Definitions for magnesium sulfate
Random House Webster's College Dictionary
a water-soluble salt, MgSO4, used in medicine and in processing leather and textiles.
Ref: Compare Epsom salt .
a salt of magnesium
The magnesium salt of sulfuric acid (chemical formula MgSO), commonly called Epsom salts.
Magnesium sulfate is an inorganic salt containing magnesium, sulfur and oxygen, with the formula MgSO4. It is often encountered as the heptahydrate sulfate mineral epsomite, commonly called Epsom salt, named for a bitter saline spring from the town of Epsom in Surrey, England, where the salt was produced from the springs that arise where the porous chalk of the North Downs meets non-porous London clay. Epsom salt occurs naturally as a pure mineral. Another hydrate form is kieserite. Anhydrous magnesium sulfate is used as a drying agent. The anhydrous form is hygroscopic and is therefore difficult to weigh accurately; the hydrate is often preferred when preparing solutions. Epsom salt has been traditionally used as a component of bath salts. Epsom salt can also be used as a beauty product. Athletes use it to soothe sore muscles, while gardeners use it to improve crops. It has a variety of other uses.
U.S. National Library of Medicine
A small colorless crystal used as an anticonvulsant, a cathartic, and an electrolyte replenisher in the treatment of pre-eclampsia and eclampsia. It causes direct inhibition of action potentials in myometrial muscle cells. Excitation and contraction are uncoupled, which decreases the frequency and force of contractions. (From AMA Drug Evaluations Annual, 1992, p1083)
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