Fibromyalgia Action UK
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Epsom Salts Epsom Salts Epsom Salts!

I keep reading on the benefits of Epsom Salts in a bath and I thought I would explain a bit about it!

Epsom salt is Magnesium Sulphate.

The only reason it works is because a little of the magnesium is absorbed through the dermal layers (skin).

Very little but enough to give a bit of relief and anything that gives relief is great.

(Magnesium Chloride is even better in the bath but it commonly irritates the skin)

I recommend suplementing Magnesium to the diet as the absolute primary route of utiliseing this essential nutrient .

Magnesium is a co-factor in over 300 functions in the body regulating many kinds of biochemical reactions and must be got through the diet.

It is thought by many nutritionists that somewhere between 60% to 90% of the population are very deficient in Magnesium.

Magnesium deficiency is a health problem of first cause. Magnesium is a nutritional element that is dangerously low today. Because of its essential role as a foundational building block of cell physiology, we have a huge health problem that our system of medicine is dragging its feet to address. Populations in the first world are dangerously deficient and are actually starving for Magnesium.

First symptoms of deficiency can be subtle – as most magnesium is stored in the tissues, leg cramps, foot pain, or muscle 'twitches' can be the first sign. Other early signs of deficiency can include loss of appetite, nausea, vomiting, fatigue, and weakness. As magnesium deficiency worsens, numbness, tingling, seizures, personality changes, abnormal heart rhythms, and coronary spasms can occur.Magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every organ system of the body. With regard to skeletal muscle, one may experience twitches, cramps, muscle tension, muscle soreness, including back aches, neck pain, tension headaches and jaw joint (or TMJ) dysfunction.

Also, one may experience chest tightness or a peculiar sensation that he can't take a deep breath. Sometimes a person may sigh a lot

Symptoms involving impaired contraction of smooth muscles include constipation; urinary spasms; menstrual cramps; difficulty swallowing or a lump in the throat-especially provoked by eating sugar; photophobia, especially difficulty adjusting to oncoming bright headlights in the absence of eye disease; and loud noise sensitivity from stapedius muscle tension in the ear.

The central nervous system is markedly affected. Symptoms include insomnia, anxiety, hyperactivity and restlessness with constant movement, panic attacks, agoraphobia, and premenstrual irritability. Magnesium deficiency symptoms involving the peripheral nervous system include numbness, tingling, and other abnormal sensations, such as zips, zaps and vibratory sensations.

Symptoms or signs of the cardiovascular system include palpitations, heart arrhythmias, and angina due to spasms of the coronary arteries, high blood pressure and mitral valve prolapse. Be aware that not all of the symptoms need to be present to presume magnesium deficiency; but, many of them often occur together. For example, people with mitral valve prolapse frequently have palpitations, anxiety, panic attacks and premenstrual symptoms. People with magnesium deficiency often seem to be "uptight." Other general symptoms can include a salt craving, both carbohydrate craving and carbohydrate intolerance, especially of chocolate, and breast tenderness.

Magnesium is needed by every cell in the body including those of the brain. It is one of the most important minerals when considering supplementation because of its vital role in hundreds of enzyme systems and functions related to reactions in cell metabolism, as well as being essential for the synthesis of proteins, for the utilization of fats and carbohydrates. Magnesium is needed not only for the production of specific detoxification enzymes but is also important for energy production related to cell detoxification. A magnesium deficiency can affect virtually every system of the body.

I suggest everyone with fibro look to Magnesium before anything else.

I recommend eating lots of Magnesium rich foods daily, Lightly steamed spinach is my favourite.

I also supplement Magnesium as Magnesium Citrate Powder.

It can be got cheaply on an online auction site.

I recommend the powder over capsules as there is very little in the caps and they are expensive.

I know people think that 1000mg sounds like something really great but it is a marketing ploy.

Write it as 100,000ug and it looks like they are stuffing a lot more into those little capsules but it is still only 1000mg or a mere 1gm.

I like Magnesium Citrate as it is a nice clean form that is well tolerated and a bit more bio available than most of the others,, including some amino acid chelated forms of Magnesium.

I dislike Magnesium Oxide which is the usual type kept on shelves of multinational health food chains.

Magnesium Oxide is a very cheap mineral but it allows these companies to make maximum profit as 99.99% of the population see just see Magnesium and readily hand over the money.

Magnesium Oxide is not much better tolerated Oraly than Epsom Salts, they both have laxative effects but they are sources of Magnesium and Epsom Salts can be taken in a little warm water but I do not advise it as it is not great if your goal is to raise the levels of magnesium in the body.

I use 1/3 tsp 3 times a day, breakfast, evening and before bed.

Just stir it in a half glass of water and drink,, not much taste to it.

The before bed is essential and you will rest more easily.

All Magnesium can soften the stool, I suggest when you first start using it only use about 1/4 tsp once or twice a day and step it up.

If you get a soft stool just cut back a bit, you will soon know how much is right for you.

It works rapidly you will not have to take it for months to see results,, but I say take it regular not just when you get sore or have a cramp in the middle of the night, see it not as a medication but a nutrient that is deficient in the diet!

For anyone taking medications to reduce or stop stomach acidity they will most likely have difficulty absorbing magnum via the digestive tract and I would recommend as many epsom salt baths as they can manage but dermal absorption really is a secondary and inferior way of getting magnesium into the body.

Sorry for the long post but I felt it necessary to try and explain a few of the issues.

I hope you find the information of benefit to your health and symptoms.

Best Wishes,


21 Replies

Osmosis (soak through the skin in a bath) can be as effective as taking oral supplement if you have a leaky gut a not uncommon side effect of slowing gut motility with pain killers (alters balance of flora and fauna in the gut) something worth considering when adding supplements - is how well are you processing a normal healthy diet.


Ian, I think we should avoid overly complicating things.

Magnesium taurate or Magnesium glycerinate would perhaps be better in the instance of leaky gut but they are much more difficult to get hold of and expensive.

I do not think it necessary to go to this extreme for most.

Not everyone is going to lie in a bath every day hoping to absorb a bit of magnesium and not everyone is ever even going to try supplementing Magnesium.

Simplicity is my object and to get people to realise something that their Dr is not going to take the time to explain, assuming he or she is so well informed or even interested.

In my mind their is a 100% without doubt a deficiency problem with magnesium in people suffering from fibro and while difficulty with uptake may be a likely problem the fact remains that magnesium deficiency in the general population is creeping up constantly and the most likely and common problem is that we are not getting anything like an adequate amount from the food that we consume on a daily basis.

This may be down to ever increasing use of NPK fertilisers, other potential problems blocking uptake could potentially be consumption of Fluoride or 101 other things.

Before anything else I think it is most important to get people to realise that the potential problem exists first and foremost, then try something simple,,if it works for them great and many will never look back.

Few look on the food that we consume as anything more than just tasty packing for our stomach and to keep us going. They never stop to analyse it as a raw material for a lot of the chemical processes that goes on in our bodies.

If something is missing we suffer as a result.

We all know that without water we die but most do not think about the breakdown of the items on their plate,,, "Oh dear, I'm a little lacking of copper on that plate,, I must add a bit of copper to my breakfast in the morning"

I know you are aware that magnesium can be absorbed trans-dermaly but to most it is viewed as nothing more than a band-aid,, something that they can do to help the sore leg and they are not interested how it works or why it works. The Epsom salt helped the pain,, end of story and the next time they are is agony they might try it again, they might not.

It will not be adhered to religiously for most. I want them to recognise a common and potential problem in their lives and if it relieves their symptoms and gets rid of some of their medication great!

Nothing is perfect but simplicity I think is best, I hope you see where I am coming from.


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I do agree there seems to be an issue re magnesium but,and a big but, any supplementation with it must be in the correct balance with other essential minerals otherwise imbalances will occur and cause other serious problems. So although supplementing can be a great idea, magnesium alone should never be a stand alone mineral.serious damage can be done by that route.


I can see that simplicity would be an ideal but as cupi points out not a stand alone supplement that has balance restored. I have read of Dr Sarah Myhills work in dietary, mineral, vitamin supplementing this involves some complex testing monitoring effects.

Can I suggest hair sampling as a means of deciding where shortfalls occur then deciding a safe course of action.


Ian, thank you for your concern.

You can suggest hair sampling all you wish,,99.99% of people are not going to do it and I do not think it necessary at all.

Most of us throw toxic drugs into our bodies on a multi daily basis with gay abandon or thought to the consequences of such measures and all in an attempt to get a bit of relief from the chronic pain we live in.

We only have to look at the garbage regularly spewed forth at Codex meetings to see the root cause of much of the writing in the books today.

Nutrients are cautioned as poisons and toxins are put forward as nutrients, at the last meeting they attempted to establish an RDI for Aluminium.

This was being accepted and pushed through but for the unrelenting objection of Scott Tipps.

What next a RDI for Mercury,,No, Look at Melamine, it is approved in baby-food and milk products, it is not a food but makes the protein content LOOK higher. It is accumulitively toxic to the kidneys and has NO Place in the diets of Human or Animal,, be that as it may: People are now blindly and in trust feeding it to their new born babies.

The world has gone mad with a capital M (money) and all aided by the want of profit by the multi national interests that have seats at these meetings and Surprise Surprise Big Pharma are the greatest stake holders.

It is in the interest of their directors and share holders that we are dependant on their drugs however that comes about.

You will easily excrete magnesium.

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The UK supplements market is worth £650 million a year with the same "there is no harm in natural products" line that deserves as much rigour in questioning the benefit versus cost/risk ratio as Big Pharma.

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Ian your suggestion is that the Drug Cartels are honest and that is quit untrue but they do have the largest lobby groups and numbers,, that is not right and I would end tomorrow it if given the chance. It is nothing but secret bribery and corruption.

Many of the figures arrived at are very contorted and the consumers would be horrified if they were to look at the facts and disguised statistics of many of the medications,, but the facts are not allowed to get in the way of profit.

I admit I am very anti-chemical going into the body but I have watched the devastation it can cause first hand for many years. Dr's don't like to talk about the devastation, the eventual multi organ failures.

I know what I would take my chances with without question.

I feel that you are trying to turn this into some sort of personal victory.

If you do not wish to chose more natural ways then don't but please don't be attempting put others off what might just be the answer to their prayers with a longer, more comfortable and productive life.


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If you do not want replies could you please state that in advance on future posts for the avoidance of doubt


Thank you Ray, I know that Magnesium deficiency can add to mood swings during the menstrual cycle but had stopped supplementation as age has solved that problem! I did not realise that it could be implicated in so many of my current symptoms and after reading this post I have ordered some straight away. I appreciate that there are cautions, but the whole point is balance, and I would be happy to bet that my current diet is not supplying what I need. I would be thrilled if it also helped my daughter with her insomnia, in which case you will have at least two people who are very grateful for this post.

I received some Epsom salts for my bath at Christmas which are as yet unopened. There are absolutely no prizes for guessing where I am going now!

Again, many thanks.


Most welcome!


I, also will be trying this!! Thanks for the information.... :-D


I Know of a young man who was prescribed magnesium by his Dr as he was getting a lot of muscle twitches and such. He took it as prescribed and the twitches have eased off, his Dr has also warned him that too much or a build up of Magnesium will cause, guess what? Muscle spasms or twitches.

A good informative post, but what suits one may not suit another. I eat spinach both raw and lightly steamed and try to eat a balanced diet so as to avoid having to take supplements :)



I think all we can do is try to keep our diets as wide and varied as possible.

I eat mainly raw organic and I still know the benefits of suplementing Magnesium.

Unfortunately we will not know what suits us until we try!

Best Wishes, Ray


I have both Epsom salts & mag ( but I forget to use/ take them you have reminded me why I have bought them and why I should be taking them thank you for a positive artical

( if spellings wrong I have a 85% crack sreen and cannot see all my words cannot face going out to get mended so cope with it)


Becareful folks ..magnesuim is not a stand alone ..i have posted this before but here goes...

I took magnesuim for about 5 yrs. it worked really well .. Only I was told by my Consultant it caused my low vitD high calcuim which inturn blocked my parathyriod which I had to have removed . Please get checked out with your GP FIRST ...


Thank you for sharing this, it is a very useful and informative post.



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Thank you Ray, very interesting, I shall certainly try it.


Hi Ray, just wanted to let you know magnesium citrate has been ordered and its on its way to me now. I'll let you know how things go. Many thanks for the info.


I love my Epsom Salt baths, with Lavender oil. Down I go in my bath lift and soak for 20mins., I also add glycerin to the water which prevents dryness of the skin. I then 'lock' all the goodness in with body moisturiser and voila, feel warm, relaxed and in turn less pain from the relaxed state.



Me too couldn't do without my Epsom baths 😃


I enjoy my baths using the same things too so doing both internally and externally with magnesium citrate and taking everything on board both Ian and Ray said as I like to have all replies, what works for one, doesn't work for another, so it us upto the individual to find this out but we do need to see all replies, sorry Ray but you were a bit harsh with Ian and keeping it simple is good but we do need to know other factors involved, that is up to is to us to digest the information. Don't be put off replying Ian, you certainly gave us a good balance look at it all, thank you


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