According to the National Health and Nutrition Examination System, between 50 and 85 percent of the American population do not ingest enough magnesium in their diets. The addition of Epsom salt, for which the chemical name is magnesium sulfate, can alleviate some of this deficiency as magnesium is absorbed through the skin. Epsom salt is readily available at most groceries and drugstores, as it has a variety of disinfecting uses and can also be used for treating eye conditions.
Conjunctivitis, more commonly known as “pink eye” is an inflammatory condition of the eye. See your ophthalmologist or optometrist for treatment. You can also use Epsom salt compresses. Mix some Epsom salt into warm water and soak a towel with the solution to press over the infected eye for its disinfecting properties. People who are prone to getting conjunctivitis can make this a regular weekly practice to prevent the onset of the condition.
When the iris of the eye becomes infected and inflamed, a painful condition called iritis can develop. Iritis can affect vision or even cause blindness if not treated immediately and properly, so see your ophthalmologist or optometrist, who will prescribe steroids or some other medication. He may recommend regular use of Epsom salt compresses over a closed eye to help alleviate this condition.
A sty is an infection or inflammation of the eyelid. The secretory gland of the eye becomes infected, resulting in a painful bump or growth on the eyelid. This condition tends to present when a person is tired; exhaustion can also be a sign of magnesium deficiency. Applying a warm Epsom salt towel or soaking the infected eye in an Epsom salt eyewash can help.
In Conjunction with Eyewashes
Eye conditions that are treated with compresses or eyewashes may also be alleviated with Epsom salt baths. Pour 2 cups into your bathwater and soak for 20 to help your body absorb magnesium.
Epsom Salt and Stress
Epsom salt is a natural stress reliever and has anti-toxin qualities. With an Epsom salt bath, magnesium is absorbed into the body, which helps the production of serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps to elevate mood and induce relaxation. In addition to a healthy diet, being well-rested and relaxed helps the body fight off infection.
References and ResourcesMedicMagic: The Benefits of Epsom Salt
Herb Data New Zealand: Eye Diseases
eMedicine Health: Stye