10.18.2013

Natural Health Hack #8: Easy Detox Bath


There are few things on Earth as relaxing as a warm bath at the end of a long day.  I love a good bath, but I don't always have the time to take a bath as often as I'd like.  So when I do have the time, I like to bump my bathwater up a notch by adding a few detoxifying, immune-boosting ingredients.

There are lots of things you can add to your bathwater to enhance your bathing experience, but this recipe is my personal favorite:

Easy Detox Bath
1 cup bentonite clay
1 cup epsom salt
1 cup baking soda
10 drops essential oil

Bentonite clay is a powerful detoxifying agent.  It pulls harmful metals and impurities from the body and the bathwater, improving skin tone and reducing bloating and inflammation.

Baking soda is extremely affordable and well known for its myriad health benefits and cleansing properties.  It is anti-fungal and antiseptic, making it effective against many types of infections or skin irritation.  Baking soda also softens and exfoliates the skin by absorbing loads of dirt and oil from the surface.

Adding epsom salt to bathwater reduces muscle soreness, swelling, and inflammation of the joints.  It also supplements the body's magnesium content which tends to be low, especially in those who like to "sweat it out" daily, as I do, with Ashtanga yoga or other rigorous activity.  Magnesium facilitates the production of serotonin, which enhances mood and helps the body fight the adverse effects of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

The essential oils add an element of aromatherapy, and may be chosen based upon mood, health, or aromatic preference.  My current bathwater favorites are geranium, lavender, and clary-sage, but peppermint oil is nice and cooling for summer, and rosemary is good for mental clarity and invigoration.

Soak for 20-30 minutes, or as long as you can.  Be aware that the powerful detoxifying effects of this bath may leave you feeling lightheaded.  If you feel overly groggy or dizzy with this recipe, try reducing the amount of all ingredients by half.  Warm water will facilitate the detox, but water that is too hot can be dangerous.  Be sure to rinse thoroughly with cool water after your bath.  You will most likely feel quite sleepy when you're done, so be sure to do this at the end of your day.

Links to purchase

Lavender Essential Oil
*Find epsom salts and baking soda at your local pharmacy or health food store

Readers:  Have you tried these ingredients in your bath?  Do you have another favorite recipe?  Share your thoughts in the comments below!