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Magnesium sulphate paste is usually applied as a "drawing ointment" for boils, carbuncles, and other skin infections. However, there are many other applications for this versatile, natural remedy.

Magnesium sulphate paste — better known as Epsom salts — is a popular but old-fashioned remedy for infections of the skin. Usually applied to boils and carbuncles, the cooling, white paste helps the skin heal so it pushes areas of infection up and out. Speeding up the healing of skin infections, however, is just one of many uses for this versatile product.

What Is Magnesium Sulphate Paste?

Magnesium sulphate is the chemical name for Epsom salts, an inexpensive product added to warm water for soaking, warm, healing, baths. The paste combines finely ground Epsom salts with water and glycerin, to make the product smooth, and phenol, to prevent a growth of bacteria. [1]

How Does Magnesium Sulphate Heal Skin Infections?

Magnesium sulphate paste is not, as some people have suggested, a homeopathic preparation. It is a natural mineral product. Magnesium sulphate was first mined on a commercial scale near the town of Epsom, in England, where springs bubble through chalk hills into thick clay. The magnesium sulphate sticks to the clay and is easily scraped away in a nearly pure form. Modern magnesium sulphate products, of course, are made with purified salts.

The way magnesium sulphate heals the skin is by forming a "second skin" that allows injured tissue beneath it to heal. The mineral absorbs water.

It stays moist. It keeps the skin from drying out and forming crusts, but it also pulls moisture out of the skin, just enough to make the skin "pop" to release any pus and dead tissue trapped inside.

More than just opening the skin, magnesium sulphate pastes also stimulate circulation in the skin. Tiny, almost invisible capillaries carry more blood and deliver more oxygen and nutrients to the skin. At the same time the paste is helping the skin get rid of the infection, it promotes formation of new healthy tissue. These qualities have made the product extremely popular for simple treatments of boils and carbuncles.

Health practitioners all around the world have found some astonishing applications for magnesium sulphate paste. In India, the product is used to stimulate healing of the skin after cobra bites. [2]

Cuts and abrasions heal more quickly with magnesium sulphate pastes because of the stimulation of collagen. [3

The product has been used to treat dry skin caused by hyperthyroidism. [1]

Skin care, however, is just one of many applications of magnesium sulphate paste.

Magnesium Sulphate Pastes Can Ease Anxiety

Many of us would like to take a long, leisurely soak in the tub, but we just don't have time. Using magnesium sulphate paste is the next best thing. Water flows out of the skin into the magnesium sulphate paste, but magnesium also flows into the skin and into the body.

Magnesium is essential for the normal functioning of the central nervous system, and it is when we are at our busiest, leading hectic lives, that we don't eat enough of the leafy greens that provide dietary magnesium. Using a magnesium sulphate paste provides the body with the calming mangesium it needs to regulate the nervous system, reducing anxiety, and making it easier to sleep.

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