Benefits of an Epsom Salt Bath
Epsom salt is not actually a salt at all, but the natural mineral compound, magnesium sulfate. It can be used internally as a natural laxative, or externally, as a soothing, healing soak for the body. Why is an epsom salt bath beneficial? Because the magnesium and sulfates are readily absorbed into the body, imparting their own particular health benefits.
Magnesium is an incredibly valuable mineral, one that many people are deficient in. It is involved in hundreds of different enzyme activities. It is needed for the metabolism of other minerals, the proper use of insulin, efficient muscle and nerve function, and for restful sleep. Balancing with calcium in the body, magnesium helps to maintain a normal heart beat and blood pressure. It protects artery walls in times of stress, and prevents the calcification of soft tissue. Deficiencies can be linked to common issues, such as insomnia and irritability, and even heart disease.
Sulfates disinfect the blood and flush toxins from cells. This detoxification effect may be why Epsom salt baths are soothing for people who suffer from arthritis and joint pain. Protecting the body against the harmful effects of pollution and radiation, they help to slow the aging process. Sulfates are also necessary for the synthesis of new collagen, which is needed for healthy, young-looking skin.
Benefits of a Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda, which is technically sodium bicarbonate, has an alkalizing effect on the body. This can be very important in cases of over-acidity, which is common with the typical western diet. Red meat, cheeses, sugar, and refined foods are acid-forming. A baking soda bath acts to neutralize this effect. It is also useful for detoxing from an overuse of alcohol, caffeine, medications, and nicotine. After soaking in this compound, the body generally feels refreshed and renewed, with the added benefit of soft, supple skin.
How to Take a Bath for Detoxification
To take a detoxification bath with baking soda and epsom salts, run a bath with moderately hot water. Blend one-half cup of Epsom salts and one-half cup of baking soda. Add while the water is still running, making sure everything dissolves well. Soak for twenty minutes. After the bath, lie down for a few minutes. Dizziness is a common side effect of sitting in hot water, combined with the rapid release of toxins.
For an added cleansing effect, drink a cup of peppermint tea before taking the bath, or add a cup of brewed peppermint tea to the bath. This will promote the release of toxins through the skin even more. Add ten to fifteen drops of soothing essential oils, such as jasmine or rose, to the epsom salts for a peaceful aromatherapy soak, or relaxing herbs such as chamomile or lavender for a stress relief bath.
Is a Detoxification Bath Safe for Everyone?
A homemade detoxification bath made from epsom salts and baking soda is therapeutic and regenerating, but it may not be beneficial for everyone. Pregnant women, and people with heart problems and high blood pressure should definitely consult a doctor beforehand. To be safe, talk to a medical professional in the case of any pre-existing illness, or if on any medication.
- Page, Linda. "Healthy Healing: A Guide to Self-Healing for Everyone, 11th Edition" (Traditional Wisdom, 2003).
- Epsom Salt Council