January 29, 2010

The Truth About Bath Salts

We've all heard that too much salt in our diet can be a bad thing. A little for seasoning (unless you have been restricted by your doctor) is a good thing as many salts contain trace minerals like calcium and iron. My Nana used to say, "Moderation in all things and you'll live a long life." When it comes to using salts for bath therapy, I believe more is better.

Why use salt in your bath? Some benefits include soothing stressed muscles, easing the symptoms of skin conditions like psoriasis and eczema and helping to draw out toxins. Think natural healing mineral baths or hot springs that people flock to for help with any number of ailments. Not to mention the soothing aromatherapy effects of soaking in a scented salt bath. Salts change the osmotic balance of the water so that less water is absorbed by the skin through osmosis, thus reducing the pruning effect you might experience after soaking in the bath and effectively softening the skin.

Types of commonly used bath salts:
  • Epsom Salts (magnesium sulfate for body detox, sore muscles and skin ailments)
  • Sea Salt (sodium chloride contains therapeutic trace minerals)
  • Dead Sea Salt (contains a multitude of natural beneficial minerals)
  • Sodium Bicarbonate (baking soda softens the water, soothes itchy skin)
  • Sodium Sesquicarbonate (alkalinity source that helps soften water)
There are many types of exotic salts that may be incorporated into salt bath therapy such as:
  • Hawaiian Red Alaea - Rich in trace minerals and iron oxide.
  • Himalayan Pink - Ancient deposits of this crystal salt are mined from deep inside the Himalayan Mountains and provide beneficial amounts of 84 trace elements & iron.
  • Organic Grey Sea Salt - Organic sea salt from the Isle of Noirmoutier undergoes no treatment after harvesting allowing it to keep its essential nutrients.
  • Cyprus Black Sea Salt: Crystal salt pyramids that are mixed with activated charcoal to increase the natural detoxifying properties of the salts.
Bath salts are available on nearly every drug store or grocery shelf these days. Though all products are not created equal and some use more of the fillers than the beneficial salts, most serve the purpose of relaxing and soothing while you bathe. Whether you prefer scented, moisturizing or herbal bath salts your options are fairly limitless.

You can make your own simple bath salt mixture with Epsom salt or sea salt. Just throw a cup or two into warm running bath water and get in when the salts are dissolved. Add some fragrance or essential oil and a few drops of vegetable or nut oil (olive, sunflower and macadamia nut are all good choices). Be careful getting out of your bath if you add oils as the tub can get slippery. For best results it is suggested that you soak for about 20 minutes and use a good lotion or cream after drying off to help retain skin moisture.

1 comment:

herbs said...

These are great tips! Thanks.