Basically, Epsom salt is a salt of the mineral magnesium. Chemically, it is known as magnesium sulfate and is represented by the formula MgSO4-7H2O. It is a naturally occurring substance which can be obtained from water. There are a number of major uses of Epsom salt that include both internal as well as external application. Most of the benefits of Epsom salt is owing to the presence of the magnesium mineral in it. Before we talk about how to use Epsom salt as a laxative, let us get a brief overview about its uses.
Therapeutic Uses of Epsom Salt
Constipation is a gastrointestinal problem that leads to irregular bowel movements due to hardening of the stool. When Epsom salt laxative is used for the treatment of constipation, it helps in softening up of the stool and ensures easier passage of stool.
Epsom salt is widely used as a bath salt. Soaking the body into the bath water to which Epsom salt has been added has a relaxing effect on the muscles and nerves and provides a lot of comfort. It works as an excellent exfoliating agent for the dry skin. It eliminates the dry rough dead skin cells and reveals the smooth underlying skin. It can dislodge blackheads and reduce skin inflammation caused by boils. It can be used for cleaning the hair follicles and to bring a natural glow to the hair. A foot bath with Epsom salt is highly effective for mild sprains and bruises of the feet. It will reduce both the swelling and soreness of the feet.
How to Use Epsom Salt as a Laxative
When one uses Epsom salt as a purgative, it increases the water content in the digestive tract by drawing some water from the blood. While the magnesium promotes contraction of the bowel muscles that facilitates easier expulsion of stools. Before using Epsom salt as a laxative, you have to first prepare a solution by dissolving the salt into water.
Read the directions provided on the label of the box and use the Epsom salt accordingly. Usually, for adults, the dosage is one or two teaspoon of Epsom salt in a cup of water and for children above the age of 6, it should be half teaspoon of Epsom salt in a cup of water. Please note that children below the age of 6 should not be given this product. As the solution does not have a drinkable flavor, you can squeeze half of a lemon into the water.
Stir the mixture well so that all the particles of Epsom salt is thoroughly dissolved into the water. Now, drink it in one go. You should get relief within 30 minutes to 6 hours. However, you can take another dose after a gap of 4 hours if the first dose does not seem to make any difference. However, you should not take more than 2 dose in a span of 24 hours.
Epsom salt laxative can also be administered for enema, with the help of a rubber syringe. Here, you have to dissolve the salt in warm water. Fill it up in the enema syringe and inject it into the rectum as per the guidelines given on the enema syringe. It has to be done with great care as insertion of a foreign object into the rectum can be dangerous.
Hope this article helped you to understand how to use Epsom salt as a laxative. Many people have this question in mind 'Are Epsom salts good for a colon cleanse?'. It is effective for treating constipation on a short term basis. Those who suffer from constipation for two weeks or more should not use it. If you are having nausea, vomiting and abdominal discomfort, then Epsom salt laxative is not a right choice for you. It is not suitable for people with kidney problems. Even pregnant women should avoid using Epsom salt as its effect on the unborn baby is not clearly known.