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Salt Soak for Detox?

I've heard that Epsom salt can remove a significant amount of toxins from your body. Is this is true?

Answer (Published 4/2/2009)

Epsom salt is a magnesium compound (magnesium sulfate heptahydrate) first isolated from a well in the town of Epsom, England. Adding Epsom salt to bathwater has long been a popular home remedy for aches and sore muscles. True, an Epsom salt bath can be pleasant and relaxing, but I haven’t seen any research confirming the widespread belief that it is the Epsom salt, not the warm water, that soothes. Similarly, there is no research showing that an Epsom salt bath can draw toxins from the body, as many people also believe.

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That hasn’t stopped promoters from claiming that Epsom salt (and other bath products) can detoxify the body. In evaluating claims for the various methods of detoxification and other cleansing regimes you can find online and elsewhere, start with the knowledge that the body does a pretty good job of cleansing and purifying itself. If you stop putting toxins in and focus on good nutrition, regular exercise, and other healthy habits, you won’t feel the need to do this sort of thing.

You can help the body rid itself of unwanted materials by drinking more water to increase urinary output, taking steam baths or saunas to promote sweating, adjusting diet and fiber intake to ensure regular eliminations, And getting enough aerobic activity to stimulate breathing. In addition, taking the herbal remedy milk thistle boosts liver metabolism, aiding its important role in detoxification.

Andrew Weil, M.D.

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