Home / Favorite Things / Friday Favorites: Homemade Bath Salts and the Health Benefits of Epsom Salt

Friday Favorites: Homemade Bath Salts and the Health Benefits of Epsom Salt


Friday Favorites: Homemade Bath Salts (Mother’s Day Gift Idea)

I can’t think of a whole lot that’s better than a hot bath after a long day. Especially a day that started off by dropping and breaking 2 dozen farm fresh eggs all over the kitchen floor. At that moment I knew that I was going to need a long hot bath and a do not disturb sign on the door.

I’ve been making these homemade bath salts for years and I just adore making, using and giving them as gifts. I gave my grandmother a jarful a few Christmas’s ago and ever since then, she’s been asking for them at every holiday. She loves them and so do I.

The recipe down below is my standard base recipe, but I encourage you to get creative with it. I sometimes include dried herbs or flowers, lemon/orange/lime zest (using zest will also give great color to the salts!) and a mix of different essential oils.

The majority of the salts I use in this recipe are Epsom salts, which actually aren’t a salt at all, but rather a mineral compound of magnesium and sulfate. Magnesium and sulfate are easily absorbed by the skin so taking a bath is a wonderful way to get all those amazing health benefits!

And you will be amazed at the many health benefits of Epsom salt so let me give you quick rundown provided by the help of  our friends at SaltWorks:

  • Eases stress and relaxes the body

Stress drains the body of magnesium and increases levels of adrenaline. When dissolved in warm water, Epsom salt is absorbed through the skin and replenishes the level of magnesium in the body. The magnesium helps to produce serotonin, a mood-elevating chemical within the brain that creates a feeling of calm and relaxation. Research shows that magnesium also increases energy and stamina by encouraging the production of ATP (adenosine triphosphate), the energy packets made in the cells. Experts believe that bathing with Epsom salt at least three times a week helps you to look better, feel better and gain more energy. Magnesium ions also relax and reduce irritability by lowering the effects of adrenaline. They lower blood pressure, create a relaxed feeling, improve sleep and concentration, and help muscles and nerves to function properly.

  • Relieves pain and muscle cramps

An Epsom salt bath is known to ease pain and relieve inflammation, making it beneficial in the treatment of sore muscles, bronchial asthma and migraine headaches. In addition, it has been known to heal cuts and reduce soreness from childbirth. Epsom salt softens skin and will even neutralize foot odor.

  • Helps muscles and nerves function properly

Studies show that Epsom salt can help regulate electrolytes in your body, ensuring proper functioning of the muscles, nerves and enzymes. Magnesium is also known to be critical in the proper use of calcium, which serves as a main conductor of the electric impulses in your body.

  • Helps prevent hardening of arteries and blood clots

Epsom salt is believed to improve heart health and help prevent heart disease and strokes by improving blood circulation, lowering blood pressure, protecting the elasticity of arteries, preventing blood clots and reducing the risk of sudden heart attack deaths.

  • Makes insulin more effective

Proper magnesium and sulfate levels increase the effectiveness of insulin in the body, helping to lower the risk or severity of diabetes.

  • Relieves constipation

Numerous studies have revealed that Epsom salt can be used to treat constipation. Taken internally, Epson salt acts as a detoxifying agent for colon cleansing. The salt acts like a laxative by increasing water in the intestines and can bring about temporary relief from constipation. However, it is strictly warned that Epsom salts should not be used to relieve constipation without the consultation of a physician.

  • Eliminates toxins from the body

The sulfates in Epsom salt help flush toxins and heavy metals from the cells, easing muscle pain and helping the body to eliminate harmful substances. Your skin is a highly porous membrane and adding the right minerals to your bathwater triggers a process called reverse osmosis, which actually pulls salt out of your body, and harmful toxins along with it.

If that doesn’t make you want to take a hot bath, I don’t know what will! I like to put my salts in a cute jar and pair it with some local handmade soaps that I get at the farmer’s market (or if you make soap yourself, even better!) for a beautiful gift. You can even include in that gift basket some homemade  whipped coconut oil for the ultimate decadent moisturizer!

Homemade Bath Salts

Makes about 1 ½ cups


1 cup Epsom salt

½ cup sea salt

1 tablespoon baking soda

1 tablespoon oil of choice (coconut, almond, avocado, walnut, etc)

5-10 drops of your favorite essential oil

optional: dried herbs or flowers, zest from oranges, lemons or limes


In a bowl, combine all ingredients and stir well. Pour into desired container.

To use for a bath: pour a few spoonfuls (about 3-4 Tablespoons) into a hot bath and enjoy!

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    Lovely! I have all the ingredients so I’d love to make these for me and my mom 🙂 I love your blue mason jar!

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    I’ve never used bath salts before! I’ll have to try making these. Thanks for the recipe!

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    I’ve never used the tablespoon of oil before but I have used all the rest. I make bath salts for my friend and neighbor to help her relax during her chemo treatments. I alway used lavender oil..I do love all the recipes. Thanks.

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    Does the oil keep the salts from hardening? I have used other recipes but the do not have oil in them and I’ve had some to harden in the jar.

    • Primally Inspired

      Sandy, now that you mention it, I do believe so. I’ve been making these for years and never had the salts harden on me. But the original reason I put the small amount of oil in was to make the water nice and silky and make your skin feel really great.

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    Another day, another new recipe tried!
    Today it wasn’t food, it was the bath salts. This was a bit harder for me because I am very sensitive to scents. It took me FOREVER to decide on an oil at the store. Got it made. Took my bath, with the window open (because we finally have a window-open-worthy day in MN) and just then the dryer vent turned on…from the laundry….so instead of smelling my new fancy bath salts, I smelled fabric softener. Oh well. It still was a nice, relaxing time and I was thinking about all the good I was doing my body with that epsom salts! Thanks again, Bestie!

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    Just wondering where you bought your colorful jar?

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    Where can I find the blue colored mason jars?

    • Primally Inspired

      Merlie, I found this one at a flea market. I find the best older mason jars like this at flea markets and antique shops. Here’s a set that I love, too that you can find now. I bought this same set a few months ago. The blue is very vibrant like this – it’s not light blue like the pics look: http://amzn.to/1auwrbp

  8. Avatar

    Sounds lovely! I’ll be trying some soon. 🙂

    A question: What does the baking soda do?

  9. Avatar

    I don’t have sea salt. Can I just use the Epsom salts?

  10. Avatar

    Can I use this recipe just as a foot spa and not bath as my client cannot have baths?

  11. Avatar

    How wonderful!! I am experimenting with color also…basic food color isnt going well. Would you suggest something?? Looking for a light lavender???

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    What does the baking soda do for this recipe? I am curious in case my family asks me about it when I give them a gift basket this Christmas.

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    Do you melt the coconut oil first?

  14. Avatar

    thanks it was supper easy and a good idea is to add sparkles

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    Epson salt is also a good way to help a child with ADHD get enough magnesium. My son sleeps better at night and has better behavior during the day when he has a bath with Epson salt.

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    I have seen the blue mason jars (small) at Sam’s Club stores.

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    Would I have to worry about an expiry date if I make ahead and give as a gift?

  18. Avatar
    Amanda DeMasters

    I can’t WAIT to try this recipe with some of my oils Young Living Essential Oils!

    I’ve been wanting to make something special for my “moms,” my mother, stepmother and mother in law and then now my fathers new girl friend. (No crazy business I swear lol just a lot of ladies in my life!)
    But I was looking at this bottle of bath salts I had, and none of it was all-natural, none of it was something written in plain English or even something recognizable like Epsom salt or sea salt – no essential oils, etc.
    So here I am on my task. Now I have my recipe that I feel comfortable with… Now off to find some “sea salts” I shall return with my results hopefully!! But if I don’t, it’s because it worked out great, and I’m making a whole bunch of them with all of my lovely certified therapeutic essential oils…. (The highest grade on essential oils) I love these oils, they’ve helped my life so much physically and now emotionally too.
    Thank you for having this up for the world to see… That’s really awesome of you!

  19. Avatar

    Ok here’s a silly question..where do u get the individual scoops to put with the bath salts?

  20. Avatar

    Crazy question. I have never used bath salts (or anything in the bath water other than soap). If I use your wonderful sounding bath salts – do I still use soap to wash with or do you wash with the salts only? Also, you mentioned that baking soda will soften the water …. interesting … worth it just for that reason! Thanks for the fun recipes, I may have to try them! Merry Christmas to you …

  21. Avatar

    My husband and I soak our feet in an Epsom salt bath every night. (Just a 5 gallon pail) We don’t take baths, but I made some of this, to try in our foot baths. How often should you use this detox?

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