Epsom Salts & Magnesium Sulfate

Epsom Salts & Magnesium Sulfate

Epsom salts are regarded as a significant detoxification intervention practice for the GAPS Protocol and are composed of both magnesium and sulfate (sulphate).

Magnesium is highly regarded as a significantly important mineral in the body that provides numerous metabolic functions such as the production of energy, muscle and nerve function and the production of neurotransmitters. The relaxing effects of magnesium provide a calming reaction to the nervous system whilst also contributing to the functions of mood, mental function and energy levels. Many studies have shown a strong correlation between Magnesium deficiencies in autism and other GAPS conditions. Further studies conducted by Dr. D Sarah Myhill shows that red cell magnesium levels are low in people with chronic fatigue syndrome, and Myalgic Encephalomyelitis, however supplementing with Epsom salts have shown symptomatic improvements. This is also known to be true for other GAPS conditions especially for ADD, ADHD and other known behavioural problems. Whilst it is true that Epsom Salts can increase the magnesium levels in the body, vitamin D is necessary for the body to utilise it, hence the importance in following the GAPS supplementation protocol and supplementing with Fermented Cod Liver Oil.

Sulfate /Sulphate is important for detoxification , gut permeability and assists in regulating hormone production. Sulphate is needed to process salicylates, phenols, chemicals and heavy metals. People with little or no ability to produce sulphate, therefore struggle to detoxify these chemicals and result in unpleasant tantrums, aggression, sleep problems, hyperness, night sweats, skin conditions like eczema etc. Sulfate is needed to detoxify chemicals contained in certain foods we consume, medications we use or environmental fumes we ingest. Lack of sulphate results in toxic injury. Many studies support the notion that autism and GAPS related conditions have depleted levels of sulphate in the body and therefore would benefit from the absorption of sulfer in the form of Epsom Salt baths.

Studies on the benefits of Epsom salts have shown the following outcomes


  • Reduce the affects of stress
  • Improve sleep
  • Assist in muscles and nerves function
  • Regulate enzyme activity
  • prevent hardening of the arteries and blood clots
  • Improve the effectiveness of insulin
  • Reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps


  • Flush toxins
  • Improve absorption of nutrients
  • Help form joint proteins, brain tissue and mucin proteins
  • Help prevent or ease migraine headaches
  • Bathing in Epsom salts is a safe and easy way to increase sulfate and magnesium levels in the body.

Bathing in Epsom salts is a safe and effective way to increase sulfate and magnesium levels in the body.

Methods for supplementing Epsom Salts.

Epsom salt baths Dr Natasha Campbell-Mc Bride suggests using ½ to 1 cup of Epsom salts per bath, however others have reported good results from one to two cups per tub. A study by Dr RH Waring revealed that most people found maximal benefit by bathing 2 or 3 times/week, using 500-600g Epsom salts each time. Simply dissolve the salts in hot water first and then fill the tub to about waist deep, as warm as possible. Regardless of salt ratio suggestions, you may tamper with the levels to find what works best and this can depend on the individual tolerance and water temperature. Severe deficiencies can reveal negative reactions, such as irritability or hyperactivity, and this will indicate the need to decrease the amount of salts until they can be better tolerated. You may need to start with as little as one tablespoon of salts, and work up gradually. Epsom salts baths are very calming for most people and it is relaxing to have a bath before bed.

General guidelines recommend soaking for soak 20 minutes or more for optimum benefits and only pat drying so that some of the salts are left on the skin to absorb. If the salts become itchy or irritating on the skin, just rinse it off and dry normally. If the skin feels too dry, use coconut oil to moisturize. Drinking the Epsom Salts may result in Diarrhoea or loose stools and this is not encouraged.

Spray– Mix one part salts and one part hot water and pour into a spray-squirt bottle. Spray directly on the skin. This method is acceptable in summer.

Homemade lotion –Heat some Epsom salts with a little water to dissolve them. I put about one teaspoon of water in three tablespoons of salts and microwave for a minute or so. Add more water if necessary. Then mix in some coconut oil or aloe vera gel. You may need to experiment with ratios. Apply to skin.


Epsom Salt Council

Report on Absorption of magnesium sulfate (Epsom salts) across the skin Dr RH Waring School of Biosciences, University of Birmingham. B15 2TT, U.K.

Sarah Myhill

Autism, An Extreme Challenge to Integrative Medicine. Part II: Medical Management Parris M. Kidd, PhD Alternative Medicine Review , Volume 7, Number 6, 2002