- Often Epsom salts. Chemistry, Pharmacology. hydrated magnesium sulfate, MgSO4⋅7H2O, occurring as small colorless crystals: used in fertilizers, the dyeing of fabrics, leather tanning, etc., and in medicine chiefly as a cathartic.
Origin of Epsom salt
- (functioning as singular or plural) a medicinal preparation of hydrated magnesium sulphate, used as a purgative
Word Origin and History for epsom salts
magnesium sulphate, 1770, obtained from Epsom water, the water of a mineral spring at Epsom in Surrey, England, the medicinal properties of which were discovered in Elizabethan times. The place name is recorded c.973 as Ebbesham, literally "Ebbi's homestead," from the name of some forgotten Anglo-Saxon. The mineral supply there was exhausted 19c.
- Hydrated magnesium sulfate, used as a cathartic and as an agent to reduce inflammation.
- A bitter, colorless, crystalline salt, used in making textiles, in fertilizers, for medical purposes, and as an additive to bath water to soothe the skin. Chemical formula: MgSO4·7H2O.