Epsom salt is more popularly used for medicinal purposes. Some dissolve it in water and drink it for its benefits. Others use it as a bath salt. As a bath salt, it is used to treat bruises and sprains, arthritis pain and swelling, ingrown toenails, fibromyalgia, psoriasis, sore muscles, sunburn, and swollen feet.
Aside from being a bath salt, Epsom salt is also used as an exfoliator. It can be integrated in one’s skin care. Some put one teaspoon in their face cream for exfoliation. It can also be used to exfoliate dry skin from the soles of the feet, elbows, and knees.
One of epsom salt main benefits is that it is a good source of magnesium. Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in a person’s body.
It is needed in around 325 biochemical reactions in the body, mostly involving the heart and the nervous system.
Magnesium is also needed for sleep and stress management. It stimulates the production of melatonin, a hormone that induces sleep.
Aside from that, magnesium is also a component used to treat constipation as it helps draw water into the colon to promote bowel movement. It is important to note that Epsom salt is approved by the FDA as a laxative.
Read on if you are keen to find out more about this multi-functional salt and its potential alternatives.
13 Best Substitute For Epsom Salt
Epsom salt, also known as Magnesium Sulfate, is a popular salt used widely for culinary, medicinal, and therapeutic purposes. As its name suggests, it is made up of sulfur, oxygen, and magnesium.
Unknown to many, Epsom salt derived its name from a town in Surrey, England where it was discovered in a hot spring. However, calling it a ‘salt’ is actually a misnomer because it’s entirely different from the usual table salt. It is only called as such due to its appearance and chemical structure.
As abovementioned, Epsom salt is an entirely different compound from table salt. It is not salty. In fact, it is bitter; hence it is not used to flavor food. It is often just used as a desiccant in baking.
1. Table Salt or Sea Salt
The first on the best Epsom salt substitute list is table salt. It is made up of sodium chloride. It is an excellent substitute for Epsom salt as a bath salt, foot soak, and exfoliator because of the similar texture. The grains in the salt work well to cleanse and exfoliate the skin.
Probably one of the advantages of table salt/sea salt over Epsom salt is that it can be used for cooking.
2. Rock Salt
Rock salt is basically, just salt. It is also made up of sodium chloride. However, the main difference between the ordinary table salt and rock salt are the size and color. The grains of rock salt are bigger than table salt. Rock salt can be used as a bath salt, feet soak, and exfoliator.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar is a vinegar made from fermented apples. Apple cider, like most vinegars, has high acetic acid content. This component gives apple cider vinegar its strong smell and flavor.
One of the main benefits of apple cider vinegar is that it kills bacteria. It is therefore used for disinfecting and cleaning surfaces and even wounds. It also works wonders in relieving aching muscles.
It is often added to a hot tub of water. It is also used to cleanse the hair and scalp off chemicals. Apple cider vinegar makes the hair soft and shiny.
4. Essential Oils
Essential oils are known for their therapeutic properties. They work well in promoting sleep and relaxing tired and sore muscles. The common essential oils in the market are peppermint, tangerine, lavender, and orange.
5. Baking Soda
Baking soda, also called sodium bicarbonate, is a leavening agent in baking. However, it also doubles as a cleaning agent. It is a type of salt made up of bicarbonate anion and sodium cation.
One of the main advantages of baking soda is that it is readily available. Plus, it has a lot of benefits that make it a great substitute for Epsom salt.
As mentioned earlier, it is a great cleaning agent. It helps get rid of stubborn stains out of tiles, marble, and other surfaces. Aside from that, it can also be used as an odor neutralizer and air freshener.
Studies have shown that taking supplements with sodium bicarbonate content improves kidney function.[Source]
6. Prune Juice
Prune Juice is a juice made from rehydrated prunes. As discussed earlier, Epsom salt is an FDA-approved laxative. Prune juice is a known treatment for constipation.
Four to six glasses of prune juice is more than enough to get the gut going. Aside from alleviating your constipation, it also comes with a lot of vitamins and minerals. It is an excellent source of vitamin C, which is good for the immune system.
Because it also has high potassium and antioxidant content, it also helps lower cholesterol and prevent heart diseases. In traditional medicine, it is also used as treatment for hepatitis.
7. Mustard Powder
Mustard powder, also known as ground mustard and dry mustard, is made by grinding mustard seeds. By itself, mustard powder is tasteless. It is often mixed with water or other liquids for it to taste.
Mustard powder is typically used as a dressing. It works well when mixed with oil, wine, and other spices like garlic powder, thyme, oregano, and onion powder to make vinaigrette. It can also be used as a rub for chicken.
As a substitute for Epsom salt, mustard powder is a great bath salt as it has detoxifying properties. Mustard powder opens the pores and gets rids of dirt and other impurities. In some cultures, mustard powder is directly applied to the face. It can also be used as foot wash.
Oatmeal is a typical breakfast food made from de-husked, flattened, and steamed oat grains. Oatmeal is a favorite of dieters for its low-calorie content despite it being a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Oats are known to be good for the heart because of its high beta-glucan content. Furthermore, beta-glucan can also help reduce the risk of certain cancers. Aside from that, it is also good for the gut because of its high fiber content.
Oatmeal works well as a facial mask. Make an oatmeal milk using warm water or warm milk. Scrub the oatmeal paste on to your skin. Leave it for a few minutes, then wipe it off using a cloth.
9. Bentonite Clay
Another entry to the best Epsom substitute list is bentonite clay. This type of clay is the powder that forms after volcanic ash ages. The name of this clay is from Fort Benton, Wyoming, where the largest deposits of the clay are found.
Aside from its exotic location, this clay is special due to its unique composition. It is mainly comprised of smectite minerals that typically contains iron, magnesium, sodium, and calcium.
Bentonite clay is known as a skincare product. It is typically used as a face mask to detoxify the skin of impurities. Studies also show that bentonite clay is water-resistant; hence, it adheres more to the skin to remove the impurities.
Bentonite clay supplements are also sold in health food stores. It is believed that bentonite clay supplements can boost the immunity by fighting off bacteria. It also cleanses the body of toxins like mercury, lead, and aluminum.
10. Magnesium Flakes
Magnesium flakes, also known as magnesium bath salts, are a highly concentrated form of magnesium chloride. Magnesium chloride is a naturally forming magnesium.
As mentioned earlier, most of the benefits of Epsom Salt is due to its high magnesium content. Magnesium flakes would therefore make a great substitute for Epsom Salt. They can be added to a warm bath to soothe muscle aches.
Like Epsom salt, it can also reduce inflammation, improve blood circulation, relieve joint pain, fight infection, improve skin hydration, and remove toxins and heavy metals from the body.
11. Coffee grounds
Coffee grounds are a good and economical substitute for Epsom Salt as an exfoliator. Because of its texture, coffee grounds can be used to exfoliate the skin.
It is also used to cleanse impurities off hair. Because coffee beans have naturally-occurring oil, coffee beans will leave the skin supple and the hair soft.
12. Cayenne Pepper
Cayenne Pepper is a moderately hot chili spice. It derives its name from Cayenne, French Guiana, the place where it is said to have originated.
Currently, Cayenne pepper is widely grown around the world. Hence, supply of Cayenne pepper is not much of an issue, making it a good substitute for Epsom salt.
Traditionally, Cayenne pepper is mixed with oil or water and topically applied to aching joints and muscles. It is rich in vitamins and minerals like Vitamins A, B6, C, K, potassium, and magnesium.
When integrated into one’s diet, Cayenne Pepper boosts one’s metabolism because of its high capsaicin content. Aside from boosting metabolism, capsaicin also bolsters the immune system and lowers blood sugar levels.
Turmeric is a famous Indian spice made from the root of Curcuma longa, a member of the ginger family. It has a bitter taste reminiscent of ginger. Because of its intense color, it is often used to color food such as curries and rice. It can also be made into hot tea.
Turmeric is prized in the Indian cuisine because of its flavor and health benefits. One of the benefits of consuming turmeric is that it treats swelling, stiffness, and inflammation. It is also traditionally used to treat osteoarthritis, high cholesterol, and hay fever.
Studies have also shown that turmeric has antioxidants that fight off free radicals. Because of this, it has also been shown to prevent colorectal cancer.