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Epsom salts Line breaks: Epsom salts
Pronunciation: /ɛpsəmˈsɔːlts/

Definition of Epsom salts in English:

plural noun

Crystals of hydrated magnesium sulphate used as a purgative or for other medicinal use.
  • Chemical formula: MgSO4.7H2O
Example sentences
  • The solution is a cup of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) to a footbath or dishpan full of warm water.
  • In addition, a half-cup of Epsom salts (magnesium sulfate) scratched into the soil at the base of each plant helps fertilizers work better and encourages new canes to form at the base of the plant.
  • Perhaps the best known compound of magnesium is magnesium sulfate, popularly known as Epsom salts.


Mid 18th century: named after the town of Epsom, where it was first found occurring naturally.

  • dose from Late Middle English:

    The Greek physician Galen, who lived between 129 and 99 bc, used dosis, the Greek word for ‘a gift’, for ‘a portion of medicine’. In like a dose of salts, ‘very quickly and efficiently’, the salts referred to are Epsom salts or magnesium sulphate. They have had a variety of medicinal uses since the 18th century, most notably as a very effective and fast-acting laxative. The name Epsom salts comes from the town of Epsom in Surrey, where the crystals were first found.

Definition of Epsom salts in:
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