Sunday, April 28, 2013

Epson Salts; an amazing substance.

I have long known of the benefit of Epson Salts for the garden, but I found out that there are other uses for it. Following is some interesting information that may benefit your garden as well as your health.

While the two main uses of Epsom Salts are in Health and Gardening, it is also a good fabric softener. Place one tablespoon of Epson Salts in the washing machine before it commences the rinse cycle.

Epsom salts are largely unknown to many people, and yet the benefits of using it, I found out, are vast! The reason Epsom Salts are so amazing is due to the abundance of the “miracle mineral” Magnesium, which is a naturally occurring mineral found in many foods such as nuts and seeds, spinach and potatoes. Magnesium is responsible for over 300 biochemical reactions in the body, but it is perhaps best known for its muscle relaxing properties, detoxification and also the formation of healthy bones and teeth.

Epsom Salts gets its name from the town of Epsom, in the county of Surrey, in England. The residents discovered the substance in the mineral waters of the town in the 16th century.

And if the human body is clogged up, Epson Salts will unclog it as fast as “Drano” does your drains. With the many uses of Epsom Salts, figuring out where to look for it can be difficult.  Supermarkets and chemists usually stock Epsom Salts with the laxatives. So, read on and learn more about this important and multipurpose mineral. - Werner
In the Garden.
The magnesium and sulphur in Epsom Salt are just as good for plants as they are
for the human body. They can help seeds germinate, make plants grow more vigorous, produce more flowers, increase the plants’ nutrient uptake from the soil and the expensive fertilizer you buy, and also increase chlorophyll production. It’s the chlorophyll in plants that helps the plant turn sunlight into food. Unlike most fertilizers, though, Epsom Salt does not build up in the soil so you don’t have to worry about using too much or dangerously altering your soil conditions. Epsom Salt has been shown to be very useful in growing healthier roses, tomatoes, shrubs, and houseplants. You can even put Epsom Salt around your trees. See more images.
Extreme magnesium deficiency in the soil is recognized by pale green leaves and by blossom and fruit rot, but don't wait for that. Sprinkle dolomite or Epsom salt on the soil from time to time, or add a little Epsom salt to the water. Using a little frequently is better than using a lot once, because the excess just gets leached.
Epsom salt recipe: Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salt in 5 litres of water. For healthy nightshade plants (tomatoes, peppers, and eggplants) water just as flowering starts. Or use this mixture as a foliage spray in the garden and on house plants. Epsom Salt has no effect on soil pH and it will not change soil acidity. Magnesium occurs naturally in soil, though not always in a quantity sufficient for all plants.  Some soils start out with sufficient magnesium, but an abundance of rain can cause it to be washed out of the soil. Tomato growing tips.

Generally speaking, rough, sandy soil is a sign that the soil is deficient in magnesium.  Soils developed from peat bogs and alkaline soils also tend to be magnesium-hungry.  Sulphur is not naturally abundant in soil, though most types of commercially prepared fertilizers contain a sufficient amount.  Organic materials such as compost and manure also contain sulphur.

A plant that is just a little magnesium-deficient won't grow well.  A plant that is greatly deficient will likely have yellowing leaves. The yellowing generally starts on the older leave first, and then the portions between the vines. Yellowing is also known as chlorosis, and appears as a gradual fading or mottling of the green colour.

Benefits:  Magnesium is critical in the formation of chlorophyll.  It's also useful in aiding the absorption of phosphorus, which contributes to growth, flowering and disease resistance.  In addition, it helps a plant both absorb and use both nitrogen and phosphorus. Adding Epsom Salt to plants has been reported to enhance the colour of blossoms and leaves, promote new flowers and fruit, improve the root system and improve the strength of stems. Epsom Salt is safe to use and will not build up in the soil, even if additional magnesium isn't needed.

Epsom Salt for plants (general):  Add 2 tablespoons to 5 litres of water if there are signs of magnesium deficiency.  For tomatoes: To prevent blossom end rot, add 2 or 3 tablespoons per plant hole before planting.  Generally, tomatoes tend to be heavy users of magnesium and have been said to benefit from Epsom Salt.  Many users simply add a tablespoon to the hole before they plant. Each month, sprinkle a tablespoon around the base of each plant and scratch into soil.

For roses: Sprinkle 1 teaspoon per foot of plant height and spread evenly around the base for better blossoms and deeper greening.  Add 1/2 cup sprinkled around the base and then scratched in, for strong production of new flowering canes and healthy new basal cane growth.

Health Uses.
Magnesium is essential for a plant’s health, and ours. The magnesium in Epsom Salt has a crucial role in health. It’s the second-most abundant element in human cells and is involved in many important bodily processes. Magnesium regulates the activity of more than 325 different enzymes in the body, makes insulin more effective, helps muscles and nerves function properly, and improves sleep and concentration. It also eases stress and relieves pain and muscle cramps by reducing inflammation.

The sulphates in Epsom Salt flush toxins from the body; improve the absorption of nutrients from your food, help build the proteins that make up your joints and brain tissue, and also can help avoid or lessen migraine headaches. It’s also been shown that the sulphates in Epsom Salt help the digestive system by improving enzyme production and increasing the ability to remove toxins from medicines or the environment. While sulphates are easily absorbed through the skin, it’s a lot harder to absorb them from food, so bathing in an Epsom Salt bath is a great way to supply your body with these crucial molecules.

As a saline laxative, two to four teaspoons of Epsom Salt in a glass of water relieves constipation in as little as a half hour. (I’m sure it would. :-) - Werner)

Where do WE get magnesium? Foods such as green leafy vegetables, some legumes, nuts, seeds and unrefined grains are good sources. However, if those plants do not get enough magnesium, neither do we. Without enough magnesium, plants often develop some yellowing in their older leaves between the veins. Magnesium is essential for photosynthesis, and helps activate plant enzymes needed for growth. Animals have a need for more magnesium than plants, so a plant magnesium deficiency often shows up first in the animals, especially those that graze or forage.
My thought for today.Werner
Always walk through life as if you have something new to learn and you will.~ Vernon Howard

Sources of this posting:


Alf Lester said...

Growing veggies for our “home consumption” is one of my leisure pursuits I found your posting about Epson Salts enormously interesting and informative. Thank you very much.

Alf Lester said...

Growing veggies for our “home consumption” is one of my leisure pursuits. I found your posting about Epson Salts enormously interesting and informative. Thank you very much.

June said...

I had a sore toe not so long ago and of course being a Diabetic was very concerned. I showed it to my doctor and he said to bathe it in a bath of warm water containing Epsom Salts. After three baths it was healed. These old fashioned methods work.

Frank Cooper said...

I found this posting very interesting and of great value for me as a backyard gardener. I never looked further than Epson Salts being a laxative. Well, one is never too old to learn.

Joan said...

A quarter of a teaspoon of Epsom salts in a glass of water, before breakfast benefits arthritis sufferers. A taxi driver told me that he had been bed-ridden for some time be-cause of his arthritis, when he was told about the Epsom salts drink; he thought “what have I got to lose ". He is now back at work driving his taxi.

Whitby said...

When we lived on five acres we kept goats. One became ill and lost her hair. It turned out that Australian soils are not very well endowed with magnesium and she was deficient, so I learned a lot about Epsom Salts about 25 years ago. There are many supplements with magnesium in them but they are pretty expensive. Magnesium has something important to do with muscles and lack of it is often blamed for cramps.

(Epsom has a very important race course, it’s where The Derby is run we lived on the route out of London and would see all the Rolls Royce cars with huge picnic baskets strapped to the boot heading for Epsom). (Derby is an important city in the midlands where I was born. It manufactured Rolls Royce engines.)

Barbette said...

As always,an excellent and very well researched subject matter! I can recall Mum and Dad using Epsom Salts in both the garden and as a drink to detoxify the body; indeed, I was given doses of Epsom Salts as child when I was experiencing 'Rheumatic growing pains' as a child...and it helped to reduce the pains!