a workout can sometimes come as an afterthought, which leaves you with tight and sore muscles 24-36 hours later. Lucky for all of us, a soothing remedy exists: magnesium. In this case, magnesium sulfate, otherwise known as Epsom salt. Magnesium and magnesium-rich foods have long been used to promote relaxation; however, depending on how it’s used, magnesium can bring a host of benefits to the body. Learn more below!

   

What is magnesium?

Magnesium is an essential mineral for the body. In fact, it’s estimated that magnesium plays a role in over 300 functions. Surprisingly, over 80% of people are estimated to be deficient in the mineral due to factors such as poor soil quality and gut health, a deficiency that manifests with several symptoms, including slow digestion, anxiety, and muscle aches and spasms (among many others, see a medical professional for a full assessment). Even if you’re not deficient in magnesium, it has a variety of uses both internally and externally depending on how you use it!

What are the benefits of magnesium?

Magnesium boasts a wide variety of benefits and comes with an equal variety of uses. Magnesium oil and magnesium sulfate (also known as epsom salt) could ease sore muscles by being applied topically or employed as a soak, such as the one below. A diet rich in magnesium could support increased energy and calmed nerves by increasing the function of certain neurotransmitters that produce serotonin. As a muscle relaxer, magnesium could relieve digestive issues and even help you fall asleep faster.

How do I use magnesium?

Magnesium can be used in a variety of ways depending on your needs. If you find yourself feeling bound up when you travel to a different time zone (which, along with changes in diet, can confuse and slow digestion), a magnesium supplement could calm digestion issues by relaxing the muscles in the digestion tract. Magnesium can help relax sore muscles, bring calm to the body, and promote restful sleep — try adding magnesium sulfate (epsom salts) to bath water for a relaxing soak the next time you forget to stretch or your muscles feel tight. A magnesium supplement could also support occasional sleeplessness. Be sure to speak to your doctor before beginning any new supplementation to ensure it’s right for you!

Essential Oil-Charged Magnesium Bath Soak

Materials

2 cups magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts)

10 drops eucalyptus essential oil

10 drops peppermint essential oil

Mixing bowl

Mason jar

Method

Combine the magnesium sulfate with the essential oils in a mixing bowl and toss to combine. To give as a gift or save for later, pour the mixture into a Mason jar and seal. Alternately, you can also add the magnesium sulfate and essential oils directly to warm bath water to enjoy immediately. Soak for 10-20 minutes and relax!

Find more magnesium sulfate ideas here!

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