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8 Ways to Substitute Epsom Salt

Lisa Price
Last Updated on
by Lisa Price

Epsom salt is nature’s chill pill. Whether you add it to your bathwater or ingest a little bit to get rid of constipation, Epsom salt can help you relax in many ways. But it’s not the only thing that can.

You can also use common kitchen products like Sea salt, apple cider vinegar, and baking soda as alternatives to Epsom salt, depending on use case.

Epsom Salt
Epsom Salt

Magnesium sulfate, commonly referred to as Epsom salt, is a type of mineral compound consisting of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur. It’s water-soluble and looks like a thicker and denser version of salt.

Epsom salt has a variety of uses due to its many health benefits:

1. Helps relieve pain and muscle soreness

Epsom salt has been used for relieving pain and muscle soreness for centuries. When added to a bath, It reduces inflammation and swelling.

2. Reduces inflammation and gets rid of toxins:

This study shows that magnesium is quite beneficial for the skin when applied topically.

3. Relieves sun-damaged and itchy skin

Epsom salt is a natural exfoliant. It is gentle enough to use as a scrub but you can also benefit from it by dissolving it into your bathwater. It can calm down itchy and/or sunburnt skin.

4. Helps with constipation

Since it’s rich in magnesium, ingesting Epsom salt in small doses can help you with constipation. You can dissolve it in water before consumption.

Important Note: If you are pregnant or have kidney problems, make sure to consult your doctor before consuming Epsom salt!

1. Dead Sea Salt

Dead Sea Salt
Dead Sea Salt

If you want to rejuvenate your skin and get rid of patchy areas, you can easily substitute Epsom salt with Dead Sea salt. Like Epsom, Dead Sea salt is rich in magnesium and other natural minerals that can clean and hydrate your skin.

Research shows that bathing with Dead Sea Salt can help strengthen your skin’s moisture barrier and reduce redness. Dead sea salt is well-suited to all skin types and helps atopic and dry skin the best.

2. Essential Oils

Essential oils
Essential Oils

Just like sea salt, essential oils can also elevate your bath experience. As you may know, magnesium deficiency is closely related to stress.

Our bodies use magnesium to regulate our stress response, and added stress may cause your magnesium levels to drop. But if you are out of Epsom salt, essential oils can help you de-stress as well.

According to research, certain essential oils have a relaxing effect on the body and mind. In fact, several studies show that lavender essential oil can be used to treat anxiety. One way to destress using essential oils is taking a bath infused with them.

Rosemary, lavender, and chamomile oils can help you feel calmer. You can play around with different essential oils to find the combination that works for you. We’ve found a small set that can get you started.

3. Apple Cider Vinegar

Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple Cider Vinegar

Is there something cider vinegar can’t do? It helps with digestion, cleans your house, makes your hair shiny, not to mention that it tastes great in a dressing.

If you are experiencing muscle soreness and ache, you can add a cup of apple cider vinegar to your bath. Just like Epsom salt, it will help with the soreness and help you relax.

See where to find apple cider in the grocery store.

4. Mustard Powder

Mustard powder
Mustard Powder

Yes, mustard powder! Ground mustard seeds are a traditional remedy for aching and sore bodies. You will generally find these in stores as mustard plasters, which are patches filled with mustard powder. You can use them or just simply add mustard powder to your bath.

5. Baking Soda

Baking soda
Baking Soda

Baking soda is a great exfoliator. It is known to help with getting rid of dead skin cells in a very natural way.

You can use a cloth or bath-glove to rub a baking soda paste you can make by mixing one tablespoon of baking soda with enough water. You can also add it to your bathwater!

6. Clay


If you are using Epsom salt for its exfoliating properties, you might want to replace it with natural clay. Natural clay is pretty effective at exfoliating the skin and drawing out excess oil or build-up.

You can mix it in your bath water or use it as a mask and apply it wherever you see fit. White kaolin clay is a natural clay that helps you retain the pH balance of your skin while keeping its elasticity. You can also check out mineral-rich green clay for its nourishing properties.

7. Oatmeal


Oatmeal is not just delicious and nutritious but it’s also calming! Just like Epsom salt, drawing an oatmeal bath will help soothe your skin. An oatmeal bath will help you get rid of the need to constantly scratch, thanks to its moisturizing and skin-protecting properties.

You can’t simply pour oatmeal into the tub though. You need finely ground colloidal oatmeal.

7. Prune Juice

Prune Juice
Prune Juice

Even though it can help you fight constipation, Epsom salt does not taste great. Luckily, you can replace it with a much tastier alternative: Prune juice. Prune juice has laxative properties, and it’s safer to consume than Epsom salt.

You can drink prune juice in the morning and after meals to get your bowels moving. You don’t have to chug an entire bottle either, half a cup or one cup of it is enough to see the benefits.

Frequently Asked Questions

Where to Find Epsom Salt in the Store?

You can find Epsom salt in most chain stores, usually near the medication or the salt aisles. It’s quite cheap and you don’t need a prescription since it’s a natural ingredient. We have a whole quick guide dedicated to finding and buying Epsom salt in the grocery store you can check out!

Can You Consume Epsom Salt?

You can consume food-grade or pure Epsom salts in small doses for their laxative effects. Consult this FDA report to learn how Epsom salt can be consumed and what dosage you should take. However, it’s a good idea to consult your physician before you do so, especially if you have kidney problems.

How Different Is Epsom Salt from Sea Salt?

Although we often associate them with each other because we call both of them salts, the truth is that their compounds are entirely different.

Epsom salt consists of magnesium, oxygen, and sulfur, while Sea salt contains sodium chloride and minerals. It does not contain sodium and thus doesn’t even taste like salt.

Can You Use Epsom Salt to Help Your Plants Grow?

Yes, you can! Since Epsom salt is naturally rich in sulfur and magnesium, it’s also a great source of nutrients for plants. It helps plants grow thicker and greener leaves and boosts their overall well-being.

About Lisa Price
Lisa Price
Lisa is Food Champ's resident fitness enthusiast and nutrition expert. She holds a nutrition degree in her home state of Florida and works for a large health system to ensure sound nutrition and dietetics information is passed on to all members.
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