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Epsom salt, what official is called magnesium sulfate, is known for centuries for all kind of purposes.
The name magnesium sulfate already explains that it is a compound of magnesium and sulfate. Both are minerals we need in our system.
Benefits of Epsom salt Range from bathing, cleaning, pain relief, relaxation, gardening, and it will even help remove splinters.
Many people wonder where do Epsom salt come from.
Epsom salt is named after the spring where it was first found in Surrey in England.
Most of the Epsom salt produced in the world is used in agriculture as part of fertilizing.
Like always when I read all the benefits of a product and try to find out more I run into questions.
One of the most intriguing questions that popped up in my mind was:
Why are there so many prices differences for one and the same product?
This made me decide to dig a little deeper in the grades and qualification of Epsom salt and try to find answers on questions like:
- Where does our Epsom salt come from
- What is it purest form
- Is all Epsom salt the same
- Why is it better to use a higher grade
First of all I was trying to find if there were any international standards for Epsom salt.
Unfortunately I was not able to find any international standards. This does not mean that they maybe exist, just that I could not find them.
I found standards for the United States however and could still not verify, not even on the FDA website, if this was an official standard.
UPS standard Epsom salt
The standard was called UPS grade Epsom salt and this stands for United States Pharmaceutical Grade and a more common name is food grade Epsom salt.
This grade is the most controlled form of Epsom salt. Every batch made in the factory is tested and if it passes than this makes it usable in food and for personal use.
Technical grade Epsom salt
This is also called the agricultural or industrial grade and is produced for use in these two environments.
Because of the lesser qualification this kind is tested less regular and that is why it can contain impurities.
This Epsom salt agricultural grade is mostly used for fertilizing.
Asian Epsom salt
This is not an official grade, but Epsom salt from Asian countries like China and India are almost always cheaper. Since these countries are less regulated there can be particles in there that are not allowed in the UPS standard Epsom salt, or even in the agricultural grade.
UPS grade and Industrial grade differences
Basically there is no difference between the two. They are both manufactured in the same plant, using the same equipment.
The difference is that, like we mentioned earlier, every batch of USP grade Epsom salt is tested for purity. The industrial grade only get tested once in a while.
This testing of the USP grade is also what people call sometimes medical grade Epsom salts.
Who makes the best Epsom salt
There are only a few Epsom salt manufacturers that make USP grade Epsom salt. They are the PQ corp. and Giles corp. Both based in the US and the K+5 in Germany.
That makes it very interesting to look at the package and see if it is on there.
What Epsom salt to buy
Since most of the time we will be using our Epsom salt for personal use it is highly recommended to use only the USP grade. This is most of the time labeled as food grade.
ME! It is my opinion that it is safe to use any Epsom salt you buy in a regular store. No store would take the risk of selling the lower grade Epsom salt as an over the counter medicine.
If you can get the agricultural quality at a cheaper price and only use if on your lawn I see no problem with that. You probably have to go to a garden center or local farm coop and ask for magnesium sulfate. Just realize that it might contain things you do not want on your plants either, especially when you use it in your vegetable garden to grow organic food or fruit.
Where to buy Epsom salt
Epsom salt is very much available in about any grocery store and or pharmacy at a variety of prices.
It is hard to tell where to buy Epsom salt because it depends on how much you use.
If you only use it once in while I would stick with my local dollar store or pharmacy.
If you have the need for larger amount or even Epsom salt that is infused with essential oils to expand the bathing experience, I would look online. There you might be able to buy Epsom salt in a 50 Lb bag.
I did some research for the most sold Epsom salt online and found a brand that had some great customer reviews from hundreds of people. You can have a look at it and the brand is Epsoak Epsom salt.
My opinion about Epsom salt
Epsom salt has many health benefits and although not all are scientifically proven there are test done with people taking a bath and see there Magnesium levels go up after that.
What you have to realize is that our skin is our largest organ. We can absorb through our skin.
To make use of this you take an bath by putting Epsom salt in your bath or even in a foot bath.
Since it is made of two components we need in our system, Magnesium and Sulfate, and it is made under strict conditions to be called USP grade Epsom salt this quality is safe to use even internal. Make sure to talk to your physician before doing so however.
Some companies ad other ingredients like essential oil to it to make it even better suited for certain type of use.