Salty Suds

Epsom salts (which aren't actually salt but minerals, specifically magnesium sulfate) are salts that when added to bath water. They help relax, physically and mentally, by relaxing both the mind and muscles (see below for a more thorough explanation). The use of Epsom salts originated from observing the use natural mineral baths or soaking in hot springs to treat conditions in Europe.

Directions: Simply add a 1 cup (or 2) of the salts to a warm bath. Those with high blood pressure or those taking blood thinning medications should talk to their doctor before initiating this treatment.

Mental Effects: The body's magnesium levels get depleted during stress, causing fatigue both mentally and physically. When the salts are dissolved in the bath water, they are absorbed through the skin. When absorbed, they increased the level of magnesium in the body. Magnesium is a cofactor in the enzymatic reaction that produces serotonin. Serotonin is a bodily chemical that helps regulate our mood and improves overall energy.

Physical Effects: Magnesium is a known muscle relaxant. When absorbed into the skin from the bath water, the magnesium relaxes the muscles, making Epsom salt baths great for menstrual cramps, sports injuries, body pain, upper body muscle tension, and even constipation (especially if the constipation is linked to stress and an inability to "let go").

I was at Dollarama last month and saw them on the shelf for $1! So they are an extremely cheap treatment option. The one at Dollarama something looked like this:

Source here

Around the time that I saw these cheap (and effective!) salts at the dollar-store, was also when I had a disagreement with a teaching assistant (TA) over the cost effectiveness of naturopathic medicine.

I had said "Naturopathic Medicine is very cost effective" and the TA thought this was false. I still disagree. While some naturopathic treatments can yes be very costly and while seeing an ND ($100-150 for the initial visit, $80-100 for follow-up visits) is pricey, a good ND should be following the doctor as teacher principle: teaching the patient ways to take care of their health without relying in their ND for every ache and pain for the rest of their life. There are many, many frugal and sustainable health tips that a doctor can teach a patient during the first few visits that the patient can use throughout the rest of their life. Take my Naturopathic Pantry post for instance. Once a patient has been educated and guided by their doctor about simple and cheap home remedies, and aside from follow-up appointments with the ND, naturopathic medicine should be very cost effective as it relies heavily on lifestyle changes, and using items straight from nature to heal.

Next year, students will complete rotations in clinics that serve low-income and even homeless individuals. If we are able to help these patients, then cost-effective treatment strategies must exist!

Anywho, just my thoughts now. I'm curious to see how my outlook on the cost-effectiveness of my profession may change as I enter clinic starting in May!


  1. I agree with you completely. Homeopathy, acupuncture needles, dietary guidance, hydrotherapy, dried herbs, and physical medicine are all inexpensive, especially in community medicine form! The satellite clinics and trips abroad are proof of the affordability. That said it CAN be very expensive depending on the practitioner. The great thing about Naturopathic Medicine though is that we have SO MANY tools. We can pick and choose which ones to use to make it more accessible.

    1. Just to add... As Canadians, we don't realize the cost of health care, we see a lot of allopathic care as 'free'- which is not the case at all- it's just hidden in our taxes. This contributes to the misperception that Naturopathic Medicine is expensive (which it can be but doesn't have to be).


  2. Amy I'm sorry buy I may have to differ a little. I do not belive that the rise in the use and faith in Naturopathic Medicine is because it is cost effictive. The cost of quailty effictive health care is always a big topic talk. More over the anwser lies in the results, most people would say something like..."nothing is as important as your health" so the cost is the cost it matters not. We in Cananda are very affluent and have many finicial resources to use on our health. I beleive that the cost part of health care should rarely be brought up rather the clinical health outcomes. I hope we can have a nice fireside chat on this subjuect. J.A.M.


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