Bath salts are a time tested healing method. Although they fell out of favor in the last century, they’re making a comeback.
Now, you can find a wide range of bath salts made with essential oils. These have come onto the market, in conjunction with a renewed interest in aromatherapy.
The many brands of bath salts on the market are typically designed for relaxation and pain relief. It’s widely believed that soaking in bath salts helps to pull toxins out of the body.
Bath Salts for Relaxation
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For centuries, people have used natural bath salts to unwind. It’s believed that soaking in warm mineral is very good for your health.
That’s possibly because these salts may help with detoxification, by pulling harmful substances out of our body. Some natural health experts also believe our skin absorbs the natural magnesium and sulfates found in bath salts.
Bath Salts for Detoxification
When my children were little, they were sickly. I’d often put them in a tub filled with Epsom salt and baking soda. Unfortunately, back then, I didn’t know about essential oils. This was a few years before essential oils became popular in the United States. I like to think the salt baths helped. But it’s difficult to say, because my children were also seeing a homeopath.
But some natural health experts advocate bath salts. According to Dr. David Jockers, DNM, DC, who published an article in Natural News, bath salts can potentially help a number of conditions, including gout, nail fungus and muscle aches.
Potential Risks of Epsom Salt Baths
Dr. Jockers, however, noted they shouldn’t be used by pregnant woman, or heart patients, unless they get clearance from their physician. Dr. Jockers also recommends not using soap with an Epsom salt bath. So please check with your doctor if you fall into one of these categories.
Use of bath salts is now common, judging by the number of packaged herbal salt formulas on the market. It’s also easy to make your own bath salts, as I’ll explain later in this article.
Father Kneipp Bath Salts
One of the best-known advocates of bath salts was Father Sebastian Kneipp, a 19th-century German parish priest. He’s considered one of the founders of modern naturopathy.
Father Kneipp developed a line of herbal remedies, which included bath salts. These formulas were an outgrowth of his ministry, which included attending to the needs of his flock, both body and soul.
This kindly, gentle priest took care of his own parishioners, as well as people from all over Europe, who came to his church in Bad Worishofen, seeking relief from their physical sufferings.
Although he didn’t try to call attention to himself, his reputation grew. In the latter part of the 1800’s, Father Kneipp was one of the best known men in Germany.
Father Sebastian Kneipp Story
Perhaps his great compassion for the sick was a result of his own battle with tuberculosis. In his time, it was considered incurable, and fatal. However, with little to lose, Father Kneipp tried an experiment. First he would exercise, as much as he could, given his condition. Then he would swim in the icy Danube River. He did this repeatedly, and, much to everyone’s surprise, grew stronger and recovered from this “terminal” illness.
This allowed him to continue his seminary education. He was ordained to the priesthood in the early 1850’s.
Health Benefits of Bath Salts
Father Kneipp’s medical advice consisted of exposing the body to alternating streams of hot and cold water. This, he believed, enabled the system to become stronger. (However, don’t try this without asking your doctor, especially if you suffer from chronic health problems.)
Healing salt baths were also part of his medical recommendations. He also had an extensive knowledge of herbs, a skill likely acquired from his mother. Please understand that this article is written for information and discussion purposes only. I’m not a medical professional, so I’m only passing along information I’ve gleaned from my research, as well as from personal experience.
Father Kneipp Mineral Salts
From what I’ve read, Father Kneipp would suggest mineral bath salts, combined with herbs. He developed specific formulations, dependent upon the illness. These special salts are still available today, distributed by a company he founded, and then turned over to a pharmacist friend.
The formula shown below is designed to help you sleep. Even though it contains artificial fragrance and coloring, it’s a more natural alternative to prescription tranquilizers, which carry the risk of addiction.
Kneipp Herbal Bath Salt Sweet Dreams contains salts taken from one of Europe’s salt mines. These salts contain extracts from the hops and Valerian plants, often recommended by herbalists as natural tranquilizers. The suggested use is one cap of salt in a tub of warm water, for no more than 20 minutes.
All Natural Bath Body Gift Set
The all natural bath salt set shown below is made by Beauty by Earth. As far as I can see, the six “bath bombs” are made with only natural ingredients. A partial list includes baking soda, citric acid, Dead Sea salt, Epsom salt, organic cocoa butter, sunflower oil, chamomile, eucalyptus, sage, comfrey, rose petals, oat flour and various essential oils. This comes in an attractive gift set.
Recipes for Scented Bath Salts
I love to make my own bath salts with essential oils. I use them myself, and I also give them out as homemade gifts. I’ve gotten great feedback on this DIY bath salt recipe, which can also be used around the house instead of chemical cleaners. It works great for scouring metal sinks and you can also use it to clean your bathtub.
- 2 cups of Epsom salt
- 3/4 cup of baking soda
- 10 drops of lavender oil (available here)
If you’re using this at night, as a relaxation aid, you can also add a drop or two of chamomile essential oil to the mix. Chamomile and lavender are often used together in stress relief blends. Store in a clean glass jar and use as needed. I put my bath salts in empty Mason glass jars.
These statements have not been approved by the FDA. These products are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Women who are pregnant should not use bath salts. If you suffer from a cardiac condition, check with your doctor before using bath salts.