Tuesday, April 14, 2009

DIY Bath Salts

A few weeks back I added two posts for making your own face products. Along that same home-factory-idea line is the typical bath salt. I laugh when I see them in the store for $15, when it's often only $1 of Epsom or Sea Salt and a few drops of essential oil, plus $10 of preservatives you DON'T want on your body!

I making salt baths more regularly after a car accident several years ago that left my back in a pretty poor state of health. I was taking a pain-bath about 3-4x a week and it helped immensely. Now I take them for all sorts of reasons: relaxation, menstral cramps, headaches, chest colds, aching muscles, and psoriasis flare-ups.

The salt is the base to this so let's start there!

SALT
First, all salts are sea salts either mined as rock or evaporated from the saline solution.

Sea salt is sodium chloride, and is used in cooking and cosmetics. "Dead Sea Salt" is proven to have the highest content of body-healing minerals it it, from the Dead Sea.

Table salt, which is also pure sodium chloride, is usually refined from mined rock salt (halite) or from sea salt. Refined, bleached, and processed is the key difference in cooking salt.

Epsom Salt (magnesium sulfate) is often used to correct magnesium deficiency in soil and has about 50 other trace minerals in it. Fossilized Salts and other natural bath salts have these minerals as well, and have muscle-relaxing qualities in them.

The best is to mix inexpensive Epsom with the higher quality Dead Sea salt, but I use Epsom by itself most of the time.


OILS
What most scented body products contain are "fragrances," which are most certainly NOT essential oils and not healing in any way. Essential oils are volatile oils that have the odor and flavor of the plant from which they were derived. There are hundreds of "flavors," so I'm only going to give you a few, and I ask you take this one step further by doing the research for your own personal needs. You can also contact my favorite Aromatherapist if you're unsure!

The key is to make sure your oils are organic and pure.

Sample Combinations:
Relaxation: Lavendar, Bergamot, Geranium, Chamomile, Marjoram
Sexuality: Ylang Ylang, Rose, Patchouli
Muscles: Sage, Cajeput, Pine, Balsam Peru, Helichrysum, Tangerine
Respiratory/Flu: Juniper, Eucalyptus, Lemon, Fir, Tea Tree, Peppermint

Combined or solo, these are some great "starter" oils for beginning your first home healing first aid kit!


For Yourself
When it's just for you, drop the oils and the salts right into the bath. A regular shower-and-bath sized tub needs about 10-15 drops total to get the healing properties out of the oils, and larger full tubs can take 20-30 drops. As for the salt, about 2 cups for the small bath and 4 cups for the large one.


As a Gift? Even Better!
This is a great last-minute gift if you have the supplies, and every woman loves a bath.
Take an empty, 12-16 oz clean jar (run through the dishwasher) and fill it to 1/2 full with your salt of choice. Then add about 10-15 drops total of the oils, and fill almost to the rim, leaving enough room to shake the salts and oils together, then shake! I usually make a nice label for it so they know what's in there and what it's "for," (muscles, headaches, etc) and tie a bow around it.

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