Can Epsom salt baths help you lose weight?
Since its discovery, people have turned to Epsom salt as a folk remedy believed it could heal all sorts of ailments. Named for the location in England where it was discovered, Epsom salt is estimated to have been in use for at least 400 years.
The effectiveness of Epsom salt baths in achieving health benefits is open for debate.
Many believe that when you bath in water with dissolved Epsom salt, the active ingredients (magnesium and sulfate) are rapidly absorbed through your skin.
Those who practice folk remedies believe these ingredients produce many health benefits, including weight loss.
A 2016 review of magnesium in the Journal of Nutrition and Food Services reported that there’s no scientific proof that magnesium can be absorbed well via your skin.
Researchers noted that the only study that has conclusively shown the skin’s ability to absorb magnesium was small, not peer-reviewed, and has not been replicated.
Similarly, in 2009, a small but credible study also found that magnesium sulfate did not absorb through your skin.
However, in a 2017 pilot study, researchers found that individuals who used a cream containing magnesium had increased levels of magnesium in their urine compared with a group that used a cream that did not contain the mineral.
Despite conflicting evidence, if you’re interested in trying Epsom salt baths for weight management and other potential health benefits, it’s low risk and might be worth a try.