Epsom salt, aka magnesium sulfate, is one of those cure-all substances for the body. Contrary to its name, Epsom salt is not a salt. It's a naturally occurring mineral composed of, yup you guessed it, magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium, the most abundant mineral in our cells, plays a role in relieving inflammation, tension, regulating nerve function etc. And sulfate helps absorb nutrients, flushes toxins, and relieves migraine headaches. Studies have shone that magnesium and sulfate are effectively absorbed through the skin. Every part of the body, down to the littlest finger, stands to benefit from an Epsom salt soak. If you've got a swollen or sore finger, 10 minutes in a Epsom soak will do wonders for your ailing digit.
Note: Epsom salt is carried in a variety of sizes, in virtually all grocery stores and pharmacies.
How to Prepare an Epsom Salt Soak
Find a container large enough to fully immerse your finger comfortably. Prepare the solution by dissolving ½ cup Epsom salt in a quart of hot (not boiling) water. Stir the mixture until the Epsom salt is fully dissolved.
Soak your finger for 6-10 minutes, and repeat multiple times daily. Frequency is more important than duration here.
Certain types of bacterial or fungal infections can be exacerbated with exposure to hot water. If this is the case, refrain from using this remedy. Additionally, if you do not feel relief within 2 hours of soaking, or the finger becomes red and irritated consult a doctor. Also, people with diabetes should not use hot or warm soaks unless instructed by a physician.
The benefits of Epsom salt are not limited to just your fingers, you can also use it in the bath for total body relief of sore, achy muscles. To use it in the bath, simply stir 2 cups of Epsom salt into a filled tub and soak away. Find more healing bath recipes here.
Additionally, the mineral is also helpful in the treatment of bronchial asthma, migraine headaches, and fibromyalgia.