Talk:Magnesium sulfate

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What is the appeal of epsom salt soaks? Does it do anything special? --Elijah 05:19, 2005 Jan 21 (UTC)

Suitable references?[edit]

Reference number 18 suggests magnets for improving sleep to reduce muscle and joint pain. To my knowledge, the health benefits of magnetic fields have been thoroughly debunked (see Magnet_therapy#Criticism). Also, the reference itself is secondary in that it references a "July 1998 issue of The American Journal of Medicine
". It just sounds like a crumby thing to cite. Let's try and find a better one! L3lackEyedAngels (talk) 03:19, 1 August 2009 (UTC)

Enthalpy of hydration?[edit]

Does anyone know the enthalpy of hydration of Magnesium sulfate? --Tiaot (talk) 04:47, 19 November 2008 (UTC)

Contradictory Data[edit]

I was looking for solubilities at higher temperatures in the Merck index and noticed (for the heptahydrate) 'Soly in water (g/100 ml): at 20° = 71; at 40° = 91.' After doing the conversion (to put the heptahydrate in terms of the anhydrous salt) the solubility should be around 35g/dl. This is a pretty large difference.

In addition, I think it would be good practice to specify what hydrated form the density data is for, as the data is pretty much useless without this specification. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 18:50, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

It may be helpful for user to consult the phase diagram in the Danish report to obtain solubility data at other temperatures than 20 °C.
I think the contradictory data of the solubility is the calculated value 35 g/dl compared to the value 25.5 g/100 ml in the chembox of year 2007 (the content of the box is not properly displayed due to the spelling “chembox new”). Indeed there is a large difference but solubility data can be expressed in several ways. The value circa 35 g/dl seems to be correct when the dl refers to the amount of solvent. The value 25.5 g/100 ml may also be OK if it instead is interpreted as grams per 100 g of solution (or a value in percent). For dilute solutions a value per ml is approx. the same as a value per g. But a saturated magnesium sulphate solution is not a diluted solution; it has a high content of salt. The value 25.5 g/100 ml is also close to 26 g per 100 cc for cold water (Weast R. C. (editor), CRC Handbook of Chemistry and Physics, 57 ed., CRC Press Inc. 1976-1977, page B-129) but the temperature is not 20 °C but 0°C.
How should solubility in g/100 ml H2O be interpreted? For anhydrous magnesium sulphate it seems simple. Start with 100 ml water and add the salt until the solution is saturated. Well for the first percent of salt the volume of the solution is no longer 100 ml. It is less, it shrinks but finally the solution is saturated when 35 g has been added (corresponding to about 25.5 % at 20 °C). Adding 71 g of Epsom salt to 100 ml water doesn’t result in a saturated solution but 20.3 % (71*48.8/(100+71) = 20.3. The MgSO4 content of the heptahydrate is 48.8 %. The crystal water of the heptahydrate increase the total water content.--Stenallan (talk) 20:50, 19 November 2016 (UTC)

is it safe?[edit]

someone sent me a non-surgical way to get rid of gallstones. It included drinking a warm glass of water with a teaspoon of Epsom salt. Is this safe to take orally without a doctors prescription? -mulat

It's going to give you diarrhoea and the gallstones will remain where they are. If the gallstones are bothering you it may be an idea to ask your doctor for a referral. Cholecystectomy is a very minor procedure nowadays. Yeah, I know it's surgery, but even ursodeoxycholic acid is not very effective. JFW | T@lk 09:33, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
actually, the lemon juice + oil + magnesium sulfate recipe for gallstone expulsion has worked for several friends who have done it with good results. if you don't have someone who can talk you through it, perhaps you should consult with a naturopath or similar who is familiar with the technique. Xurizaemon 01:29, 10 May 2007 (UTC)

Ksp: Shouldn't it be included[edit]

Don't you guys think we should have some sort of template for chemical compounds? And shouldn't such information as the empirical Ksp be a part of that, somewhere on the right? I have a hard time finding Ksp, and this should be a central place to find it. - ElAmericano 01:26, 21 October 2005 (UTC)

Would anyone more qualified than me like to apply the {{Template:Chembox simple inorganic}} to this and other compounds? It seems like a good idea to me. - ElAmericano 22:08, 27 October 2005 (UTC)

I also want to know its effect for a gallstone, can somebody tell me complete procedure and what would be the result? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:46, 10 April 2012 (UTC)

organic synth[edit]

added a note on its use as a drying agent. --Dstroud 04:21, 23 October 2005 (UTC)

Formatting problem[edit]

The table on the right seems to interfere with the section edit links. I'm running Mac OS X and on Safari it looks like this [1]. I tried Firefox but it's not much better.

Other pages with that table don't seem to have this problem, a quick look at the page source suggests their tables are implemented differently, but it's completely opaque to me so I haven't attempted to change. Until someone comes along who can do the job, I've added __NOEDITSECTION__ to fix the problem temporarily. I realise this isn't ideal, but I think it's the lesser of two evils. --benmachine 20:06, 9 January 2006 (UTC)

I've got the same problem with FireFox under Windows, but I would not start with NOEDITSECTION to solve this. Consider the technical reference desk. JFW | T@lk 21:56, 9 January 2006 (UTC)
An anon user had changed the name of the image link so we lost the pic, once we lost the pic the formatting seemed to get messed up. I restored the picture, and I moved the hydrate picture over to the left, it looks better now. It should get even better when there's a bit more content. Walkerma 17:19, 10 January 2006 (UTC)

Well spotted. Thanks! JFW | T@lk 17:32, 10 January 2006 (UTC)


Magnesium relaxes muscle contractions whereas calcium causes muscles to contract. They are antagonists. So if you're cramping or sore and can either ingest a magnesium supplement or soak in mg to even the levels of ca:mg

Also recommended at least 2 cups to soak in per bath. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:42, 4 November 2015 (UTC)

What is the evidence that soaking in Epsom salts is medically benificial? I have Hemorrhoids and soaking in Epsom salts was recommended, and I have experienced an easing of symptoms during soaking. The Epsom salt council indicates that absorbtion of magnesium through the digestive tract can be blocked by some foods drugs and illnesses and implies that that is why soaking is recommended. Does anyone know of any medical research that would back this up? Does anyone know why doctors recommend soaking in Epsom salts for hemorhoids? Edwin Stearns | Talk 20:38, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

I'm also curious about this. I was told that for stiff or strained muscles it is beneficial in reducing pain, once it gets abosrbed through the skin, and have been using it for a few years now whenever I pull a muscle during martial arts or exercising. However, I'm wondering if it isn't just a placebo effect... Shanada 13:31, 5 April 2006 (UTC)

I challenge anyone to provide clinical evidence that magnesium sulfate has any analgesic effect beyond that of warm water. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ishmael2u (talkcontribs) 18:41, 9 September 2009 (UTC)

I was also told that the soaking in Epsom salt that I did for my ingrown nail was merely, as the doctor put it, "delaying the inevitable". I also do not recall it really doing anything other than dampening my foot. Rockhound 22:19, 15 May 2006 (UTC)

Research at Birmingham university UK Mgwater has shown that both Mg and sulfate are transferred through the skin when bathing in 1% solution in useful amounts to correct deficiency. Surplus is excreted by the kidneys. [user ProfSWback 15:17, 19 December 2006 (UTC)profSWback 19 dec 2006]

The sample size was small and the data were statistically insignificant for all measures (error bars larger than the difference). The alimentary canal is impermeable to Mg++ (the ion formed upon dissociation of MgSO4). When drinking Epsom salts solution (or milk of magnesia), the osmotic gradient cannot be normalized by flow of Mg++ into the surrounding tissues, so water flows out of the tissues to dilute the Mg++. This causes the stool to be softer (watery if you are aren't careful). In hemorrhoids, the exposed mucus membranes in contact with the Epsom salt solution during a soak causes water to be drawn out of the tissues into the bath (the same mechanism as stool softening). This also fits with the mechanism of "pruning" when soaking in pure water. (talk) 18:11, 16 February 2015 (UTC)

i am trying to understand what is benefit of soaking.. so far i gather three things = it keeps skin from "pruning" and if you have a cut, the salt is cleansing, and enough of the "salt" is absorbed by skin help correct Mg and sulfate deficiencies. however, that doesnt answer if and why it would help sore muscles, etc...unless they are caused by Mg and/or sulfate deficiencies?

It probably tends to push it into tissues; the blood level is fairly tightly controlled for some reason which implies that other things suck it out of the blood to achieve this. Magnesium has an anti-inflammatory effect. which is why it helps ease muscle and throat aches. It also has immunomodulatory effects particularly if you are deficient which very many people are.WolfKeeper 05:50, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I would like to know how much Epsom Salts to use to get any benefit while soaking? Is there a rule of thumb? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs).

I strongly suspect that the whole muscle soreness thing is complete superstition. I don't think there's any evidence at all. Considering that a warm bath already works rather well for soreness, a massive placebo effect is not only possible but likely.

I believe that Epsom Salts finds it's gretest benefit in treating insect bites, hives, chicken pox, etc... It is definately more soothing than a warm bath esp when the affected areas, such as the stylostome caused by the Chiggoe, are very itchy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:50, 3 October 2010 (UTC)

Ionic or Molecular?[edit]

Hey whoever's out there, is magnesium sulfate ionic or molecular? i can't find it anywhere!

It's an ionic salt, like sodium chloride. When it dissolves in water, it turns into Mg++ ions and SO4= ions. SBHarris 00:20, 11 February 2007 (UTC)


Safe in Copper Bath Tubs[edit]

Is Epsom Salts safe for use in copper baths?

It should be. Walkerma 05:53, 15 March 2007 (UTC)


There is an unreferenced comment in the article under medical uses purporting the use of magnesium sulfate "In maintaining and preventing amphetamine and methamphemine tolerance".

This comment is contradictory, and regardless of whether maintaining or preventing tolerence is it's effect, the comment should be referenced or removed.

However, if unreferenced comments are to be allowed, perhaps it is worth noting that crystal methamphetamine sold for smoking is often cut with magnesium sulfate, as it is not only similar in appearance but also in vaporisation properties when combined with liquid-phase methamphetamine.

Dehydration temperature?[edit]

At what temperature does MgSO4+7H2O become good 'ol anhydrous MgSO4? It's not in the article, either. Kel - Ex-web.god 22:31, 14 October 2007 (UTC)

The CRC Handbook (81st edition) says the heptahydrate loses water at 150 °C. This article needs a "Properties" section where we can put this. Walkerma 21:06, 15 October 2007 (UTC)
The Merck index says it loses its last mole of water at ~250 °C.
You're never going to get a single answer to this question. It will loose water at a whole range of temperatures. It will just loose the water faster at higher temperatures. And it's also going to depend on the amount of water in the atmosphere around the sample being heated.--Ed (Edgar181) 18:37, 29 November 2007 (UTC)

Removal of "Annie Epsom"[edit]

I am very familiar with the story of the cows and the water in Epsom, but this new story involving "Annie Epsom" (Yannie) seems very suspect. There are no valid sources provided, there is absolutely nothing found by Google about the "well known" personality, so I've removed it. If I made a mistake, please restore with valid references. Walkerma (talk) 05:23, 13 December 2007 (UTC)

What is it really used for[edit]

that is what i need to know —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:26, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Side effects for Magnesium Sulfate[edit]

Sensitivities and Allergies

Side effects for Magnesium Sulfate may include reactions such as hives, rashes and itching.

Magnesium Sulfate by means of IV may provoke severe hives and itching.

Magnesium Sulfate consumed may provoke rashes and itching.

People that may be allergic to Magnesium Sulfate should note: Magnesium Sulfate included as ingredient in many of the popular bottled waters. NGC6396 (talk) 16:46, 20 February 2009 (UTC)

My doctor suggested Magnesium Sulphate paste to draw out an abscess - it caused me to have severe irritation - I guess I'm allergic to it - swelling and inflamed skin still visible the next day - the discomfort eased with bathing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:07, 12 September 2014 (UTC)

testing of iron content[edit]

how do you test for Iron content in magnesium sulphate. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:03, 22 July 2009 (UTC)

"...or to magnesium-hungry crops..." statement.[edit]

The logic of this statement needs to be clarified. Avoidance of the informal use of "hungry" would solve the problem. Do such plants use more M-S than other plants? Do they grow better with greater levels of M-S? Etc. Cite your source, please.

Leafgreen (talk) 02:33, 13 September 2009 (UTC)

its the main chemical ingredient used to rejuvinate old car batteries?[edit]

to my knowledge the chemical that is sold and marketed to repair and rejuvinate old corroded lead/acid batteries is 99% epsom salt. Can someone else verify and confirm this and then post it in the list of uses for it , if its true? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 04:29, 6 August 2010 (UTC)

Poor quality citation regarding medical use for carbuncles, boils, and abscesses.[edit]

"Magnesium sulfate paste has been used as an agent for dehydrating (drawing) boils, carbuncles, and abscesses."

The citation given for this is . The only mention of magnesium sulfate/bath salts/epsom salts is the phrase "Magnesium sulfate is said to be a good natural cure for boils." Unless someone can provide a proper citation, this segment should either be removed, or altered to make it clear that it is a "folk cure". — Preceding unsigned comment added by Wascally wabbit (talkcontribs) 18:28, 14 June 2011 (UTC)

Well, I know (having used it myself for that purpose upon doctor's recommendation) that it isn't a folk cure, so a citeable source should be sought. (talk) 10:25, 30 August 2011 (UTC)

The one below is even worse:

Magnesium sulfate solution has also been shown to be an effective aid in the fight against blemishes and acne when applied directly to problematic areas, usually in poultice form.[16] If combined with water and made into a cream, it can be applied to the face to remove blackheads.

The given reference is a forum post. I'm removing both entries. Kolbasz (talk) 22:46, 27 August 2011 (UTC)

Probable Lie Edit[edit]

"The heptahydrate can be prepared by neutralizing sulfuric acid with magnesium carbonate or oxide, but it is usually obtained directly from natural sources." < It does not say what those natural sources are, or cite anything. And, someone on Youtube is Hell-bent on tying to reference, and link to wikipedia to try to win an argument with someone after already being proven wrong by the other person, every time. That person likely edited the page to make it say that, as there's no clarification/explanation, no information, and no citations, just nothing. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:25, 2 January 2014 (UTC)

Epsom Salt Council[edit]

I've noticed a few citations to this group to help backup health claims made in the article. This is not a scientific organization, but an advocacy group. They shouldn't be cited as a factual reference. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 12:12, 23 January 2014 (UTC)

"Xray" picture actually from cobalt sulfate?[edit]

I looked at the "Xray" picture and it appeared to be something other than MgSO4. Upon clicking the file details, it actually appears to be a picture of cobalt sulfate. Does anyone more chemically-savvy want to check this out? I'm on a mobile device and I can't easily check this out. --Elkman (Elkspeak) 05:09, 13 April 2016 (UTC) Elkman (Elkspeak) 05:09, 13 April 2016 (UTC)

Quality of studies[edit]

Two studies are cited regarding the absorption of magnesium through the skin. These two are single studies, not meta-studies. Shouldn't they be removed as per WP:MEDRS?
Also, here's a metastudy that might be worth including. Would others who are skilled at evaluating these take a look and make a decision? Thanks.--Karinpower (talk) 00:47, 29 August 2016 (UTC)

EEC guidelines (American Heart Association)[edit]

Anyone interested in taking a look at this and incorporating whatever might be useful for the article? (The studies they mention are linked.)
2015 Evidence Summary: Magnesium - Updated
Magnesium acts as a vasodilator and is an important cofactor in regulating sodium, potassium, and calcium flow across cell membranes. In 3 randomized clinical trials, magnesium was not found to increase rates of ROSC for cardiac arrest due to any presenting rhythm including VF/pVT. In these RCTs and in 1 additional randomized clinical trial, the use of magnesium in cardiac arrest for any rhythm presentation of cardiac arrest or strictly for VF arrest did not improve survival to hospital discharge or neurologic outcome.--Karinpower (talk) 01:04, 29 August 2016 (UTC)