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Epsom salt facts for kids

Kids Encyclopedia Facts

Bath salts or Epsom salt are things that people add to the water when they take a bath. Some bath salts have things to make the water smell good. Some bath salts have medicines in them. Epsom salt, or magnesium sulfate, is made of magnesium, oxygen and sulfur. It is named after the town in England where people first learned to use it. Sometimes people call things that are not Epsom salt "bath salts" too, if they are meant to be thrown into a bath to make the water feel or smell good.

History

People have put herbs and perfumes in their bathwater for a very long time. Epsom salts were discovered in Epsom in England, a spa town, in the 1600s. Doctor and botanist Nehemiah Grew studied the salts in the water and tried to patent the salt. He got into a fight with apothecaries about it.

Health

There is anecdotal evidence that bath salts improve human health. This means that many people take salt baths and then say they feel better, but not in a scientific way.

When bath salts mix with the water, they dissolve in the water. Then they give off ions of magnesium and sulfur. The idea is that the person will absorb magnesium through his or her skin. Having enough magnesium in the body can help with sleep problems, digestion problems, and other problems. Some people say it can help with sore muscles after exercise and other types of pain.

Scientists have not found proof that human bodies can really take in magnesium through the skin. When doctors treat people with low magnesium, they give them magnesium to take in through their mouths.

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Epsom salt Facts for Kids. Kiddle Encyclopedia.