Did you know that the skin is sometimes called the third kidney, due to the role it plays in detoxing the body? Some people are lucky to be living close to an inexpensive herbal steam room like in Scandinavia, so they get their dose of healthy sweating as often as they desire. Heat combined with the smell of fresh herbs is a very relaxing, yet rejuvenating experience. By sweating, you help the skin – your largest organ – get rid of the toxins and dietary and metabolic acids.
Not everyone lives next to a steam room, so here are some of my favorite detox bath recipes. Your deep body cleansing can start in the comfort of your own bathroom. Dim light, candles and meditative music will add to the positive experience – detoxing and de-stressing at the same time.
Ginger Detox Bath
Ginger has been revered for centuries as an immune system booster. It’s a strong antioxidant, antibacterial, antiviral and even anti-cancerous substance. I have a friend who swears by drinking nothing but ginger throughout winter to ward off colds and flu – successfully so far.
For ginger baths, add half a cup of grated fresh ginger (best) or a tablespoon of ginger powder into hot water, and soak yourself for at least 20 minutes. Expect to perfuse intensely and enjoy the cleansing sensation.
Apple Cider Vinegar Detox Bath
This bath might not be as popular – possibly due to the less soothing smell, but the benefits of using apple cider vinegar are abundant. You can always add a few drops of your favorite aromatherapy oil to change the fragrance.
Add one cup of pure apple cider vinegar to your bath and soak for at least 20 minutes. Apple cider vinegar is an excellent skin softener and rebalances your skin’s pH. It’s also an effective natural cure if you’re suffering from a fungal infection or rosacea, due to its antifungal and antimicrobial properties.
Clay and Epsom Salt Detox Bath
Dissolve half a cup of Epsom salt in hot or warm water. Mix clay with a little water separately in a cup. When the clumps break up, add to the bathwater. Another option is to apply the mixed clay paste onto your body as a mask. Let it rest for a few minutes, then soak in the bath.
The use of clay will require slightly more commitment, but the detoxifying effect of clay is worth the time investment. Epsom salts additionally draw the toxins out and improve the circulation. You may also be interested to read my article how to use clay for body detox and great skin and the most extraordinary uses for Epsom salt.
Baking Soda Bath
Baking soda (sodium bicarbonate) has fantastic cleansing ability as well as anti-fungal properties. It leaves the skin very soft and helps sooth irritated skin. Dissolve 1/2 cup of baking soda in the bath and soak for 20 minutes. You may also want to read the article about 6 uses for baking soda as a kitchen medicine.
Sea salt contains many minerals that are good for our skin. Sea salt contains calcium, which is seldom known for its ability to deep-clean the pores in our skin. It also contains bromide, a mineral known for soothing the skin, Potassium that aids in the reduction of water retention, and iodine that regulates metabolic processes on a cellular level. Just dissolve 1/2 cup of sea salt and soak for about 20 minutes in the bath. Read also my article how to use sea salt for your skin.
Some Bathing Tips
Allow enough time for the body to detox and to absorb the minerals from the water. Drink plenty during or after the bath, to replenish lost fluids and prevent dehydration. I’m always upset when the morning after a bath, I wake up with a headache, just because I forgot to drink. It’s best to drink alkalizing drinks, such as herbal teas or lemon water. In this way you further help the body re-work the pH balance (which as you probably know, tends to be overly acidic for most modern humans).
As the skin’s pores are wide open after you’ve had a bath, stay away from toxic sources, to prevent absorbing them more readily. These include chlorine, smoke, air fresheners, road pollution, and other chemicals.
Another option is to add a nice fragrance of your favorite essential oils, which can also have particular therapeutic properties that add to the experience. There are many oils to choose from that can enhance the relaxing experience (such as lavender, chamomile or rose), as well as others that will stimulate and invigorate you (such as peppermint, rosemary or lemongrass) or enhance the detoxification process (such as tea tree oil or eucalyptus).
Usually 20 drops is sufficient for a standard bath. If you are interested to learn more about essential oils you can find useful information in my e-0book Magical Aromatherapy. This book will help you to discover the power of essential oils and the most effective ways to use them.
Finally and by all means, apply common sense if you suffer from a heart or any other health condition, as extreme heat can burden a delicate body.