What are the signs of magnesium deficiency?
- Muscle cramps
- Cavities (dental)
- Muscle weakness
- Recurrent infections
- Lack of vitamin K absorption
- Heart Disease
- and more (source)
What are the signs of sulfur deficiency?
- Phenol buildup which can manifest as attention deficits, neurological problems, and chemical sensitivities. (source)
- Inefficient detoxification (removal of toxins from the bloodstream) by the liver. (source)
- Reduced protein synthesis.
- Weak hair
- Lowered immune function
- Lowered muscle strength
Where do we traditionally get these minerals?
Epsom salt for magnesium and sulfur
Baths & Hotsprings
Traditionally, bathing in hotsprings that have sulfur has been a remedy for general illness, recorded as early as 7 BC (source) If you can get to a natural hotsprings regularly, that is a great way to get extra minerals into your body. Many people find that they sleep deeply after a trip to the hotsprings, and that general aches and pains are relieved. Hyperactive children are often calmed after a hotsprings trip as well.
Bathing in Epsom salt is an effective way to get both magnesium and sulfur, and can replicate the hotspring environment easily and inexpensively. This transdermal application (through the skin) is gentle, effective, and safe (source), and bypasses the digestive tract, which can be helpful for people who get diarrhea from oral magnesium.
To ingest magnesium, the bioavailability of magnesium is low in Epsom salts. You will have better absorption, be able to take less, and see more benefits when you take the form that is specifically designed for easy absorption through the digestive tract.
Bioavailability: the proportion of a drug or other substance that enters the circulation when introduced into the body and so is able to have an active effect.
Our sleep story & how epsom salt helped
A health-minded friend who shares a lot of her health related research with me suggested that I try supplementing my one of my children with magnesium.
Being wary of supplements, especially in young children, I saw that you can get magnesium through an epsom salt bath instead of orally. The next time I was at Walmart I bought a container of epsom salts and dumped the whole 2 cups or so into her bath.
That night she slept all the way through the night! It was the first time in her entire 3 years of life. It was from 10 pm to 6 am, but it was an amazing improvement from her previous years of not sleeping in more than 2-hour stretches.
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