What is magnesium sulfate used for?
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Q:

What is magnesium sulfate used for?

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Quick Answer

Magnesium sulfate is used to treat pre-eclampsia, headaches and constipation. It can also reduce boils, abscesses and inflammation. More commonly known as Epsom salts, magnesium sulfate can be dissolved in water for soaks or combined with other ingredients and taken orally or intravenously.

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Discovered in the mineral waters of Epsom, England, magnesium sulfate is a naturally occurring substance that forms from precipitation of vapors in limestone caves and hot springs. It is a colorless or translucent white mineral with shades of pink and green.

Magnesium is the fourth most abundant mineral in the body. It is involved in bone metabolism, muscular function and the production of glucose. Certain medications, absorption problems and lifestyle habits can lower the amount of magnesium in the body, leading to magnesium deficiency. These stores can be replenished with magnesium sulfate. Though magnesium sulfate is indicated for reduction of inflammation, it is not appropriate for treatment of traumatic injuries such as bone breaks. It should be used in conjunction with appropriate medical care to relieve pain.

In plants, magnesium is required for the process of photosynthesis, while sulfur affects growth and color of the plant. Magnesium sulfate is commonly added to the soil to achieve an ideal balance of these nutrients.

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    Magnesium chloride hexahydrate is the magnesium salt of the hydrochloric acid, HCl. Its molecular formula is Cl2H12MgO6 or MgCl2(H2O)6 and its molar mass is 203.3 grams per mole. It is highly soluble in water. Its density is 1.569 grams per cubic centimeter, compared to 2.32 for the anhydrous form, and its melting point is 117 degrees Celsius compared to 714 degrees for the anhydrous compound.

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    What are the benefits of drinking Epsom salts?

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    Magnesium sulfate, also known as Epsom salts, is approved for use as a laxative according to the University of Maryland Medical Center. Magnesium and sulfur are necessary nutrients for the body but should be used judiciously. Overuse of Epsom salts taken internally can interfere with some medications, disrupt some bodily functions and cause dehydration.

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    How do you benefit from magnesium chloride?

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    Magnesium chloride is a mineral supplement that helps regulate blood pressure, encourages a steady heartbeat and maintains strong bones. According to WebMD, too much magnesium in the body is toxic, so when taking magnesium chloride, it's important to limit the supplement dosage to 350 milligrams per day.

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