What do you do to relax at the end of the day – a quick snuggle with your honey, your babies, your fur babies? Catching up on a favorite show? A book or magazine? If you’re looking for an end-of-a-LONG-day activity that will help you relax and be kind to your body, you need to try detox baths.
The practice of bathing can help us get rid of toxins and soak in beneficial minerals. Nutritional pioneer Dr. Hazel Parcells estimates that 65% of our body’s cleansing is achieved through the skin, our body’s largest organ. When you bathe in water as hot as you can tolerate, pollutants and chemicals picked up throughout the day are drawn to the surface of the skin. As the water then cools, these toxins are drawn out of the body through the principle of osmosis. You’ll then absorb whatever good stuff you’re steeping in – most of which you can already find around your house. Here are the essential items to add to your detox bath to declutter both body and mind.
1. Aluminum-Free Baking Soda // Sea Salt and Aluminum-Free Baking Soda
Quality, aluminum-free baking soda is great for combating exposure to irradiated foods and alleviating swollen glands, sore throats and digestive issues. Add 4 cups to a very hot bath and sit tight for up to 45 minutes. When you’re done, skip the rinse and towel dry only.
If just baking soda is not exciting enough, add some high quality sea salt or rock salt to your bath. This detox combo is good for mitigating the effects of exposure to x-rays, plane flights, and TSA airport screenings. Dissolve 1 pound of salt, 1 pound of baking soda, and soak for 45 minutes. Avoid adding more hot water and towel dry only once you’re finished. This one will likely make you very tired, so run this bath before bedtime.
2. Epsom Salts
Epsom salts are just a fancy way of saying magnesium sulfate. Both magnesium and sulfur are critical nutrients needed by the body. An Epsom salt bath helps to promote good circulatory health, eases muscle pain, improves nerve function, and reduces bruising or muscle strains (2). Add 2 cups of Epsom salts to your bath and soak for 20-30 minutes. You can rinse and towel dry afterward.
3. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar can combat exercise induced muscle aches and pains, alleviate Candida related skin issues by balancing the skin’s ph, and provide relief for those with gout, arthritis or tendonitis by drawing out uric acid (3). Add 2 cups of apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for 45 minutes. Towel dry when you’re finished, and don’t shower for at least 8 hours.
4. Bentonite Clay
Bentonite clay is actually volcanic ash and has been used throughout history for healing because it produces an electric charge that, when heated, has the ability to absorb toxins like a sponge. Quality bentonite is velvety, odorless and non-staining. You’ll know it’s of good quality if it is a grey or cream color, but not pure white.
Adding it to your bath can help with digestive disturbances, skin allergies, and speeds up recovery from digestive discomfort. To use it in your bath, mix ¼ cup of the clay vigorously with a small amount of water in a non-metal container. Once the clumps are mostly gone, add the clay to the bath and sit for 20 minutes. You’re allowed to rinse after this one!
5. Essential Oils
High quality essential oils have specific benefits which vary from oil to oil. When I need to relax and promote sleep, I use doTERRA Lavender. When I’m feeling a little down or uninspired, I add citrus oils like grapefruit, tangerine or lime to boost my mood and energize me. Find your favorites and add them to your Epsom salt, baking soda or clay baths! Check out my blog post for top 10 essential oils HERE.
Indulge in a detox bath a couple times a week, with no more than 1 bath a day.
Avoid bringing technology into your detox bath “sanctuary” … This is YOU time.
My favorite cleansing bath includes a 2 to 1 ratio of Epsom salts and baking soda with 2-3 drops Lavender essential oil stirred in before adding to the bath water, a non-toxic beeswax candle on the side of the tub, and maybe a book. (<— Cheers flashback: I always picture Sam dropping Diane’s $500 copy of Ernest Hemingway’s The Sun Also Rises in the tub. #DoneIt )