The Benefits of the Epsom Soak
In the old days, a farmer who worked his fields all day would come home complaining he was “bone-tired.” He was lucky if his wife fetched for him buckets of hot water to prepare a nice bath filled with Epson salts. The farmer would feel his aches and pains disappear as the hot water and minerals in the salts relaxed his muscles.
Today, we know the mineral magnesium is a key ingredient in making muscles relax. Magnesium also plays a key role in heart health, improving sleep and decreasing the body’s response to stress. The result is that if you are deficient in magnesium or just have lower end levels you may be susceptible to insomnia, anxiety and other medical problems such as asthma or hypertension.
The two key ingredients of Epsom Salts — magnesium and sulfate — are both readily absorbed through the skin, according to studies at the School of Biosciences at U.K.’s University of Birmingham. Magnesium helps the body regulate the activity of some enzymes, as well as reducing inflammation, while sulfates facilitate the absorption of some nutrients, as well as aiding detoxification.
Magnesium for Fibromyalgia & Cfs
A new book out by cardiologist, Dr. Dennis Goodman, Magnificent Magnesium, makes the case that magnesium is essential to ward off metabolic problems such as diabetes and obesity. In our practice at Mitchell Medical Group, we are acutely aware of how important magnesium is in recovering from fibromyalgia and Chronic Fatigue Syndrome.
Magnesium is a key co-factor in many enzymatic steps in cellular and muscle function. It is for this reason we give patients suffering from these conditions a series of magnesium injections to load their body up with magnesium. It is nice to see when patients find relief with less pain and less fatigue as they progress through the series of injections.
We also recommend they take concurrently oral magnesium, in the form of magnesium citrate in a slow-release form for better absorption and to prevent diarrhea. Try to always take your magnesium at least 2 hours before taking any prescribed medications, which can affect magnesium’s absorption.
How Does a Body Become Deficient in Magnesium?
Unfortunately, refined and processed foods strip away the magnesium from the natural state of the food. Foods have grown with pesticides also have lower magnesium content. Also, several medications: antibiotics, beta-blockers used for hypertension and acid blockers all deplete magnesium levels. In our office, we can test your magnesium levels to plan your treatment.
Dr. Dean’s Recommendations:
- Supplementation: 400 to 600mg of magnesium daily. Any reputable vitamin can help ensure you maintain this level.
- From food sources: good choices are spinach (270mg),almonds(124mg) and nuts. All in their natural state.
- Epsom salt baths: 2 cups to a hot bath or foot bath and soak for at least 12 minutes.
Let this magnificent mineral help you in maintaining your health. Here is a simple, healthy recipe to get you started.
Creamy Pumpkin Spinach Soup
- 2 carrots chopped
- 1/2 onion chopped
- 2 cups of baby spinach
- 3 cloves of garlic minced
- 1 15 ounces can of organic pumpkin puree
- 2 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- 1/2 teaspoon of chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 to 1/2 cup of unsweetened plain almond, rice or coconut milk
- Sea salt & pepper
- Pumpkin seeds for garnish (maybe toasted)
Sautee carrots, onion, spinach and garlic in olive oil for approximately 5 minutes. Stir in spices, salt, and pepper. Add pumpkin and vegetable broth. Stir while bringing to a boil, then simmer uncovered for 15-20 minutes until carrots are fork-tender. Pour into a blender and blend until smooth. Add unsweetened plain almond, rice or coconut milk to get to whatever consistency you prefer. Serve topped with cinnamon and pumpkin seeds (these can be toasted if desired). Enjoy!