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.
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!