Lately I’ve heard a lot of chatter about bath salts (no, not the kind that turn people into flesh-eating vampires), and after reading that makeup guru Pat McGrath uses Himalayan detox salts due to the fact that they’re like “like natural Valium,” I became intrigued. Apparently, celebrities like Gwyneth Paltrow and Victoria Beckham also use Epsom salts to get flatter stomachs. Sign me up right now.
Aside from the above, Epsom salts have a laundry list of purported benefits, like helping fight jet lag, reducing muscle pain and cramps, reducing bloating, relieving constipation, and curing hangovers (amen!). Sounds too good to be true, right?
I really wanted to try out the stuff that McGrath swears by, but dropping $60 on a small container just didn’t seem right. Instead, I settled on a giant three-pound bag of Dr. Teal’s Epsom Salt Soaking Solution at Walmart for $5. Because salt is salt, right? (Side note: You can totally lift weights with these bags.)
After one bath, I became obsessed with Epsom salt — Dr. Teal’s specifically, as its salts are also blended with aromatherapy oils for an all-around euphoric experience.
I tried the Refresh & Renew solution with rosemary and mint first. Two cups of salt and 45 minutes later, I was feeling so relaxed that I was practically drooling and could barely bring myself to get out of the tub. And within 10 minutes post-tub, I was sleeping like a baby, a process that usually takes about an hour of tossing and turning and having to listen to some major white noise.
I’m just pissed that it took me 32.5 years to try it out. All the sleepless nights, muscle aches, bloating, and — most importantly — brutal hangovers. You know, the kind that hit you in your late 20s and get more painful each year? Yeah, THOSE. In college, I’d get home super wasted at 3 a.m., wake up still boozy the next morning, go to yoga and sweat it all out, study and repeat. Nowadays, I need at least two days to recover, which brings me to the main point of all of this: testing it out as a cure for hangovers.
I woke up a few weeks ago with the worst hangover I’ve ever had to date. We’re talking a head-pounding, dry-heaving, feeling-like-death kind of affair. So I crawled out of bed and managed to draw a hot bath and added two cups of my handy Dr. Teal’s salts (this time I used Soften & Nourish with milk and honey). I brought a glass of water, because I knew I'd be dying for one and I'd be too hungover to get out of the bathtub when I realized I was thirsty. At any rate, it was a pretty miserable 30 minutes trying to keep my head up above water while soaking. Once I got out of the tub, though, I felt so much better — not like wanting-to-run-a-marathon better, but more of being able to function versus dying in bed for the remainder of the day.
I think I’m going to start traveling with it, too. Probably not with the three-pounder, because I usually don’t have that much luggage room to spare, but maybe with a two-cup supply. Besides, it's at most mass-market consumer stores and drugstores, so it’d be pretty easy to find.
I’ve tried the jet-lag soak, and I think it would be amazing for a long international flight, too. It helps tremendously with post-flight bloating. What other uses have you discovered for Epsom salts? Are you a Dr. Teal's groupie?