Magnesium Sulfate and Epsom Salts

as a Magnesium Supplement

History of Magnesium Sulfate and Epsom Salts

In the early 1600's, a farmer at Epsom Surrey England found his cow's drinking water healed scratches and rashes. Soon, the locals started to talk and the water became known for its healing properties and it was discovered that the healing properties were due to the mineral magnesium sulfate in the water. Named after the town, Epsom salt was prepared by boiling down the mineral waters found at the springs that arise where the non-porous London clay meets the porous chalk of the North Downs. Today Epsom Salt is obtained mostly from mining operations.

Epsom salts' chemical name is magnesium sulfate and contains magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. Epsom salts can also have the form heptahydrate epsomite (MgSO4·7H2O).

Bag of Epsom Salts also known as Magnesium SulfateMost people use magnesium sulfate as a magnesium supplement in a bath to relax and de-stress. There are two reasons this works; one, magnesium is absorbed transdermally [9] and magnesium is known to help reduce stress and anxiety, two it gives you some down time. While this works well, it can be time consuming. A very good alternative is using a concentrated magnesium chloride, also known as magnesium oil, magnesium rub, or magnesium gel. Both of these products are applied directly to your skin and absorbed transdermally. So for the de-stressing properties of magnesium in "soak in a tub" sort of way, try Magnesium Rub or Magnesium Gel. Another reason why you might prefer the magnesium chloride to the magnesium sulphate is that when you soak in the tub you also absorb the sulfate [9] and you may only need the magnesium and not the sulfur.

Magnesium Sulphate used in medical research

Magnesium sulphate has been used a lot for medical research because it has been around for so long. Some of the research includes:

• Replacement therapy for hypomagnesemia.[1]

• Magnesium sulfate is the first-line antiarrhythmic agent for torsades de pointes in cardiac arrest under the 2005 ECC guidelines and for managing quinidine-induced arrhythmias.[2]

• As a bronchodilator, after beta-agonist and anticholinergic agents have been tried, e.g. in severe exacerbations of asthma.[3] Recent studies have revealed that magnesium sulfate can be nebulized to reduce the symptoms of acute asthma.[3] It is commonly administered via the intravenous route for the management of severe asthma attacks.[3]

• Magnesium sulfate can be used to treat eclampsia in pregnant women.[4] (See MAGNESIUM THERAPY FOR PREECLAMPSIA for more detail)

• Magnesium sulfate can also delay labor in the case of premature labor, to delay preterm birth.[5][6] (See Magnesium and Healthy Pregnancy for more detail.)

• Intravenous magnesium sulfate has been shown to prevent cerebral palsy in preterm babies.[7] This was supported by the 2009 Cochrane Review. [8]

The main ingredient, that produced the positive effects, in all this research, is magnesium. We suggest that you supplement with a form like Magnesium Rub or Magnesium Gel for the transdermal effect. Not only do you get the great effect of magnesium transdermally, but you also get the benefit of many trace elements, as these products are from a concentrate of sea water. Another great product is Mag365 and has help thousands of people deal with their magnesium deficiency issues. No wonder it is the best selling magnesium supplement. [9]


  1. "Pharmaceutical Information - MAGNESIUM SULFATE". RxMed. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  2. "When clicking citation, it is listed under ''Other medicinal and home uses''". 2007-01-04. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  3. a b Blitz M, Blitz S, Hughes R, Diner B, Beasley R, Knopp J, Rowe BH. Aerosolized magnesium sulfate for acute asthma: a systematic review. Chest 2005;128:337-44. PMID 16002955. jab averts pregnancy danger', BBC News, 30 May 2002
  4. "Magnesium sulfate for preterm labor". 2007-01-19. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  5. Lewis DF (September 2005). "Magnesiu m sulfate: the first-line tocolytic". Obstet. Gynecol. Clin. North Am. 32 (3): 485–500. doi:10.1016/j.ogc.2005.03.002. PMID 16125045.
  6. "Epsom salt can prevent cerebral palsy: U.S. study". 2008-01-31. Retrieved 2009-07-06.
  7. Doyle et al. Magnesium sulphate for women at risk of preterm birth for neuroprotection of the fetus. Cochrane Database of Systematic Reviews Reviews, 2009, Issue 1. Art. No.: CD004661 DOI: 10.1002/14651858.CD004661.pub3
  8. Rosemary Waring Absorption of magnesium sulphate through the skin (republished by the Epsom Salt Council), 2004
  9. SPINs Feb 2012