The Health Benefits of Bath Salts & How To Make Your Own
For thousands of years, people have enjoyed the therapeutic, relaxation and health benefits of Bath Salts.
In fact Hippocrates, the ancient Greek physician, was known to prescribe 'salt baths' as part treatment for many dis-eases and ailments and there are even references in the bible about their healing qualities.
What are Bath Salts?
As the name suggests bath salts are a compliment that can be added to hot baths for therapeutic, cosmetic and health benefits.
The ingredients that make up a salt bath, can range from purely natural that you make yourself at home, to heavily processed and artificial that you'll commonly find on the supermarket shelf.
The best 'bath salts' use unrefined, nature-made salts such as a base, like Celtic Sea Salt or Himalayan Crystal Salt, or earth minerals such as Epsom Salt and Magnesium Flakes (or a combination of some of these).
Then, pure Essential Oils are added for physical and emotional health benefits, together with petals and/or herbs for colour and fragrance.
Having a hot, salt-infused bath is a great way to relax, as the elements work from the outside in through the pores of your skin. This mineral infusion has a positive impact on your body systems and overall emotional balance.
What are the Health Benefits of Bath Salts?
Beyond their ability to make you feel, smell and look great, natural bath salts have far-reaching health benefits.
Some of the most common benefits include:
- Reduce stress levels
- Calm nerves
- Improve circulation
- Lower blood pressure
- Relieve joint & muscle pains
- Promote healthy bones
Essential Minerals for Your Body
Nature-made salt that has not been tampered with or chemically tweaked, plays a significant role in regulating health. You can learn more about this in our blog, The Truth About Salt.
Salt is the key electrolyte of your cells and contains vital minerals such as Magnesium, Potassium, Calcium, Bromide and Iodine that play important roles in the optimal functioning of your body, and deficiencies in these minerals over time and distance, can lead to many health problems. Read more about this in Magnesium Deficiency: Symptoms, Causes & Remedies
- Sodium: Assists with cellular processes such as expelling waste, detoxification & retaining nourishment
- Magnesium: Essential for cell metabolism - Helps with sleep & relaxation, aids skin & tissue healing
- Potassium: Helps regulate the nervous system & balance moisture levels of the skin & body
- Calcium: Essential for healthy cell membranes, bones & teeth
- Bromide: Important for relaxing muscles & calming nerves
- Iodine: Important for Thyroid Function and metabolism processes.
Using bath salts can assist with detoxification not just of your skin by drawing out dirt, oil and impurities, but it can also help to expel heavy metals and other nasties from your body.
In terms of skin-health benefits, bath salts can help to:
- Smooth & soften
- Balance moisture levels
- Promote radiance & youthfulness
- Reduce the appearance of fine lines.
The health benefits of bath salts endure well even after you’ve finished your bath, helping to soothe and relieve conditions and dis-eases like:
What’s The Difference Between Epsom Salt and Magnesium Salt?
Aside from salt (sodium chloride) the other main ingredients of bath salts are either Epsom Salt, Magnesium Salt or a combination of both.
Epsom Salt - despite having the appearance of normal salt, it's actually a form of Magnesium, whose technical name is Magnesium Sulfate. It is non-toxic and can even be safely ingested responsibly in its pure, natural form. Learn more in the blog, Epsom Salt: Top 9 Uses for Body, Health & Home
Magnesium Salt, Magnesium Bath Flakes and Magnesium Oil are scientifically known as Magnesium Chloride. Magnesium in this form can be much more easily absorbed through the skin compared to Epsom Salt providing a much more concentrated dose to the body transdermally but should not be ingested orally.
How to Make Bath Salts
There’s no set way to make your own bath salts. The ancient alchemists would experiment with combinations of natural ingredients to create wonderful formulas with various fragrances and health promoting properties.
The advantage of creating your own is that you can make them the way you want depending on fragrance preferences and the benefits you want to target.
Regardless of which oils and herbs you choose, you'll need to start with some form of nature-made salt, Magnesium or a mixture of both as a base.
Most of the ingredients you can easily obtain from your local health food store or you'll find them available in our online store here.
Start with a big glass jar or mixing bowl and prepare enough to last for several days or weeks at a time.
Here’s a great standard base recipe you can experiment with…
1 cup of Epsom Salt
2 tablespoons of bicarbonate of soda (Baking Soda)
15-20 drops of Pure Essential Oils of your choice
1-2 Tablespoons of Almond Oil
1 small handful of petals or herbs
Suggested Essential Oils
The following are some suggested Essential Oils you can use according to your desired bath soak purpose:
- Relaxation - Geranium, Bergamot, Ylang Ylang
- Sleep - Lavender, Roman Chamomile, Vetiver - Learn more: How to Sleep Better With Essential Oils
- Detox - Lemon, Rosemary, Juniper Berry
- Pain Relief - Eucalyptus, Wintergreen, Helichrysum - Learn more: Natural Pain Relief: Top Remedies For Soothing Discomfort & Pain In The Body
- Energy Boost - Peppermint, Wild Orange, Basil
1). Pour the salts all together into a large metal or mixing bowl
2). Sift in the Bicarbonate of Soda
3). Mix all ingredients together with a wooden spoon
4). Add Essential Oils and stir in well
5). Mix in petals & herbs if desired e.g. Rose Petals, Camomile or Rosemary.
Pour into a glass jar for best storage as essential oils can break down and degrade certain plastic containers.
How to Use
In addition to bath soaks use you can also use your bath salts as an effective natural skin exfoliation remedy.
1). Start running hot bath water (as hot as you can bare it)
2). Tip in approximately half a cup of bath salts while water is running
3). Stir and mix in well until they’ve fully dissolved
4). Get in, lay back and relax!
1). Take 1 small handful
2). Add enough drops of water until it turns to a pasty consistency
3). Rub and smooth all over your skin
4). Rinse off in a shower or wash off in a bath, pat dry.
If you don’t have the time or ingredients to make your own bath salts we made it easy and done it for you with 3 beautiful varieties of handcrafted Bath Salts to choose from all containing Epsom Salt, Celtic Sea Salt & 100% Pure Magnesium Chloride Flakes packaged in a handy resealable tub…
Infused with Lavender and Sweet Orange essential oils, along with lavender flower petals, Sleepy Head blend will have you nodding off into a restful nights sleep in no time!
If you love the beautiful calming scent of Rose, Rosy Cheeks blend is the best choice for you with its mix of Rose Geranium Essential Oil and rose petals.
Combining Lemon, Maychang and Juniper Berry essential oils with green tea leaves is the perfect mix to encourage detoxification while enjoy the soothing benefits of a relaxing hot bath.
There's something wonderful about taking the time whenever you can, to experiment with making your own personal care products at home - and bath salts are one of the easiest places to start.
We'd love to hear your comments below!
Tolman Self Care Team.