Salt Packs for Pain and How to Make Them
For those who suffer from chronic pain of muscles or joints, finding a reliable remedy can be difficult. If you are one of those sufferers or even if you’re only looking for a remedy for muscle aches from working too long in the garden, you might want to give salt packs a try.
I’ve found that placing the warm poultice on an inflamed muscle can go a long way to reduce the pain. In addition, salt packs can be placed on the abdomen to help ease nausea. Laying one’s head on a salt pack can relieve ear ache. It can even be used to ease cramping and diarrhea.
How to make it
There are actually two ways to make a salt pack. One method, the more common method, is to dissolve the salt in water. This is the wet method. The other way doesn’t use moisture and is otherwise known as the dry method.
For the wet method:
- Dissolve 2 tablespoons of Epsom salts in warm water. You want to start with really warm water to retain the heat as long as possible. At the same time you don’t want it so hot that you burn the skin.
- Take a cloth, a flannel or wash cloth, and soak it in the Epsom salt solution.
- Wring out the cloth to remove excess moisture.
- Place the cloth directly against the skin where the affected muscles or joints are located.
How long you leave it on is really up to you, but it ranges from 20 minutes to until the pack has hardened and is no longer effective. The best way to judge the time is by how your muscles feel as the treatment progresses.
One way to keep the pack warm is to wrap it in plastic and then wrap with a heating pad. You do need to remove it though once it is warm enough as it’s important that the salt pack makes direct contact with the skin. It’s believed that the magnesium from the salt is absorbed through the skin and magnesium is known to help with muscle healing.
For the dry method: (this is my preferred method)
- Heat the oven to a warm heat of about 180 degrees. For this method, the microwave won’t work.
- Place 2 – 3 cups of rock salt (I use crushed water softener salt) in a baking dish and heat for 20-30 minutes. This will make the salt quite hot so you do need to be careful when handling.
- Pour the salt into some type of cloth bag. An old sock or pillowcase should work. (I prefer an old sock. In fact, I will even put the salt into the sock before heating and heat the sock and all.)
- Make sure you put a towel over the skin before putting the salt pack on the affected part. You can help retain the heat of the salt by further wrapping in a towel. You can close off the sock or pillow case with a large rubber band. DO NOT HEAT THE RUBBER BAND IN THE OVEN!
TIP: Put a few drops of your favorite essential oil on the sock/pillowcase for the additional benefits of aromatherapy.
When you use this method, lying with the salt pack for 30 – 40 minutes is optimum.
If you suffer from chronic inflammation, a salt pack used regularly can go a long way to help alleviate inflammation, cramps, joint pain, stiff neck and sore feet.