Magnesium baths many people have low levels of magnesium which is a mineral that supports many of the body’s functions including sustaining heart health, energy production, muscle control & the elimination of harmful toxins. Add 2 cups of magnesium flakes to a warm bath & soak for 20 minutes, up to 3 times a week.
Epsom Salts while also replenishing magnesium & sulphate, Epsom salt may also help to detoxify the body by removing chemicals & pollutants, help reduce migraines, relax sore muscles (especially after physical activity or exercise), & exfoliate & often the skin encouraging better circulation. Add 2 cups to a warm bath & soak for at least 12 minutes to gain the benefits. As Epsom salts can be slightly drying to the skin it is especially recommended to moisturise afterwards.
Apple cider vinegar is mildly antiseptic, anti-fungal & naturally deodorising. It can be used to ease sunburn & itchy skin by adding 2-3 cups to a cool bath & soaking for 20 minutes before gently patting dry.
Oatmeal Baths can help to calm irritated & itchy skin. Oatmeal (un-cooked) can be processed in a blender to produce a powder that can be added to the bath & massaged into the skin. Alternatively it can be added to a Bath Bag.
Bath Bags are simple to create at home. Cut a circle of muslin, place the ingredients in the centre & then gather up & tightly tie with a string or ribbon. The Bath Bag can be soaked in the bath & gently rubbed on the skin or hung around the hot tap while the bath is running. It could include oatmeal, lavender, herbs & salts.
Bath Salts are also simple to make at home. In a large bowl mix together 1 cup each of sea salt, bicarbonate of soda & Epsom salts along with a teaspoon of an essential oil combination of your choice. Transfer the mix to a glass jar that can be stored in the bathroom & add a large handful of the Bath Salts to your bath whenever you want to indulge!
Essential Oils can be added to baths for relaxation & to encourage a whole variety of other benefits. Up to 10 drops can be added to the bath either individually or in combination. The oils can be blended with a few drops of almond oil so that they can be dispersed effectively.
Foot-soaks can be used as an alternative to a full bath, particularly during warmer months. Fill a bowl with warm water & mix in your chosen ingredient. Relax with feet & ankles submerged for around 20-25 minutes.
Skin what ever goes onto the skin will be absorbed by the body & therefore it is important to use products that are as natural as possible.
When is the best time to take a bath?
As baths have a relaxing effect, the best time to take one is in the evening. A bath taken an hour or so before bed can also aid a good nights sleep.
Additionally, always leave a few hours between having a heavy meal & your bath.
Pregnancy & Specific Health Conditions
Some ingredients should be avoided during pregnancy or by people who have health conditions such as diabetes or high blood pressure for example, so always check with your midwife/health care provider before adding ingredients to you bath.
Washing During Bathing
To avoid your additional bath ingredients from reducing/losing their effectiveness & well being properties or interacting with product ingredients, do not wash with soap/shampoo during your soak period. Then, wash in the bath after you’ve soaked & finally rinse down with a quick shower.
The Aromatherapy Bible by Gill Farrer-Halls provides a definitive guide to using essential oils for beauty, health & wellbeing & includes ‘recipes’ for baths & other uses.
Look Great Naturally by Janey Lee Grace for natural health & beauty advice & recipes.
Natural Soap by Melinda Cross & Soap Making Self-Sufficiency by Sarah Ade are both beautiful, well illustrated books about natural bathing & recipes for soap, body lotions etc.