Epsom Salt
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Chemically, Epsom salt is known as hydrated magnesium sulfate with the formula MgSO4 - 7H2O. It was named for a town where it occured naturally in the mineral water. Of course, Epsom salt doesn't usually come from Epsom these days just as most hamburgers don't come from Hamburg.
Epsom salt 40X - click to see larger epsom2s.jpg - 17250 Bytes
Epsom salt (hydrated magnesim sulfate)  40X  -  click to see larger Epsom salt 40X (ssuperstage)  - click to see larger

As a home remedy, Epsom salt is used as both a soaking agent and as a laxative. It is also used as a fertilizer for a wide variety of plants. In case you're wondering, it doesn't taste "salty" , instead it has a rather bitter taste.
Like sugar, Epsom salt grains are irregular in shape and vary in size. When Epsolm salt is dissolved and allowed to dry undisturbed it forms interesting patterns like those seen above.

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