I am a big fan of self care practices. One of my all time favourite ways to take care of myself is to soak in a warm bath, especially if there are soothing salts and essential oils involved. I have experimented with adding separate ingredients to bath water, but had not previously tried my hand at trying an actual salt blend. Thanks to my herbal studies with Betty Norton and Learning Herbs I now have the knowledge and confidence to do just that. I used a recipe out of my Taste of Herbs recipe booklet as a starting point and branched out from there. I made use of magnesium rich epsom salts, combined with skin soothing dead sea and detoxifying himalayan salts. Baking soda contains lots of detoxifying benefits, and I elected to include a "calm" essential oil blend I found in Vancouver, which includes a lovely combination of lavender, ylang yang, bergamot and geranium oils.
I wanted to include dried lavender and rose in my blend, but was initially hesitant, as I am not a huge fan of big chunks floating in my bath. Even if you do enjoy the sensation of floating in flowers, I suspect pieces of dried flowers can do a number on your plumbing and require a lot more in the way of clean up. I decided to experiment with grinding up the dried flowers, to allow them to better incorporate with the salt blend.
There are so many different blends you could use, along with the base recipe of salts and baking soda. For my husband's sore muscles post work, I would put together a blend of peppermint, eucalyptus and lemongrass, skipping the flowers altogether. Lavender is lovely on its own, for relaxation, and frankincense could be incorporated in a variety of blends for its many health benefits. If I were making a blend for my kids, I might grind up some dried lavender, chamomile and lemon balm along with a few drops of lavender essential oil. The sky is the limit!
The start up cost of purchasing ingredients may initially be higher, but when you look at the cost of most bath salt blends in the store (not to mention some of the synthetic additives that can sneak in) this option becomes much more cost effective, and potentially better for you. I also appreciate being able to personalize the recipe, based on the person I am making the salts for and, if I am making them for yours truly, how I am feeling at the time. Plus all of these ingredients are easily obtained at a grocery store, pharmacy or health food store near you. For further detoxification benefits, you can add 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar to the salts in your bath - something I learned about care of one of Kris Carr's awesome newsletters!
Soothing Bath Salts
2 cups epsom salts
3/4 cup dead sea salts
1/2 cup baking soda
1/4 cup himalayan salts
1/4 cup dried roses
1/8 cup dried lavender
30 drops essential oil
Add dried roses and lavender to a spice or coffee grinder and process until finely ground. Add rose & lavender powder, epsom salts, dead sea salts, baking soda, and himalayan salts to a large mixing bowl, and stir to combine. Whisk salts as you add 30 drops of essential oil, one at a time, to avoid clumps and ensure all ingredients are evenly combined. Store salts in a 2 quart mason jar, for personal use, or separate into smaller, 8oz mason jars (pictured above) to give as gifts. Adding pretty labels and fabric circles tied with ribbon is a lovely way to make your salts extra fancy! You can put your salts in a muslim bag. if you prefer to keep your flowers contained.
What is your favourite bath salt combination of dried herbs/flowers and essential oils?