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magnesium / Epsom salts in bath water - how long do you soak in it?

by (4936)
Updated September 16, 2014 at 7:33 PM
Created November 23, 2011 at 12:07 PM

The question pretty much sums up what I want to know. I've started putting magnesium chloride in my bath water but I have no idea if I need to stay in the water for 5 minutes, 10 or 20. I have been making the water hotter than I usually have it on the assumption that it will make the blood vessels near the skin dilate and hopefully absorb more magnesium?

I am hoping that this will increase my magnesium levels which I am sure (from fitday) must be low.

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180 · January 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I don't know how it is in the UK, but everywhere I've been here in the US I've been able to find generic, store brand epsom salts for about a dollar a pound at pretty much any grocery or drug store.

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24528 · December 22, 2011 at 7:10 AM

I second saltworks, crazy good deal compared to buying it by the carton at the drugstore. I just ordered about 100 lbs. of various salts from them for xmas presents (sorry UPS guy who had to carry it up my steps). I did notice a little banner on the site saying shipping was free for December, don't know if it continues after that. In addition to getting Epsom salts from them, I got Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt really cheap too compared to the store.

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4936 · November 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Very interesting - thanks for this. I'll order some nag citrate powder.

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1548 · November 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Beth, good tip. I have found this on UK Amazon (the cheapest I could find there): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meridianstar-FCC-25-Epsom-Salt/dp/B004VMS3WU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=IXFKCAOF5BNWZ&colid=33SDY5I3WZ5L3

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15003 · November 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Looks like it's much less expensive in bulk. Does Amazon UK carry this? http://www.amazon.com/Epsoak-Epsom-Salt-20-Lbs/dp/B004N7DQHA

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1548 · November 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Pretty convincing - 400g - 600g of Epsom salts is quite expensive though. Do you know of any cheap sources (in the UK) ...

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19469 · November 23, 2011 at 12:51 PM

The longer you soak, the higher you will raise your serum magnesium levels. Once to get to a certain "optimum" level, however, your body will begin taking up less. Basically, if you want more magnesium (and because it is the sulfate version, sulfur) soak longer. However, I like Jackie's comment below, as I also supplement the occasional epsom salt bath with oral magnesium since I don't have a filter on my bath spigot (unlike my shower head which has a water filter attached to it.)

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6 Answers

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535 · November 23, 2011 at 1:01 PM

See this report on uptake of magnesium and sulphate (UK spelling) by Dr Rosemary Waring: http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/articles/report_on_absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf There is also the possibility of a DIY cream formulation: http://www.drmyhill.co.uk/wiki/Magnesium_cream_-_how_to_make_it_and_use_it As to the benefits, ever thought that the sulphate might be the more important component? as it might be with regards to conditions like autism: http://questioning-answers.blogspot.com/2011/03/forgotten-research-sulphation-and.html

F52b51135f2c47eb46c986fdc9760b9b
180 · January 11, 2012 at 11:03 PM

I don't know how it is in the UK, but everywhere I've been here in the US I've been able to find generic, store brand epsom salts for about a dollar a pound at pretty much any grocery or drug store.

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4
1548 · November 23, 2011 at 3:32 PM

Beth, good tip. I have found this on UK Amazon (the cheapest I could find there): http://www.amazon.co.uk/Meridianstar-FCC-25-Epsom-Salt/dp/B004VMS3WU/ref=wl_it_dp_o_npd?ie=UTF8&coliid=IXFKCAOF5BNWZ&colid=33SDY5I3WZ5L3

7dc950fc76a046048e683d2a27dced37
15003 · November 23, 2011 at 1:42 PM

Looks like it's much less expensive in bulk. Does Amazon UK carry this? http://www.amazon.com/Epsoak-Epsom-Salt-20-Lbs/dp/B004N7DQHA

559a1bf85bfe38a0fbbf56377c7278b4
1548 · November 23, 2011 at 1:19 PM

Pretty convincing - 400g - 600g of Epsom salts is quite expensive though. Do you know of any cheap sources (in the UK) ...

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1037 · December 21, 2011 at 10:07 PM

The only study done on Epsom salt baths (cited by Paul above and in my question on Epsom salts that you answered) had the subjects bathe for 12 minutes, and all of them raised their Mg and SO4 blood levels significantly after only a week of bathing, so you should be able to absorb enough Mg in that amount of time, but I think bathing longer will allow you to absorb more, although I have no idea how much more. The question I have that the study doesn't answer is how long would it take for one to increase one's Mg levels if one only bathes in Epsom salts once or twice per week? The subjects in the study bathed in it every day, but that isn't practical for me and many other people due to financial and time limitations.

Btw, if you still are looking for a cheap source of Epsom salts, you have to buy them in bulk, and I bought them here for a ridiculously cheap price (25 lbs. for $23.75, which comes to $0.95/lb. plus free shipping!): http://www.saltworks.us/ultra-epsom-salt-wholesale.html

I am not going to even think about comparing that cost/dose ratio to even the cheapest oral Mg product, because it would make me aware of just how much money I could have saved using Epsom salts instead of oral Mg supplements for many months.

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24528 · December 22, 2011 at 7:10 AM

I second saltworks, crazy good deal compared to buying it by the carton at the drugstore. I just ordered about 100 lbs. of various salts from them for xmas presents (sorry UPS guy who had to carry it up my steps). I did notice a little banner on the site saying shipping was free for December, don't know if it continues after that. In addition to getting Epsom salts from them, I got Celtic sea salt and Himalayan pink salt really cheap too compared to the store.

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4632 · November 23, 2011 at 12:35 PM

I take an epsom salt bath at least once per week, but I am concerned about the amount of chlorine and other things I am absorbing from city water, so I also daily take 1 tsp of powdered magnesium citrate (mixed with water) from NOW Foods. The bottle is cheap and lasts several months, and I like that it is powdered (tastes very tart) and is actually much cheaper than epsom salts end up being. I also sometimes add in their powered magnesium ascorbate which has vitamin c - an 8 ounce bottle of that has lasted 8 months so far (serving size is 1/4 tsp) and there is still 1/3 of the bottle to go. I feel amazing since adding these supplements in, calm, and no more heart palpitations (was having them occasionally at night) and NOW Foods brand can be found pretty cheap at vitacost.com or local health food stores. I prefer the powdered version so as to avoid extra additives.

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4936 · November 23, 2011 at 4:26 PM

Very interesting - thanks for this. I'll order some nag citrate powder.

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8858 · November 23, 2011 at 4:29 PM

I soak twice a day, sometimes with epsom salts, but not to boost magnesium levels. I do it in lieu of meditation and because I get beat up playing soccer. And also it feels nice.

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0 · March 21, 2013 at 8:33 PM

We just bought Epsom salts at WalMart in 2# bags for $.88 per bag. That's only $.44 per #. I keep reading that about $1/# is so cheap. That doesn't make sense.

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0 · December 14, 2012 at 10:58 PM

Hi folks, I just came across this question and by synchronicity I attended a Body Worker yesterday for a Physical Alignment...he gave me a large bag of Epsom Salts, as I was leaving and was quite SPECIFIC about the 'times'. Hope it helps. 18-20 minutes was his direction, further advising that it takes 18-19 minutes for toxins to leech OUT of the body and be replaced with the Magnesium etc...'after that', 18-19 minutes, the body begins to RE-ABSORBE the toxins'. This man is an amazing Body Worker/Osteo and committed to 'good health' and furthermore, I would suggest that he knows, whereof he speaks....again, hope this helps someone. Toodles, Belle xo

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