In today’s economy gift buying is harder than ever. Many people are struggling just to find the money to buy groceries and pay bills. There are many other gifts that will be far more luxurious, but few will have as many uses as today’s feature: Epsom Salt. Epsom Salt has been around for years and has been proven to be beneficial in many ways. Many years ago I was a single parent…it was just Erin and me and money was really, really tight in those days. So, one Christmas we bought bags of Epsom Salt and we scented the salt with essential oils that we found on sale. We found pretty little bottles at the dollar store, filled them with our scented salt, tied pretty ribbons on them and gave them as gifts. Everyone got bath salts that year. We were very proud of our crafty selves. Erin was about 4 years old that year and she still talks about it. It was memorable for us and our family and friends. So, if your budget is stretched to the max and you are looking for gift ideas that are inexpensive yet come from the heart, consider Epsom Salt. It can be found in almost any pharmacy, supermarket, dollar store, etc.
The Many Uses of Epsom Salts…
· To exfoliate: Mix 2 cups of Epsom Salt with 1/4 cup of petroleum jelly and a few drops of lavender essential oil. Use the mixture to gently scrub away dry skin patches.
· Facial: Mix 1/2 TSP of Epsom Salt into cleansing cream for a deep-pore cleansing. Massage on skin. Rinse with cool water. Pat dry.
· For a relaxing soak: Add two cups of Epsom Salt to the water in a standard-sized bathtub; soak for at least 12 minutes, three times weekly. For an extra treat, add a few drops of eucalyptus oil for a refreshing scent.
· For a simple hair volumizer: Combine equal parts of warm, deep conditioner and Epsom Salt. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave on for 20 minutes. Rinse.
· For a foot scrub: Mix 2 cups of Epsom Salt with 1/4 cup of petroleum jelly and a few drops of your favorite essential oil. Use the mixture to gently scrub the heels and dry, rough patches on the feet. Repeat every few days.
Remove Splinters: Simply soak in Epsom salt and itwill not only draw the slpinter out but also to help it to heal.
Remove Hairspray and Gel Buildup: Combine a gallon of distilled water, a cup of Lemon juice (fresh or bottled), and 1 cup of Epsom Salt. Cap the mixture and let it sit for 24 hours. The next day, pour the mixture into your dry hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then shampoo as normal.
Epsom Salt helps seeds germinate, makes plants grow bushier, produces more flowers, increases chlorophyll production and deters pests, such as slugs and voles. It provides vital micronutrients to supplement your regular fertilizer. Epsom Salt is recommended by Master Gardeners and used regularly by commercial growers around the world. Tests by the National Gardening Association confirm that roses fertilized with Epsom Salt grow bushier and produce more flowers, and it also makes pepper plants grow larger than those treated only with commercial fertilizer.
· Houseplants: 2 tablespoons per gallon of water; feed plants monthly.
· Tomatoes: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks.
· Roses: 1 tablespoon per foot of plant height per plant; apply every two weeks. Also scratch 1/2 cup into soil at base to encourage flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth. Soak unplanted bushes in 1 cup of Epsom Salt per gallon of water to help roots recover. Add a tablespoon of Epsom Salt to each hole at planting time. Spray with Epsom Salt solution weekly to discourage pests.
· Shrubs (evergreens, azaleas, rhododendron): 1 tablespoon per 9 square feet. Apply over root zone every 2-4 weeks.
· Lawns: Apply 3 pounds for every 1,250 square feet with a spreader, or dilute in water and apply with a sprayer.
· Trees: Apply 2 tablespoons per 9 square feet. Apply over the root zone 3 times annually.
· Garden Startup: Sprinkle 1 cup per 100 square feet. Mix into soil before planting.
Epsom Salt- actually magnesium sulfate – can help people maintain optimum levels of both magnesium and sulfate. Sulfate helps form joint proteins and helps keep joints healthy, flushes toxins and improves absorption of nutrients. Magnesium regulates more than 325 enzymes in the body, performing more functions than almost any other mineral. Among the benefits: magnesium helps reduce inflammation to relieve pain and muscle cramps, helps muscles and nerves function properly and helps prevents artery hardening and blood clots.
· To ease muscle pain and fading bruises. Add two cups of Epsom Salt to warm water in a standard-sized bathtub (double the Epsom Salt for an oversized garden tub) and bathe three times weekly, soaking for at least 12 minutes. Also can be used to make compresses.
· To soothe feet aching from a tough workout or a long day, create a balm by adding a cup of Epsom Salt to a tub of warm water.
Get rid of raccoons: Are the masked night marauders poking around your trash can, creating a mess and raising a din? A few tablespoons of Epsom salt spread around your garbage cans will deter the raccoons, who don’t like the taste of the stuff. Don’t forget to reapply after it rains.
Deter slugs: Are you tired of visiting your yard at night only to find the place crawling with slimy slugs? Sprinkle Epsom salt where they glide and say good-bye to the slugs.
Clean bathroom tiles: Is the tile in your bathroom getting that grungy look? Time to bring in the Epsom salt. Mix it in equal parts with liquid dish detergent, then dab it onto the offending area and start scrubbing. The Epsom salt works with the detergent to scrub and dissolve the grime.
Regenerate a car battery: Is your car battery starting to sound as if it won’t turn over? Worried that you’ll be stuck the next time you try to start your car? Give your battery a little more life with this potion. Dissolve about an ounce of Epsom salt in warm water and add it to each battery cell.
Frost your windows for Christmas: If you are dreaming of a white Christmas, but the weather won’t cooperate, at least you can make your windows look frosty. Mix Epsom salt with stale beer until the salt stops dissolving. Apply the mixture to your windows with a sponge — for a realistic look, sweep the sponge in an arc at the bottom corners. When the mixture dries, the windows will look frosted.
You can find much more information at www.epsomsaltcouncil.org and you can follow them on facebook at www.facebook.com/epsomsalt.