WHY DETOX BATHS?
Setting aside some time in your evening routine for a detox bath not only offers a luxurious and relaxing way to end your day but can pack a serious punch of health benefits as well, some experts even argue that taking regular detox baths is one of the most beneficial things a person can do to maintain overall health.
Detox baths have been used through the ages by the Greeks, Romans, Japanese, those in India, and many other cultures for their incredible healing properties and health benefits. There is a reason why expensive spas give herbal baths. Such treatments eliminate toxins from the body because the skin is the largest organ of elimination that we have. It is said that 65% of body cleansing is achieved via the skin!
American society has migrated away from the long luxurious tub soaks, opting instead for a quick scrub in the shower in order to save time in our busy schedules. This societal trend is hugely apparent for anyone who has been house hunting in the last decade. Having a soaking tub on your wish list for a new home can seriously narrow down your choices. In America bathing has become more of a relaxation technique than a health conscious detoxification practice. There are a growing number of bath stores where you can find shelves lined with bath products that are artificially scented to suit your tastes. Never mind that these products contain loads of unnatural, hormone disruptive chemicals that actually end up doing harm to your body. As we go about our days absorbing the toxins, chemicals, additives and other biologically disruptive agents that are everywhere and in everything, coupled with the stressors of modern day living, our bodies get severely clogged up. The importance of taking regular detoxification baths can mean a world of difference in our over all health.
WHAT IS A DETOX BATH?
A leisurely soak in a tub of hot water containing natural ingredients carefully chosen to support internal cleansing, overall health and even aid in treating certain ailments.
So, if this sounds like something you could get on board with, here is what you will need to get started.
HOW OFTEN SHOULD YOU TAKE A DETOX BATH?
>> Taking a detox bath at least 2-3 times per week for 20-40 minutes should be enough to ramp up your health significantly.
>> It is completely safe and completely beneficial to take a detox bath every day (but only once per day). There are a few ingredients that should be regulated to once or twice per week as they are pretty powerful; Ginger, Cinnamon and Cloves.
PREPARING FOR YOUR DETOX BATH
>> It is most effective to scrub your skin with a coarse loofah before your bath to remove dead skin cells and cleanse the skins surface helping to prevent pores from being blocked by buildup of dirt and other debris on the skin.
>> Your detox bath will most effective in hot water. Many would argue that the water should be as hot as you can stand. While hot water is better as it helps open pores and relaxes muscles, it is important to maintain a safe temperature. If you feel dizzy or faint during your bath, the water may be too hot. You can add some cool water to help cool it down or get out of the bath very carefully to avoid overheating.
>> Once you have nice hot water you want to add your base ingredient(s). The base you choose will depend on personal preference or health benefit you are looking to achieve.
>> Finally, you can add additional natural ingredients such as essential oils to your bath to help you achieve relaxation, stress relief, treatment for certain ailments or just because you love the smell.
>> Soak in the bath until the water has cooled. This usually takes about 45 minutes.
>> Once you are finished with your soak, do not rinse off, simply towel dry.
BUILDING YOUR BATH
Now for the fun part, creating your own detox bath. We have put together some of our favorite all-natural detox bath bases and additional all- natural ingredients along with an outline of their health benefits. Using this information you can have fun creating your own individualized detox bath that is perfect for you.
DETOX BATH BASES:
These bases can be used alone in hot water or combined for added benefit.
Aluminum Free Baking Soda
Essentially, sodium bicarbonate is an alkali substance that increases the pH of the blood. This seems to reduce and offset the acidity produced in the muscles during intense, anaerobic exercise that produces lactic acid most quickly, such as fast running or swimming. It also acts as an exfoliator for the skin, can help ease a yeast infection, cure diaper rash, smooth the skin and relieve bites and burns. It is also great for calming hemorrhoids.
½ Cup for every 50 lbs.
(ie: for a child under 60 lbs use ½ Cup. For an adult weighing 150 lbs use 1and ½ cups).
Using Epsom salts in your bathwater creates a process called reverse osmosis. This process pulls salt and harmful toxins out of the body and allows the magnesium and sulfates to enter into the body. Epsom salt baths help detoxify and de-inflame while improving mineral and sulfur balance in the body. The use of regular Epsom salt baths has been shown to improve the symptoms of many health conditions including athlete’s foot, gout, toenail fungus, sprains, bruises and muscle soreness.
Pure Organic Sea Salt
Sea salts improve the condition of everything from your heart to your skin. It improves your circulatory system, aid in the reduction of heart disease and heart attacks, regulate blood pressure and minimize irregular heartbeats, act as a natural antihistamine, effectively clear sinus passageways and even help cleanse lungs of mucous and phlegm. Sea salts are great for your muscles as well improving muscle strength and tone and help prevent muscle cramps. It is also great for supporting immunity.
Pure Apple Cider Vinegar
ACV draws excess uric acid out of the body. It can provide relief for joint problems, arthritis, gout, bursitis, or tendonitis. ACV can also help to prevent body odor. It is a great overall detoxifier and helps with muscle aches and pains brought on by physical exertion. ACV is great for your skin as it helps balance out ph levels. This is the perfect ingredient for your bath if you suffer from Candida overgrowth as it can help create a slightly acidic ph level that Candida cannot thrive in.
CARRIER OIL ADDITIONS:
It is always a good idea to add carrier oil to your bath if you plan to use essential oils. Here are a few of our favorite carrier oils that are great for your skin and can be added in addition to essential oils or for their own health benefits. Be sure you use pure, organic carrier oils.
The benefits of coconut oil include hair care, skin care, stress relief, cholesterol level maintenance, weight loss, boosted immune system, proper digestion and regulated metabolism. It also provides relief from kidney problems, heart diseases, high blood pressure, diabetes, HIV, and cancer, while helping to improve dental quality and bone strength. These benefits of oil can be attributed to the presence of lauric acid, capric acid and caprylic acid, and their respective properties, such as antimicrobial, antioxidant, anti-fungal, antibacterial and soothing qualities.
Grape Seed Oil
Grape Seed Oil constitutes anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidant, anti-histamine, anti-aging, anti-allergic, and antimicrobial agents. Useful in treating arthritis, edema, dermatitis, acne, wrinkles, dry and itchy skin, age spots, sun burns, chapped lips, wounds, bruising, stretch marks, varicose veins, hemorrhoids, chronic venous insufficiency, premature aging, premenstrual syndrome (PMS), weight loss, stress, dandruff, hair loss, warts and cardiovascular diseases. It is also suggested that grape seed oil may help strengthen the immune system.
Almond oil is rich in vitamin A, B and E, which are great for skin health. It helps maintain moisture levels in the skin and absorbs quickly without blocking the pores. It helps improve complexion, soothes skin irritations and inflammation and cures rashes. It also helps delay the signs of aging, removes impurities and dead skin cells, combats wrinkles and fine lines, helps prevent heart ailments, regulates blood pressure, maintains cholesterol levels, boosts immunity and aids in digestion.
OTHER NATURAL ADDITIONS:
start with 1 teaspoon
Calms nausea, including motion sickness dizziness, relieves gas and bloating, helps stop diarrhea, boosts digestion, calms menstrual cramps and can help relieve headaches. It is an anti-inflammatory; it stabilizes blood pressure, helps lower cholesterol, soothes cold and flu symptoms, as well as respiratory infections and it is known for its anti-cancer properties.
*Ginger is a great addition to your bath if you are feeling yucky to begin with. Whether you have a virus or are overly stressed, grumpy or just feel like a Debbie Downer, add a bit of this to your bath and you will sweat off whatever ails you… I’m serious! So… with that in mind, start with small doses of ginger, keep in mind that YOU WILL SWEAT- a lot, and you will keep sweating for up to an hour after your bath. Though this may not sound pleasant, you will feel ridiculously better in the morning after absorbing this little gem in the bath!
CAUTION– if you take anti-coagulants, consult your Dr. before using ginger in your bath.
Removes toxins from the body (especially after an illness). This powerful spice also acts as a natural disinfectant & astringent, helping to cleanse the body. Cinnamon baths will invigorate the spirit and elevate your mood. Just like ginger, cinnamon baths will help raise your body temperature.
Packed with antioxidants. It contains a very important ingredient called eugenol, which has powerful antiseptic properties. Cloves also contain a variety of flavonoids, which contribute to clove’s anti-inflammatory and antiviral properties. Clove oil when inhaled can help relieve respiratory conditions like coughs, colds, asthma, bronchitis and sinusitis.
We recommend adding 6-10 drops of your favorite essential oils to your bath. Our recommended brand is Young Living Essential Oils based on their high quality, purity and absence of any additives. Some brands of essential oils have added chemicals that can actually be harmful when absorbed into the skin or ingested. See these articles for more information about choosing an essential oil brand.
A handy tips when using essential oils in your detox bath:
>> At least an hour or two before your soak, measure out your base ingredient (baking soda, Epsom salt or sea salt, or a combination of these three) in a clean glass* container with a sealed lid. Add your essential oils and shake well. Store your mixture in the refrigerator until you are ready to soak. This allows the salts and/ or baking soda to absorb the oils, preventing them from floating on the surface of your bath.
*(DO NOT use plastic containers as the plastic contains harmful chemicals that can be absorbed by the salt and oils and then transferred into your bath water.)
Eucalyptus essential oil has antiseptic qualities. It is used for healing wounds, ulcers, burns, cuts, abrasions and sores. It is also an effective salve for insect bites and stings. Eucalyptus essential oil is effective for treating a number of respiratory problems. It serves as an anti-inflammatory for sore joints and muscles, as well as removing exhaustion and mental sluggishness. It helps relieve stress and pain, balances blood sugar, removes intestinal germs and treats skin infections.
Lavender acts as a natural bug repellent and has anti-inflammatory qualities that will reduce the irritation and the pain associated with bug bites. It induces sleep and helps increase sleep regularity. It is an excellent tonic for the nerves and anxiety issues and can also be helpful in treating migraines, headaches, depression, nervous tension and emotional stress. It can help releive pain caused by sore and tense muscles, helps with respiratory issues, has antibacterial qualities, is effective in treating head lice, promotes hair growth and can improve the circulation of blood in the body.
Commonly used in the treatment of pain relief, as a way to induce numbness, protect against sepsis, reduce milk flow and discharge, relax spasm, strengthen gums, stop hair loss, and lifts skin. Also, it induces firmness in muscles, stops hemorrhaging, removes gas, is good for brain and memory health, and promotes bile discharge, clears congestion and eases breathing. Furthermore, peppermint essential oil relieves obstructed menstruation, expels phlegm & catarrh, reduces fever, and is good for the liver, nerves, and stomach, while promoting perspiration and slight contraction of the blood vessels.
Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca Alternifolia.)
Can be attributed to its properties as an antibacterial, antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, balsamic (promotes the absorption of nutrients from food and gives protection from diseases), cicatrizing (aids in healing wounds and diminishing scars), expectorant (provides relief from viral infections such as cough and sore throat), fungicide, insecticide, aids in blood circulation and boosts immunity and increases sweating to encourage the release of toxins. Tea Tree oil is great for your skin.
Protects from wounds becoming septic, while inhibiting viral and bacterial growth, strengthening gums, and stopping hair loss. Furthermore, it lifts skin, induces firmness in muscles, stops hemorrhaging, fights infections, and cures fevers.
Protects wounds from becoming septic, fights infections, induces contractions in gums, muscles and blood vessels, and removes excess gas, heals scars, keeps cells healthy and promotes their regeneration. It promotes digestion, increases urination, regulates menstrual cycles, cures coughs and colds, soothes anxiety and inflammation, and ensures good health of the uterus for women. It is also wonderful for the skin.
In various parts of the world, it is used to stimulate urination, fight infections, reduce depression and uplift spirits and mood. It also protects wounds from becoming septic while increasing the elimination of of toxins. Grapefruit oil is a great weight loss aid as well.
Orange essential oil has mild aphrodisiac properties. Regular use can cure problems such as frigidity, erectile problems, impotence, loss of interest in sex, and decreased libido. It can provide quick and effective relief from inflammation. It creates a happy, relaxed feeling and works as a mood lifter, perfect for people who suffer from depression or chronic anxiety. Helps relax muscular and nervous spasms. It helps rid your body of excess gas as well as helping flush the body of toxins. It can aid in weight loss and is good for the heart.
Rosehip Seed Oil
A great product in skin care, it helps reduce signs of aging, prevents stretch marks, smoothes scars and treats chronic dryness. It also helps to soothe redness and irritation of the skin, aids in eliminating blemishes, nourishes the scalp and hair and helps heal environmental damage to the skin.
It is antidepressant and stimulating in nature. It creates a feeling of freshness, joy and energy in cases of sadness and depression by improving the circulation of the blood. It also stimulates hormonal secretions, thereby helping to maintain proper metabolic rates. It also aids in digestion and proper absorption of nutrients. It also inhibits the growth of germs, virus and fungi and prohibits infections, including those of the skin. It helps relieve tension, anxiety and stress as well as aiding in digestion and helps minimize scars and other marks on the skin.
Now mix and enjoy! Which combination will you try first? We are pretty excited about this one:
>>Baking soda, Epsom Salt, Frankincense Oil, Tea Tree Oil, Lavender Oil, Peppermint and Almond Oil.
Let us know what your favorites are and be sure to subscribe to our mailing list so you don’t miss our NEW Spring Issue coming in April 2015 where we will feature more of our favorite Detox Bath Recipes!
Also, get our handy Ultimate Detox Bath Reference Cards Printable PDF File.
* I AM NOT A DOCTOR OR MEDICAL PROFESSIONAL! This information has been accumulated from many resources over months of research and advice from my holistic practitioners. If you are looking to do your own research, a great reference point for health benefits, origins, and uses of organic products is organicfacts.net.