Epsom salt's main component is magnesium sulfate (MgSO4). It is harvested from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. It is named after an English town, "Epsom" in Surrey, England, from which this salt originates.
Epsom salt is traditionally used as a bath salt. It has many beneficial properties, such as relieving muscle aches/pains, insect bug bites, sunburns, replenishing youthful skin and detoxification. Its detoxification property is what we are most interested about here for children with ADHD and/or autism.
The chemical symbol of magnesium sulfate is MgSO4. Thus, it contains one molecule of magnesium, one molecule of sulfur and 4 molecules of oxygen. When it dissolves in water, it dissociates into an positive ion magnesium (Mg+) and a negative ion of sulfate (SO4-).
HOW DOES IT WORK?
Sulfate is needed in the phase 2 liver detoxification process for sulfuration. Phenol-sulfotransferase (PST) detoxifies excess hormones, phenols, amines, and toxins produced by intestinal yeast. It facilitates the transfer of sulfate molecule from sulfate-donor to phenol compounds, resulting in a soluble complex that can easily be excreted by the kidneys.
Sulfur-containing amino acids, such as cysteine, methionine and taurine are major sulfur-donors in the body. However, children with ADHD are thought to have suboptimal phenol-sulfurotransferase system due to inadequate sulfate intake.Because of this limitation, the body cannot eliminate toxins efficiently.
Furthermore, heavy metals, such as mercury, lead and cadmium from the environment attach to the sulfur group of protein, inhibiting the release of sulfate from the amino acid complex.
Phenols occur naturally in many of our common foods, such as bioflavonoids, carotenoids (carotene, lutein, lycopene, xanthophylls, and zeaxanthin), phytoestrogen (estrogen-like substances in plants) and salicylates (salts of aspirin) in our colorful fruits and vegetables. Yeasts or candida in the intestines also produce phenol.
The inadequate intake of sulfur-containing amino acids, excessive overload of heavy metals, and excessive intake of dietary phenols, phytoestrogen and salicylates work together to sabotage the phenol-sulfotransferase system. Thus, toxic compounds build up in the system resulting in the notorious ADHD symptoms of hyperactivity, lack of focus, irritability, aggression, etc.
Symptoms of PST or sulfate deficiency include reddened ears, hyperactivity, inappropriate laughter, night sweats, dark circles under eyes, excessive thirst, aggressive behaviors, head-banging, eczema, facial flushing, and trouble falling to sleep, disturbed sleep and odorous bed-clothes.
Diets limited in salicylates and phytoestrogen,such as Feingold diet, and diets that eliminates intestinal yeast overgrowth, such as Body Ecology diet or Specific Carbohydrate diet, may reduce the workload on the already suppressed PST enzyme.
Is there other ways to get sulfur?
In this article, we are referring to Epsom salt as a good topical source of sulfur due to its magnesium sulfate content. There are recipes available to include Epsom salt as an ingredient for detoxification. Most of the recipes I’ve seen do not sound very appetizing. Thus, I’ve never tried it. I personally have not tried taking Epsom salt orally. Here, we’ll strictly keep it to the skin. I'd rather have a green smoothie.
However, if you would like to increase your sulfur intake from here, there are many good “sulfur”-containing foods available in the produce section or farmer’s market - kale, garlic, onion, broccoli, cauliflower, cabbage, etc.
Don’t forget “sulfur”-containing amino acids, such as cysteine, methionine, and taurine, which mean a healthy balanced diet with high biological value animal protein, such as animal protein. Besides, children with ADHD need to start the day with a good high protein breakfast.
Keep reading to discover a
convenient way to use Epsom Salt.