Should You Use Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) or Magnesium Chloride to Ease Pain?

Written by Amir Tajer


Posted on February 06 2018

A large quantity of people worldwide, struggle with chronic joint and muscle pain stemming from a variety of issues including: osteoarthritis, Rheumatoid arthritis, or general soreness after exercising or working long hours.

As you grow older, your body breaks down. In turn, muscle soreness and joint pain can become more frequent and keep you from being as active as you’d like.

It's understandable to look for a solution to ease joint pain and muscle aches, and it's even more appropriate to discuss a solution that doesn't involve taking regular medication, unless you find that you absolutely have to.

As a result, people suffering from chronic joint and muscle pain have turned to bathing in a solution of one of two natural compounds: Magnesium Chloride, and Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate).

But, which one is more useful to ease pain, and which one is safer and easier to acquire in a naturally-sourced formula? Keep reading to find out.

What is Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)?

Greenway Biotech Epsom Salt for Bath

Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) is a type of magnesium salt. This bath product is a naturally occurring compound made up of Magnesium and Sulfur.

Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) received its name because it was originally sourced from a saline spring at Epsom, in England.

Since the earliest uses of Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate), it has been used as a remedy for several standard health problems, but today, it has been found to be a great way to ease pain when dissolved in a bath.

What Are the Benefits?

When bathing in an Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) solution, a sense of calm will wash over you. As the Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) dissolves through the skin, it triggers release of serotonin, a substance known for producing feelings of calmness and content.

The solution also contracts the tension in joints and muscles, allowing the body to relax enough to release the causes of pain and soreness in these parts of the body, especially in acute symptoms (i.e. after a workout or a long day on the job).

Additionally, sufferers of chronic joint diseases like arthritis, are relieved of joint pain because the skin absorbs the Magnesium when bathing with Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate).

The magnesium absorption can strengthen bones, joints and cartilage, which are common issues for those with arthritis.

Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) is also an exfoliant when scrubbed on the skin and is claimed to detox the body and support digestive and immune function when used regularly.

What is Magnesium Chloride? 

Unlike Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate), Magnesium Chloride is actually a salt, and is similar to the compound found in seawater, which is known to have healing properties.

Magnesium Chloride is often found in supplement form when a person exhibits a serious magnesium deficiency.

This salt resembles a large grain of table salt (sodium chloride).

What Are the Benefits?

When you bathe in a solution of Magnesium Chloride, you'll receive benefits almost instantly, ranging from the ease of joint pain, muscle soreness and general tension as well as stress relief - not dissimilar to the positive effects of bathing with Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate).

Magnesium chloride is also reported to be highly effective in treating skin conditions including eczema and psoriasis, among others.

What are the Differences Between Magnesium Chloride and Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate)?

Although the list of health benefits aren't exactly the same for both, you'll notice that the two products are remarkably similar.

This is because they share an incredibly beneficial ingredient: Magnesium.

The key difference between the two, is that Magnesium Chloride contains chloride which combines with hydrogen in the stomach to form hydrochloric acid, a powerful digestive enzyme that breaks down proteins, absorbs other metallic minerals, and activates what is known as the intrinsic factor, which in turn absorbs vitamin B12.

Using other magnesium salts is less advantageous because these have to be converted into chlorides in the body anyway.

However, below are some ways the two are similar:

  • Both are effective in relieving stress and tension
  • Both offer near-instant relief of acute and chronic joint and muscle pain
  • Both deliver benefits to people suffering from one of the two forms of arthritis
  • Both are safe for people with sensitive skin
  • Both deliver an added benefit of Magnesium absorption

This last one is notable. Magnesium is at the top of the list of nutrients that Americans widely don't get enough through diet alone.

Being able to ease your joint and muscle pain while also making up for a dietary deficiency seems almost too good to be true.

Get Both From Greenway Biotech

When it comes to choosing Magnesium Chloride and Epsom Salt (Magnesium Sulfate) to ease chronic pain, it's also important to ensure that they are sourced naturally and sustainably.

Our Magnesium Chloride Flakes are sourced from Utah's Great Salt Lake.

Our Epsom salt (Magnesium Sulfate) on the other hand, is specifically formulated to dissolve quickly, giving you a better bathing experience.

Shop both of these and more, below!


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  • Comment author

    What do you mean when you say Epsom Salt is not a salt. I have a PhD in Chemistry and Magnesium Sulphate is most definitely a salt. It is an ionically bonded compound i.e. a salt.

    Posted by Dr John Adams | October 01, 2022
  • Comment author

    @annette: We personally do not recommend drinking epsom salt. If you’d like to experience the health benefits of magnesium, we recommend our customers use Magnesium Chloride USP.

    Posted by Anonymous | January 07, 2022
  • Comment author

    Is it good to drink a glass of magnesium sulphate (Epson) a day to clean the body.?

    Posted by Annette | January 07, 2022
  • Comment author

    How much Epsom salt is to put in how much water

    Posted by Dr Satish Ohri | September 01, 2020
  • Comment author

    Kit: You can mix magnesium chloride and magnesium sulfate when bathing. They won’t necessarily cancel each other out, but there may not be a major difference either unless you were to use one over the other. Magnesium Sulfate passes through the body a lot faster than magnesium chloride so you may have to use more epsom salt than magnesium chloride flakes to get the same results. We hope this helps! Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns.

    Posted by Greenway Biotech | August 24, 2020
  • Comment author

    Can magnesium chloride be mixed with magnesium sulfate as bath soak? Would that be more beneficial or would they cancel out each others benefits?

    Posted by Kit | August 24, 2020
  • Comment author

    How about adding rock salt to epson salt to get sodium and chloride.. instead magnesium chloride

    Posted by Alan buenavist | June 22, 2020
  • Comment author

    Lala: Hello! You can use both forms of magnesium at the same time – it’s up to personal preference. There is no danger to mixing the two. Please let us know if you have additional questions or concerns and we’d be happy to help!

    Posted by Anonymous | October 16, 2019
  • Comment author

    Is it recommended to use both at the same time? Is there any danger to mixing the two?

    Posted by Lala | October 16, 2019
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