You're probably familiar with Epsom salts. They've been around for centuries and are used as a soak for tired muscles, a treatment for constipation, and even to make drawing salves for wounds. What you may not realize, however, is that Epsom salts work because they are a source of magnesium, a mineral that your body needs and uses for multiple functions. Epsom salts surely have their benefits, but there is another form of magnesium that may be even better suited to your needs: magnesium flakes.
Are magnesium flakes the same as Epsom salts?
Magnesium flakes and Epsom salts have a very similar appearance. Depending on the brand, the flakes may look a little lighter and smaller than Epsom salts. Both are a source of magnesium, but there is an important key difference. Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, and magnesium flakes are magnesium chloride.
Magnesium sulfate is a compound comprised of, not surprisingly, magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium chloride is a different chemical compound comprised of magnesium and chloride ions. Toss a handful of either compound into water, and it dissolves into its respective components. Both give you the benefits of magnesium, but magnesium flakes come with a few "extra" benefits associated with the chloride they provide. Chloride helps balance your electrolyte levels, which is really important in hot weather or after exercise. It can help prevent cramps, dehydration, and fatigue.
Is magnesium absorbed through the skin?
The most common way to use magnesium flakes — and Epsom salts, for that matter — is to dissolve them in warm bath water and immerse your body in the water. This works because your body can absorb magnesium through the skin. In fact, studies have found that you can increase your magnesium levels faster by topically exposing your skin to magnesium than by taking magnesium orally.
Researchers think that your hair follicles help speed up magnesium absorption through the skin, so soaking hairy parts of your body, like your legs and arms, is especially effective. Many agree that the skin absorbs magnesium chloride faster and more effectively than magnesium sulfate, which makes magnesium flakes a better choice than traditional Epsom salts.
What are the benefits of magnesium flakes?
So are magnesium baths good for you? Absolutely! Soaking in a magnesium bath a couple of times per week can have several benefits.
Fewer Aches and Pains
Magnesium helps your muscles to relax, and soaking in a magnesium bath can ease soreness after a long day of work, a tough workout, or a long drive. If you suffer from arthritis, magnesium can help relax the muscles around your joints and reduce inflammation in the joints themselves, resulting in increased comfort and an improved range of motion. The chloride in magnesium flakes can further help ease aches and cramps due to exertion, since it helps restore electrolyte balance.
Your body burns through a lot of magnesium when you are under stress, which can lead to a magnesium deficiency, which can cause you to feel even more stressed out! Soaking in a magnesium bath can help you feel more relaxed and at-ease. It's a good supplemental treatment for anxiety. The relaxation you experience after a magnesium bath can make it easier to fall asleep, which is one reason why many people like to take magnesium baths in the evening.
By decreasing the inflammation in your body's tissues, magnesium baths can help improve your circulation. This eases the burden on your heart, which could help lower blood pressure and reduce your risk of a heart attack. Improved circulation can also help your body better regulate its temperature so you don't feel overly hot in the summer or cold all winter.
Soaking in magnesium is also beneficial for a number of skin conditions. Many skin conditions, including eczema, psoriasis, and acne, have an inflammatory component. Magnesium helps reduce that inflammation, which can help make your symptoms less severe. If you have any minor abrasions or wounds, magnesium can help them heal faster, which is why people often soak their feet in a magnesium bath after developing blisters, bunions, and other irritations.
Epsom salts are definitely beneficial, but magnesium flakes are an even better choice for most people. Whether you're looking for a way to ease aches and pains, clear up your skin, or promote relaxation, taking regular magnesium baths is a great choice. Make sure you look for magnesium flakes that are pure and sourced from a natural seabed. With magnesium chloride flakes from Three Drops of Life in your cabinet, you're on the road to better health.