Carving out time for yourself isn’t easy in today’s world, but without your health, what do you have? Finding ways to de-stress, unwind, and restore your body needs to move up on your priority list, and taking a detox bath is the perfect place to start.
Even if the idea of treating yourself makes you feel guilty, a detox bath can be the perfect balm to a busy, stressed-out life. By giving both your body and your mind an opportunity to purge itself of toxins in all forms, you will come away from a bath feeling soothed, renewed, and better prepared to tackle the day.
What is a Detox Bath?
Generally speaking, a detox bath is one that’s designed to relax, refresh, and even flush your body of toxins. The right detox bath can make you feel as if you’ve indulged in a high-end spa, but all the ingredients you need to create that same experience can be found in your supply closet.
But why bother taking a ‘detox” bath at all? Isn’t simply soaking in hot water enough for your system? The truth is that this special bath’s ability to lower your body’s toxin load is not a feature to be missed.
The Dangers of Toxin Exposure
“Toxins” have become a buzzword these days, but they don’t deserve to be dismissed. Considered to be harmful agents found in the environment, toxins are everywhere: the air, your food, medication, and even the water supply. These pernicious compounds can cause irritation, inflammation, and also destroy your body tissues after too much exposure.
Normally, your body removes these toxins from your system without you needing to get involved. However, the overwhelming onslaught of toxins in the environment today can compromise its capacity to process them, leaving your system susceptible.
Even if you feel like you live a clean life, the number of toxins you are regularly exposed to is alarming. From pollutants in your drinking water to the pesticides in your lawn, there are over 84,000 chemicals legally for sale in the US – and many of them aren’t well tested.
When your toxin load builds up to unsafe levels, you start to feel sick. Some medical experts even believe that toxic chemical exposure is the root of many illnesses and fertility issues today.
To help your liver and other systems remove this toxin load, it’s a good idea to try taking a detox bath on a regular basis.
How Do Detox Baths Work?
Though it might not be possible to free yourself from toxin exposure forever, there are steps that you can take to improve your body’s efficiency at flushing them out. Taking a detox bath will boost your health and well-being by strengthening the immune system and lowering your risk of disease.
About Epsom Salts
The secret to a successful detox bath is in the Epsom salts. Also known as magnesium sulfate, Epsom salts are a natural way to draw out toxins, ease stress, improve sleep and concentration, regulate enzyme activity, reduce your risk of blood clots and hardened arteries and so much more.
Despite their name, this isn’t the kind of salt you want to sprinkle on your dinner plate. Instead, Epsom salt breaks down into its chemical components when you dissolve it in a bath, making them accessible for absorption through your body’s biggest organ – the skin.
While the clinical evidence is still forthcoming, many people find that soaking in an Epsom salt bath works wonders for relaxing their muscles and loosening stiff joints. When you bathe in bathwater infused with Epsom salt, they can help reduce inflammation throughout your body, relieving pain and muscle cramps while easing migraine headaches and helping improve your absorption of nutrients.
Some of the reported benefits of Epsom salt baths include the following:
- Relieves arthritis pain and swelling
- Cures insomnia
- Reduces psoriasis
- Soothes sunburn pain and redness
- Restores tired, swollen muscles
How to Take a Detox Bath
Taking a detox bath is only slightly more complicated than just soaking in a warm tub. So long as you set up your ingredients ahead of time, you can take one at a moment’s notice and enjoy the benefits for the rest of the day.
Though the details of your bath might depend on the recipe you’re following, the general process works like this.
First, turn the tub water as hot as you can take (you want to work up a sweat). If your water isn’t filtered, consider adding 1 cup of baking soda to neutralize chemicals like chlorine.
Add the ingredients for your detox bath (depending on which recipe you follow) and immerse yourself up to your neck in the water, keeping as much of your body covered as you can. The optimal time frame for a detox bath is 40 minutes to an hour, so consider using the time to practice breathing exercises or meditation.
Once your bath is done, carefully get out of the tub, as you might feel dizzy. Many people enjoy taking a quick cold shower to invigorate themselves and to wash off any lingering bathwater ingredients from their bodies.
Once dry, apply a natural moisturizer like coconut oil or shea butter to replenish your skin, taking care to avoid synthetic perfumes and dyes. It’s usually best not to eat immediately after a detox bath, but you should drink filtered water to rehydrate yourself.
Note: You will likely feel exhausted after your detox bath, and that’s normal. For this reason, many people like to plan their soaks for right before bedtime so that they can take advantage of feeling thoroughly relaxed before getting a great night’s sleep.
7 Detox Bath Recipe Ideas
Anxious to see what a detox bath can do for your toxin load? These recipes will get you started.
1. Salt Detox Bath Recipe
You can keep things simple and soothing for your body by incorporating the benefits of sea salt, Epsom salts, apple cider vinegar and your favorite essential oil into your bath water. This recipe requires that you blend the ingredients together a bit beforehand, but the result is an easy to use detox bath mix that can be personalized to your preferences.
Find the recipe at Wellness Mama.
2. Wild Orange and Rose Oil Bath Bomb
Bath bombs are all the rage these days because they provide a perfectly portioned option for taking a relaxing detox bath. While many commercial bath bombs are loaded with questionable chemicals, you can make your own in less than half an hour and have it convenient for when you need it.
You can make this citrus-scented bath bomb with instructions from Dr. Axe.
3. Oxygen Detox Bath To Clear A Cold
Does your skin need a little extra attention these days? Then pull out your trusty container of hydrogen peroxide and add two or more cups of this detoxification agent into your bathwater. Next, add at least one tablespoon of dried ginger powder to the water, and soak for at least half an hour.
4. Ginger Detox Bath
There’s almost no limit to the ways that ginger is beneficial for your body, so adding some to your bath is bound to help you fight off bacterial infections. Hello Glow has a recipe for a simple bath scrub that relies on fresh ginger, lemon, and Epsom salts to give you silky skin and a new lease on life.
5. Dead Sea Salt Detox
As the lowest place on the planet, the Dead Sea is renowned for carrying some of the most minerally-rich salt in the world. You can reap the benefits by setting up a detox bath with Epsom Salts, bentonite clay, and lavender and frankincense essential oils. Together, these oils will relax your mind and body while easing anxiety.
Find the recipe at Recipes to Nourish.
6. Lavender Detox Bath Recipe
Lavender oil is one of the best all-around essential oils to keep on hand. With a scent soothing enough to relieve even extreme stress, lavender oil can lull you to sleep while also improving skin conditions like eczema and psoriasis.
To enjoy its benefits in a detox bath, mix together one cup each of Epsom salt and baking soda, blending in at least ten drops of lavender essential oil. Mix the blend into a hot bath, soaking everything from your neck down for at least twenty minutes.
Remember, it’s okay if you fall asleep in this one. That’s one of the benefits of lavender.
7. Green Tea Soak
You already know how calming a cup of green tea can be in the midafternoon, so why not enjoy the benefits in a hot bath?
Simply run a bath with the hottest water you can handle, and add between five and ten tea bags to the water, letting them infuse into the water for at least fifteen minutes before getting in. Then, pull them out and soak for 30-40 minutes before rinsing off in a cold shower. Your porous skin will appreciate the skin-renewing benefits of green tea’s antioxidants.
Best Tips for a Successful Detox Bath
Setting up the perfect detox bath takes some practice. Follow these tips to improve your chance of success.
- Set aside AT LEAST 30 minutes for your soak. Anything shorter might not be enough for you to experience the full benefits.
- Resist temptation by leaving your phone outside the bathroom. If you need to set a timer, use a watch instead.
- Cradle your neck with a supportive pillow or rolled up towel so it doesn’t begin to cramp.
- Enhance the atmosphere of your bathroom by dimming lights, turning on relaxing music, and even lighting a few candles.
- Make detox baths part of your routine by scheduling them in for the same time each week. Sunday evenings work well for many people.
Once you experiment with one detox bath, you’re likely to make them a routine for yourself. Best of all, many of these recipes can be made well in advance and used when the mood for a bath strikes you.
An even better idea? Pass the benefits on to your friends by turning these recipes into thoughtful presents! Simple prepackage the ingredients in a mason jar with a cute label, and you have an instant wellness gift for any occasion.