Many people use Epsom salts in their bath to unwind from a stressful day and help relieve sore muscles, but are you making the most out of your bath? While taking an Epsom salt bath is an excellent option you may consider giving your bath and body a boost by adding essential oils.
Why commercial bath salts may not be the best option
There are numerous seaweed and bath salts available in the marketplace, but many are laden with artificial colors and synthetic fragrances. Sadly these products can do more harm to your body than good. So I encourage you to take a few minutes out of your day to boost your bath, using essential oils. With these two steps it’s easy to get started.
Step 1-Choose your salt
There are many salts to choose from such as Epsom salt, Dead Sea salt, kosher salt, Himalayan salt, sea salt. My favorite salt to use is Epsom salt. Taking a bath in Epsom salt is an easy way to increase sulfate and magnesium levels in the body. The salt is easily absorbed through your skin and will help to relax tired, achy muscles. Using Epsom salt is also a simple way to help your body remove toxins.
According to Carolyn Dean “Magnesium is the anti-stress mineral. It helps you sleep, relaxes your muscles, improves your digestion, balances your blood pressure and gives you more energy. Epsom salt is a safe and easy way for people of all ages – including babies and pregnant women – to increase the body’s magnesium levels.”
Known for its therapeutic effects, Dead Sea salt is another great option. It is filled with minerals that soften the skin and speed up the healing of various skin conditions. Often used for treatment of psoriasis, eczema and arthritis, these salts leave the skin velvety smooth.
Step 2-Choose you essential oils (EO’s)
Always remember that EO’s are added to the bath water, adding them undiluted directly to your skin can burn. If you are unfamiliar with EO’s it’s also best to start with a less is more attitude. You can always increase the amount of EO in your bath.
Although the list below is not all inclusive, there are numerous oils to choose from. What you use will be dependent on what you are trying to achieve; are looking to simply relax and unwind, do you have sore achy muscles, or are you feeling overly tired?
Essential oils list
Basil: Mental alertness; sore muscles/joints, menstruation Bergamot: Emotional support Birch: Uplifting Black Pepper: Supports healthy circulation
Cedarwood: emotional support Chamomile, Roman: Calming, headaches Cilantro: Cleansing, healthy skin Clary Sage: Tension, emotional support Coriander: Clear skin, sore joints and muscles Cumin: Purifying to body systems Cypress: Soothes muscle tension, energy, skin health
Dill: Calming Douglas Fir: Skin health Eucalyptus: Supports healthy skin, colds, flu, respiratory, cleansing Fennel (Sweet): Circulation Fir, White: Muscles, joints, respiratory support Frankincense: Supports healthy skin
Geranium: Healthy skin, calming Ginger: Grounding Grapefruit: Cleansing, skin health, alertness Hawaiian Sandalwood: Supports healthy skin Helichrysum: Promotes skin appearance Jasmine: Skin health, balanced mood Juniper Berry: Skin appearance/toner, cleansing, stress
Lavender: Universal oil. Calming, skin health Lemon: For increasing energy Lemongrass: Supports muscles and joints, complexion Lime: Detoxifies, energizes Marjoram: Emotional support, muscular support Melaleuca (Tea Tree): Cleansing, skin complexion Melissa (Lemon Balm): Tension Myrrh: Cleansing, skin and complexion, emotional balance
Orange: Emotional balance, overall health, cleansing/purifying Patchouli: Supports skin health/complexion, grounding, tension Peppermint: Fatigue
Roman Chamomile: Calming Rose: Promotes skin health/complexion, emotional balance Rosemary: Headaches Sandalwood: Skin health, calming, grounding Sandalwood, Hawaiian: Healthy skin, meditation Spearmint: Invigorating Tangerine: Cleansing Tea Tree (Melaleuca): Cleansing, skin complexion Thyme: Cleansing, purifying
Vetiver: Calming, grounding White Fir: Support muscles/joints, stress Wild Orange: Emotional balance, cleansing/purifying Wintergreen: Soothes muscles/joints, skin/complexion, emotional support
Ylang Ylang: Calming
Here are a few recipes to get you started
Basic Salt Detox Bath Recipe
¼ C. Salt
½ C. Epsom Salt
¼ C. Baking Soda
Essential Oils (2-10 drops)
2 C. Epsom Salt
10-20 drops lavender EO
2 C. Epsom Salt
10 drops Spearmint EO, 5 drops Rosemary EO
Salt & Pepper Bath for Pain Relief
2 C. Epsom Salt
3-5 drops of Black Pepper EO
After your bath
After your bath be sure to rinse off the salt in a cool shower.
After a detox bath be sure to hydrate your body and drink at least two glasses of filtered water shortly after your bath.
Additional hints for lowering pain levels
Meditate and learn to replace negative thoughts and emotions with positive ones. According to this University of Maryland study individuals who received training in this, actually saw brain growth in five areas of the brain and also saw a significantly marked decrease in their chronic pain levels.
Try to sleep 7 to 8 hours a night.
Avoid foods that trigger inflammation.
“A recent market research report indicates that more than 1.5 billion people worldwide suffer from chronic pain and that approximately 3- 4.5% of the global population suffers from neuropathic pain, with incidence rate increasing in complementary to age”. Whether your pain is physical or emotional, your brain registers it the same way. Your body is trying to tell you something through pain signals. It’s important to listen and get to the source.
The Body Doesn’t Lie: A 3-Step Program to End Chronic Pain and Become Positively Radiant by Vicky Vlachonis, published by HarperOne, an imprint of HarperCollins. Copyright © 2014 by Vasiliki Vlachonis.