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While Pinterest may find itself obsessed with the benefits of baking soda, there’s another white powder available at the grocery or drug store with just as many natural uses–perhaps even more. Named after the bitter springs of Epsom in Surrey, England, Epsom Salts are crystallized Magnesium sulfate. This compound has numerous health benefits and home uses.

1.) Increased Overall Health

Many people in Western countries suffer from a magnesium deficiency due to poor diet and have no idea. This can lead to stress-related illnesses, digestive issues, osteoporosis, and even heart disease. A simple soak in an Epsom salt bath a few times a week will increase the amount of magnesium in your body, relax you, and increase your overall vigor. I try to do it as often as I can before bed, which puts me right to sleep.

2.) Ease Sore Muscles

Living the rustic life certainly comes with its aches and pains. A warm soak in a bath of Epsom salts will relax muscle fibers. This also works to alleviate aching feet, remove splinters, and heal bruises, as it increases blood flow.

3.) Fertilize the Garden

Use one tablespoon of Epsom salts per gallon to prevent against a magnesium deficiency and boost yield. Of course, this should be an emergency-type application for those more interested in biodynamic farming and deep nutrition, but sometimes the compost teas and nettle sprays need a little help. Epsom salt is a great, natural source of both magnesium and sulfate.

4.) Alleviate Dandruff

I’ve struggled off and on with this embarrassing scalp malady for years. Most of the shampoos made to treat it are full of synthetic chemicals and sometimes they don’t even work. A simple bath in Epsom salts once a day for 20 minutes makes dandruff disappear. You have to be consistent, but it’s an entirely natural way to improve your scalp health.

5.) Obliterate B.O.

Yup. The daily Epsom salt bath I’ve been pushing this whole page also reduces body odor incredibly. We’ve had numerous comments on our Homemade Antiperspirant article from people saying they’re nervous it won’t work because they smell so bad. Some of this could be dietary and holistic, but soaking in Epsom salts once a day and using a simple, homemade antiperspirant is an excellent way to smell clean and fresh without any synthetic chemicals.

Do you know of any more uses for Epsom salts? Let us know in the comments!