Editors Choice

Magnesium Sulphate Paste [Expert Guide To Usage]

Magnesium sulphate paste is often known as “drawing ointment”. It draws out toxins and impurities from minor wounds (e.g. splinter wounds and ingrown nails) and infections (e.g abscesses, boils, carbuncles, warts and verrucas). Magnesium sulphate paste is a traditional remedy, but it remains highly respected today.

How does magnesium sulphate paste work?

Although magnesium sulphate paste feels moist the magnesium sulphate part of it is actually dry. When it is applied to the skin it draws moisture to itself, thus drying out infections. These days, magnesium sulphate paste tends to be made with glycerol. This also attracts water, albeit by a different mechanism of action. Glycerol is also cruelty-free, unlike lanolin.

How to use magnesium sulphate paste

Use magnesium sulphate paste to treat minor wounds and infections. Remember to apply the usual hygiene precautions. In particular, wash your hands thoroughly and/or wear gloves. Basically, avoid doing anything which could spread the infection to another part of your body.

If you want to enhance the effectiveness of magnesium sulphate past, you can combine it with Epsom salts. These are generally used in the bath or shower so you get the benefit of heat and steam as well.

You can also cover the infected area with a hot cloth, three or four times a day for 10-20 minutes at a time. The heat encourages blood flow. This speeds up the activity of the white blood cells which fight infections.

For more serious wounds and infections, however, you may need stronger antibiotics. If in doubt, seek professional medical advice quickly.

How long does magnesium sulphate paste take to work (wart/splinter)

On the one hand, there is no hard-and-fast answer to this. It will all depend on the individual. On the other hand, there is a useful guideline to follow. This is that magnesium sulphate paste should have done its job in a week at the most. If it hasn’t resolved the issue by then (or very nearly), then you probably need a stronger treatment.

Basically, always remember that magnesium sulphate paste is a handy traditional remedy for minor wounds and infections. It should never be seen as a substitute for modern antibiotics.

How to apply magnesium sulphate paste

There will usually be directions on the product. In general, however, you spread the paste thickly over the area to be treated. Then you cover it with a plaster or dressing and leave overnight. In the morning remove the dressing and clean the area. Ideally use a regular antiseptic. Repeat until the issue is resolved.

If you accidentally leave the magnesium sulphate paste on for a bit longer, then there’s unlikely to be any harm done. It is, however, advisable to avoid leaving it on for more than 8 hours or so at a stretch.

Remember, you’re basically drawing out toxins. You, therefore, want to clean them off the outside of the body as quickly as possible. That means changing the magnesium sulphate paste. Also, it can be beneficial to get fresh air on the infected area.

NB: For magnesium sulphate paste to work, it needs to make good contact with the area to be treated. This means that you might want to think about removing any body area in the surrounding area. Removing hair can also help to reduce the amount of magnesium sulphate paste you need to use and help the dressing to hold more firmly.

Using magnesium sulphate paste on animals

For completeness, you can use magnesium sulphate paste to treat animals, particularly dogs. If you do, however, you need to make absolutely sure that there’s no way they can lick it off. Given that the dressing has to be loose enough to allow for circulation, you may want to use a cone as an additional precaution.

Otherwise, using magnesium sulphate paste on animals is much the same as using it on humans. This includes the need to change the paste regularly and to take proper hygiene precautions.

Best Magnesium Sulphate Paste

We’ve picked out the two top magnesium sulphate paste brands on the UK market. We’ve also suggested a few other products which could be used alongside magnesium sulphate paste or even as an alternative to it.

Content quick jump

Care Magnesium Sulphate Paste 50g

PROS

  • Gets the job done
  • Reasonable smell

CONS

  • Bordering on a liquid rather than a paste

This magnesium sulphate paste does a great job and the smell is acceptable. The only potential downside is that it’s runnier than you'd expect from a paste. You’re definitely going to want to put on a plaster dressing as quickly as possible. On the plus side, the product is free of animal ingredients (e.g. lanolin) and not tested on animals.

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Care Magnesium Sulphate Paste 50g

Last update was on: June 15, 2021 6:12 am
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Bells Magnesium Sulphate Paste BP 50g

PROS

  • This is a proper paste
  • Reasonable smell

CONS

  • Usually costs more than the Care option

This performs just as well as the option from Care and has the sort of consistency you’d expect from a paste. Basically, it’s pretty much the same as toothpaste. Obviously, the smell is very different but it’s OK. You’ll still need a plaster or dressing, but you won’t need to rush so much to put it on. It is, however, generally more expensive than the Care option.

Bell’s magnesium sulphate paste is free of animal ingredients. Frustratingly, however, we can’t find any clear information on whether or not it’s been tested on animals. We’d very much doubt it was given that this is a traditional remedy which uses long-proven ingredients.

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Magnesium Sulphate Paste BP 50g

Last update was on: June 15, 2021 6:12 am
£5.31 £5.79

Other useful products

Here are a few alternative options you may want to consider.

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Burgess Lion Ointment 30g

PROS

  • Does a good job
  • Nice packaging

CONS

  • Much more expensive than regular magnesium sulphate paste

This is a slightly updated version of the original Burgess lion ointment. Some of the original ingredients would be illegal these days. As a result, the new version is white rather than yellowy/brown. This isn’t a magnesium sulphate paste (or ointment) but it does the same job.

Burgess lion ointment does seem to work as well as regular magnesium sulphate paste. We wouldn’t, however, say it worked any better. That’s unfortunate because it’s generally sold at a much higher price.

In blunt terms, if you value the nostalgia factor or the much nicer packaging, then Burgess lion ointment is a good buy. It will get the job done and it smells decent. If, however, you just want to get a problem sorted, then we’d say stick to regular magnesium sulphate paste.

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Burgess Lion Ointment 30g

Last update was on: June 15, 2021 6:12 am
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Pure Epsom Salts

PROS

  • Great for relaxing muscles and drawing out toxins and impurities
  • Economically priced

CONS

  • Soaking your body takes time
  • It’s difficult to target one specific area

Epson salts are basically magnesium sulphate powder. They are beloved by athletes and gardeners for their ability to relieve sore muscles. Epsom salts are, however, also excellent at drawing out toxins and impurities. You can use them alongside magnesium sulphate paste to speed up the treatment. For minor issues, you can use them on their own.

If you’re one of the many people who only has a shower, then don’t despair. You can use Epsom salts as a shower scrub. As a rule of thumb, you want three parts Epsom salts to one part oil. You can then enhance this with vitamin E oil and/or essential oils if you wish.

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Pure Epsom Salts | Magnesium Sulphate Bath Salt | 1 Kg Pack...

& Free shipping
Last update was on: June 15, 2021 6:12 am
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Medipoint Splinter Out Splinter Remover, 20 Count

PROS

  • Get the job done when tweezers can’t

PROS

  • Generally very expensive for what they are

Magnesium sulphate will draw physical out splinters but it works fairly slowly. The problem is that the longer the splinter stays in your body, the more opportunity it has to cause damage. That’s why you generally want to get splinters out as quickly as possible.

Most of the time tweezers will get the job done. Sometimes, however, a splinter will get right down into your finger so tweezers can’t grip it. When that happens, reach for one of these little gadgets. Then use your magnesium sulphate paste to deal with the damage the splinter has already caused.

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Medipoint Splinter Out Splinter Remover, 20 Count

& Free shipping
Last update was on: June 15, 2021 6:12 am
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In short

Magnesium sulphate paste is really handy to have in your medicine cabinet. It has so many uses that most people are going to benefit from it at some point in their lives. Epsom salts can also be a useful buy although they’re likely to be a product you’ll use regularly. They’re great as bath soaks and shower scrubs.

On a slightly different note, regular magnesium plays several important roles in the body. As such being deficient in it can have a serious impact on a person’s mental and physical health. In particular, it soothes muscles and nerves, boosts energy levels and promotes relaxation. If you’re having issues in any of these areas then you may benefit from a magnesium supplement.

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Katie is our resident Editor and extremely is an well-respected voice in the world of fitness. Katie has a first-class Hons degree in Journalism and is proud to say that she has written leading entries featured in the biggest media outlets including Vogue, Women Health Magazine and CoachMag. Great outdoors and animal lover and always on the go

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