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What's Up Magazine

Who Knew?

Dec 02, 2013 02:51PM ● By Cate Reynolds
If you have been using Epsom salt in your bath or to soak aching feet, you may already have a leg up on good health. This nearly ancient product appears to have benefits most of us never suspected. Magnesium sulfate (Epsom’s real name) has been used as a bronchodilator, to delay labor in pregnant women, as a hair volumizer, and even as a form of fertilizer for your garden.

But Dr. Theresa Ramsey, a naturopathic physician with the Center for Natural Healing in Arizona, and the author of Healing 101: A guide to Creating the Foundation for Complete Wellness, takes it a step further. She believes it can have a positive effect on colds and flu. “You want to get in front of an illness,” she says, “as soon as you know you’re coming down with an illness and can soak in Epsom salt, the better it will work.” She says soaking in Epsom salt helps spur a process called vasodilation, which increases white blood cell production and helps the body fight illness at an accelerated pace. It also has an alkalizing effect, she claims, which gives your immune system a boost.

Bottom line: Fighting off colds and flu with Epsom salts does come at a price—but it’s a tiny one when a three-pound bag costs less than $5.