8 Self-Care Ingredients to Put in Your Bath for a Sublime Experience
Clinical Herbalist Reviewed on February 24, 2019 by Paulina Nelega, RH
Posted in General Wellbeing
There’s nothing quite like coming home after a long day at work, running an ultra-steamy bath and settling in for a relaxing soak. Baths are known to relieve stress, reduce inflammation, soothe aching muscles, reduce congestion, improve your mood and much more.
While a plain water bath can provide many benefits for your health and happiness, did you know that you can take your baths to the next level by adding just a few natural ingredients? Adding essential oils, salts, herbs and more can boost the benefits of your soak and make you see baths in a whole new way.
You don’t need to buy expensive made-for-market bath bombs to create an amazing bath experience. In fact, some of those products may contain chemicals that you don’t want to be soaking in for a half-hour or more.
Instead, take the natural route and add one or a combination of these eight bath-friendly ingredients.
1. Epsom salt: Epsom salt is a mineral compound composed of magnesium and sulfate, which can replenish magnesium and promote better circulation within the body once it’s absorbed. Soaking in Epsom salt baths have numerous benefits, including easing muscle aches, relieving tension. Epsom salt can also make your skin feel smooth and soft.
2. Essential oils: A wide variety of essential oils make great bath additions, including lavender, peppermint, juniper berry, sandalwood, rosemary and eucalyptus. These oils utilize aromatherapy principles to calm the body and mind, relieve stress and offer numerous other benefits, depending on what you choose. Some of the benefits you can choose from include treating skin problems, improving breathing ability, reducing inflammation and improving joint pain. Scents like lavender are also great for getting your body relaxed and ready for sleep if you struggle with insomnia (you can also use dried lavender instead of oils).
3. Oatmeal: Although it may seem strange, oatmeal is fantastic bath addition if you’re suffering from dry, itchy or inflamed skin. Adding oatmeal is a great way to soothe skin inflamed by a sunburn or poison ivy rashes, as well as a way to moisturize and soothe dry winter skin.
4. Milk: The lactic acid present in milk helps exfoliate and soften skin by removing dead skin cells and promoting new growth. Milk can also soothe irritated skin from sun burns or rashes. Powdered milk works best in baths and can be mixed with roses, essential oils or honey for optimal results.
5. Roses: Rose petals or rose essential oil contain antibacterial and anti-inflammatory properties for skin health. Roses are also moisturizing and can reduce acne and redness in your skin after a long soak.
6. Ginger: Ginger is known to detoxify the body, removing toxins and improving muscle pain. It also has loads of antibacterial properties, making it the perfect addition if you’re dealing with a cold or flu.
7. Coconut oil: Coconut oil is best known for its ability to soften the skin. It contains saturated fats that contribute to soft, supple skin, as well as vitamin E for antioxidant and anti-aging benefits. It is also anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal and anti-microbial to prevent from skin infections.
8. Baking soda: Baking soda is great for soothing irritated skin in baths. It’s also a natural exfoliator, helping to scrub away dead skin for the smoothest, softest skin possible.
Bath additive guidelines
You don’t want to just throw a bunch of ingredients into your bath like you’re cooking a stew. Instead, take some time to prepare your bath properly so you keep your tub clean and avoid messes later.
Liquid ingredients can be added directly to your bath water. Make sure to stir the water with your hand to ensure it is thoroughly mixed.
If you’re adding dried herbs to your bath, wrap or tie them into a small bundle inside a cloth before placing them in the water. This allows the herbs to soak and expel their elements throughout the bath while preventing the leaves and stems from floating around freely in your water.
Other solid ingredients, such as oatmeal, can be added to something like a sock, tied up and placed in the bath. You don’t want all of the loose pieces scattered inside your tub (not only will this be uncomfortable, but it can also do a number on your plumbing!).
When you’re adding essential oils, don’t overdo it. Essential oils are always supposed to be diluted before use, so adding too much to your bath might result in some negative consequences for your skin. Only add around 10 drops of essential oils to your bath to ensure they are properly diluted.
By adding some of these natural ingredients to your bath, you’ll not only improve your experience, but you can also enjoy numerous benefits for the body and mind. So what are you waiting for? Go enjoy a soak!
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Paulina Nelega, RH, has been in private practice as a Clinical Herbalist for over 15 years. She has developed and taught courses in herbal medicine, and her articles on health have appeared in numerous publications. She is very passionate about the healing power of nature. Ask Dr. Jan