Detailed guides to painful problems, treatments & more

All Archived Updates for:

Does Epsom Salt Work?

This page lists all 25 updates for one article on, Does Epsom Salt Work? For a more general summary of everything new around PainScience — recent updates for all articles, new articles, blog posts, and new study summaries, see What’s New on

  1. Dec 25, 2021 — Upgrade, hypomagnesemia — Much more and clearer information about hypomagnesemia and it’s possible role in pain.
  2. Dec 24, 2021 — Science update — Added citations and extra information about cramping and magnesium.
  3. Dec 22, 2021 — Major upgrade, magnesium as a pain killer — Added much more detail (and science) about the efficacy of treating chronic pain with magnesium supplementation. Merged with previous information on managing post-surgical pain.
  4. Nov 11, 2020 — Medical update, magnesium deficiency — More and better information about the causes, symptoms, and treatments for magnesium deficiency.
  5. Jan 3, 2020 — Audio version reboot — The audio version of this article has been re-recorded from scratch, including dozens of updates over the last couple years. I’ve also changed the way I produce audio versions so that I can easily updated individual chapters in the future. The audio is available on request to visually impaired readers, and as a perk for all eboxed set customers.
  6. Sep 21, 2019 — Science update, magnesium as a pain killer — Cited a more recent review of the science on this topic, Peng. Still negative. Did some related editing.
  7. Aug 19, 2019 — Upgraded, the logical limits of any one pain treatment — Just more and clearer information.
  8. May 23, 2019 — More detail — Added more information about magnesium supplementation as it relates to muscle cramping.
  9. Nov 17, 2018 — Major expansion — Added substantial coverage of the basics of magnesium and sulfate deficiency and supplementation. Speaking of deficiency, the absence of this information was a major oversight for many years. Despite it’s great size and thoroughness, this sub-topic was strangely missing, but that deficiency has now been largely addressed.
  10. Oct 25, 2018 — New section — This new section starts the process of re-focussing the article on Epsom salts bathing as a form of magnesium supplementation.
  11. Oct 9, 2018 — New sub-topic — Answered reader question about treating bloating, and added some information about the laughably low credibility of claims published by the Epsom Salt Council.
  12. Sep 11, 2018 — Major edit — Substantial, diverse editing of all sections about absorption.
  13. Sep 4, 2018 — New section — Comparing poisons and toxins and providing examples of pollutants and metabolic “wastes.” Important context!
  14. Sep 1, 2018 — New section —
  15. Dec 8, 2017 — New section — A short new section summing up the absorption topic, citing Gröber et al.
  16. Nov 21, 2017 — New section — Really fun new section based on Chandrasekaran et al. I laughed out loud repeatedly writing this one. Because what’s funnier than harvested human skin, amiright?
  17. Oct 28, 2017 — New section — A new section based largely on the findings of Park et al.
  18. Mar 21, 2017 — Added depth — Expanded on discussion of inhalation as a vector for salt magnesium absorption.
  19. Mar 17, 2017 — Minor correction — Correction about the size of water molecules, and some clarification about how skin waterproofing works thanks to some interesting science.
  20. Oct 21, 2016 — Minor clarification — Small but worthwhile clarifications of the 500 Dalton rule and the “Osmosis mistake” (which I continue to get too much ignorant email about).
  21. May 28, 2016 — New section — New section discussing the small size of magnesium ions and the 500 Dalton rule of absorption. This isn’t exactly a reversal of my position on absorption, because I was always officially and openly agnostic about it. However, I also clearly thought absorption was a priori implausible, and this update reverses that opinion, which is worth emphasizing.
  22. Sep 17, 2015 — Correction — Fixed an incorrect premise of a minor point: water vapour is pure by definition and cannot be salty, and therefore cannot be even a slightly plausible mechanism of delivery of salt to mucous membranes.
  23. Sep 8, 2015 — Correction and improvement — Fixed incorrect information about skin pruning and added the actual (and much more interesting) explanation; cited to substantiate the impermeability of the stratum corneum.
  24. Jan 16, 2013 — Improvement — Added an explanation of why it is probably a bad idea to use Epsom salts as a replacement for a tetanus shot after a dirty puncture wound.
  25. Aug 7, 2012 — New section — Reported on evidence against the absorption of Epsom salt.