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This natural remedy for aches and pains has a remarkably long history. Epsom salt is a crystalized form of magnesium and sulfate, two naturally occurring minerals. These crystalized minerals were originally discovered in Epsom, England. Epsom salt has been in use for centuries. Pregnant women can use Epsom salt while soaking in a tub. Epsom salt dissolves very easily in water. Many athletes use it in the bath to relieve sore muscles. They swear that it helps muscles recover after a hard workout. Mix about 2 cups of Epsom salt into a warm bath and soak for about 12 to 15 minutes. Be sure to keep the water temperature comfortable and not scalding.
Raising your body temperature too high by soaking in a hot tub is dangerous for your baby-to-be. For this reason, hot tubs or very hot bath water should be avoided during pregnancy. There are several benefits to taking Epsom salt baths during pregnancy. These are the top five reasons pregnant women recommend it. Pregnant women may find that a bath with Epsom salt helps ease sore muscles and back pain. Many pregnant women find that Epsom salt soothes stretching skin.
Pregnant women should not ingest Epsom salt unless your doctor has provided you with specific instructions and dosage recommendation. Magnesium is believed to be a natural stress reducer. Many pregnant women find that Epsom salt helps calm the soul. Magnesium deficiency is a health concern in the United States. Epsom salt may help replace some of what we are all missing in our diets.
Do not ingest Epsom salt unless your doctor gives you specific instructions. Some research suggests that magnesium sulfate absorbs through the skin. But some experts say that the amount absorbed is too small to matter. No one argues that Epsom salt, when used in a bath, does little or no harm.
One study published in the British Journal of Obstetrics and Gynecology tracked women who were given magnesium sulfate intravenously to treat preeclampsia. Preeclampsia is a potentially life-threatening condition that develops during a small percentage of pregnancies. In the British-led study, pregnant women from around the world with preeclampsia were treated with magnesium sulfate.
It cut their risk by more than 15 percent. In fact, doctors have used magnesium sulfate to treat preeclampsia since the early s. The study backed up decades of use. Epsom salt has also been used to treat digestive problems such as heartburn and constipation. But this treatment requires consuming Epsom salt. Epsom salt is available at drugstores and many grocery stores.
But during pregnancy, stick to straight Epsom salt. You should never eat Epsom salt. While rare, magnesium sulfate overdose or poisoning can occur.
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Medically reviewed by Debra Sullivan, Ph. Share on Pinterest.
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