Most everyone knows about Epsom salt for the bath to ease sore muscles, but there are many Epsom salt uses on the homestead you may not know about. We use it in the garden, for livestock health, for personal hygiene and even to help with Christmas decorations! Let’s start up close and personal.
Epsom Salt Uses For Personal Hygiene
Especially in winter, dry cracked feet can be painful and embarrassing. To have soft feet, help soothe achy feet and to help remedy stinky feet, mix ½ cup of Epsom salt in a pan of water as warm as you can stand it. Put your feet in, turn on a favorite television show or grab your favorite book and soak for 15 minutes or until the water cools.
You can refresh the pan with hot water and keep soaking as long as you like. I like to use a pumice stone when I’m done soaking. Dry well with a towel and for extra softness, rub your feet with your favorite moisturizer.
I make my own facial cleanser and sometimes I add Epsom salt. If you don’t make your own, you can add ½ teaspoon to your favorite cleanser. Put the amount you would normally use to clean your face into a clean bowl, add the Epsom salt and mix well.
Gently massage the cleanser onto your face in circular motions. Use a hot rag and wipe your face clean. Rinse as usual. Pat dry. Never rub your face dry, rubbing the face can aid in wrinkle development!
It won’t surprise you to know I make my own exfoliator too. I usually use sea salt or Himalayan pink salt but I do use Epsom salt sometimes. You can make an exfoliator quickly by wetting your skin and massaging Epsom salts all over yourself.
Start at your feet and work your way up to your face. Rinse and then bathe as normal. This type of self-massage is done by many who know the benefits of the ancient practice.
Epsom Salt Uses For Health
Although the most known use of Epsom salt for health is a natural constipation remedy, it has many other uses. There are so many of them we could write pages on the subject. We’ll just look at a few.
Bruises and Sprains
Epsom salt is a major part of home remedies for bruises. It is known to reduce pain, swelling, and discoloration of bruises and sprains. As soon as you determine the extent of the sprain or bruise, add two cups Epsom salt to warm water and soak the affected body part.
When I was bucked off our Percheron and cracked my pelvis, I ran a tub of water as hot as I could stand it. I added Epsom salt and Tea Tree Oil and soaked. It helped me greatly those first few days. I soaked as often as I needed to in order to get relief.
Remove a Splinter or Thorn
Mix one cup Epsom salt in warm water, as hot as you can stand, and soak the area. The next day the splinter or thorn should be on the surface where you can remove it. I would do this a few times the first day and then twice a day until it comes out. It shouldn’t take more than a day or two.
I’ve never had gout, but when I was a nurse, I had many patients who did. It was very painful for them. Epsom salt is known among home remedies for gout as a go-to pain relief.
Mix three to five Tablespoons of Epsom salt in a pan of water as hot as you can stand it and soak the foot for at least 30 minutes. Add hot water to the pan to keep the temperature up if you need to. Soak as long as you like.
Itch, Sting, and Sunburn Relief
Add two tablespoons of Epsom salt to one cup of water. Soak a cotton ball or clean wash rag in the mixture and apply to the affected area. Allow to air dry.
Pinkeye and Sty Relief
I’ve only had pink eye once that I recall, but when I was a teenager, I had sties quite often. My Granny would have me close my eyes and splash my face and eyelids with Epsom salt water. It helped them go away quickly.
We won’t talk about the time I pulled all my eyelashes out trying to get the problem lash, nope, we won’t talk about that. Next time Granny fixed me a bowl of Epsom salt water, I used it without hesitation.
Mix one Tablespoon of Epsom salt in one cup of water and rinse your face and eyes. Be sure to keep your eyes closed just to be cautious. It won’t damage your eyes, but it may sting some.
Epsom Salt Uses For the Garden
Epsom salt works like diatomaceous earth in that it cuts the slugs and keeps them from crossing it to reach your plants. Just sprinkle it around the plants and in between the rows. It doesn’t dehydrate the slugs like regular salt. We always thought the salt was melting the slugs when I was a little girl.
Increased Produce Production
Mix one teaspoon of Epsom salt in one gallon of water and spray your plants or pour it around their roots. It’s been shown to increase blooms in flowers and production of tomato and pepper plants.
If you use it in your garden as a slug deterrent you’ll need to be careful when it rains to not overdo the Epsom salt uses in the garden. What’s sprinkled on the ground will get watered in and using Epsom salt as a spray too soon may do harm.
When planting peppers and tomatoes, we like to mix one tablespoon of Epsom salt in the hole along with egg shells and vermiposted soil. This always gives a nice boost in growth, root establishment, and early yields.
Some people use it as a whole garden fertilizer. Spread one cup of Epsom salt per 100 feet of garden area and mix in with the soil.
Epsom Salt Uses Around the House
Burnt on Food Removal
Don’t you hate it when food scorches to the bottom of your favorite pan? Add enough water to cover the bottom of the pot and bring it to a boil. Add ½ Tablespoon Epsom salt to the pot and let it sit until the water is cool enough for you to scrub.
Car Battery Solution
Make a paste by mixing one ounce of Epsom salt in warm water and add a little to each battery cell. This will extend the life of your battery. Of course, the amount of life it gives depends on the age and overall condition of your battery. Some of the new fangled batteries won’t let you add to the cells.
To add decorative frost to your windows or tree limbs, combine one cup Epsom salt, three Tablespoons dishwashing liquid (clear soap works best) and 1 ½ cups boiling water. Apply the mixture to your windows using a sponge and allow to dry. Apply it to the branches of your Christmas tree using a pastry brush or small paint brush and allow to dry. It seems to look better if you kind of clump it on the tree but be creative!
Epsom Salt Uses In the Barn
Poultice for Abscesses, Bruising, and Sprains in Livestock
Combine Epsom salt and warm water to make a paste. The amount depends on how much you need. Add wintergreen essential oils depending on the amount of Epsom salt poultice you make. I would say 30 drops to one cup of Epsom salt is a good starting point.
For bruises, strains, sprains, and sore muscles apply the poultice to the affected area. Cover with cotton cloth or batting and wrap with vet wrap (I love this stuff for all kinds of uses). Leave on for 24 to 36 hours and remove.
Examine the area and if need be, repeat as needed. Don’t worry, it won’t burn or blister the skin.
For abscesses, pack the wound and/or the whole hoof and frog to draw out the infection. Be sure to apply cotton cover and vet wrap to protect the area. Leave on for 36-48 hours before checking. Repeat as needed. Remember to keep it covered to protect the area from reinfection.
Calm a Nervous Horse
Sprinkle one Tablespoon of Epsom salt over their feed in the morning and evening. I’m told by my horse rancher friends this helps a great deal.
When dealing with livestock, spring can be a dangerous time if you don’t monitor your animals. Magnesium deficiency can be deadly and is a real threat to mature livestock ranging on lush, fresh green forage. It’s also known as milk tetany, winter tetany, and lactation tetany.
A vet or cattle farmer knows to deliver IV fluids containing magnesium, but if you aren’t equipped to do that or prefer another method, an Epsom salt enema will work in about 20 minutes. The lining of the rectum will absorb the magnesium. It works like a suppository works for us humans because the lining is absorbent.
Mix a solution of two ounces of Epsom salt per 7 ounces of water and give to her rectally. Use an enema apparatus or insert a rubber tube in her rectum and pour it in through the tube.
Did you discover any new Epsom salt uses for your homestead or home? Do you have any other unusual Epsom salt uses to share with us?
Share your wisdom and experience in the comments below.
Safe and Happy Journey,
Rhonda and The Pack