Epsom salt baths are the perfect way to unwind after a long day, prevent muscle soreness after a hard workout, lull you into a blissful sleep, AND support detoxification. So don’t just draw a hot bath and jump in; make it therapeutic! Here are five steps to the perfect relaxing detox bath.
NOTE: do this at night before bed for optimal detox/sleep results.
Benefits of epsom salt baths:
- boost magnesium. We are all chronically deficient in magnesium due to the anemic soil in which our vegetables are grown (and the fact that many of us aren’t eating enough veggies, which are a good source). Epsom salts are magnesium sulfate, which is easily absorbed through the skin while soaking.
- draw out toxins. We’re exposed the countless pollutants from our air, water, food supply, and environment, and they build up in our fat tissue over time, disrupting endocrine function and causing free radical damage. Give you skin and liver (your 2 biggest detox organs) a break by supporting the hard work it takes your organs to detox.
- prevent soreness and stiffness.
- foster restful sleep. The magnesium calms your nervous system to aid sleep. I sleep like a rock after a nice epsom salt bath.
- relieve stress. Adding calming essential oils like lavender, clary sage, chamomile or sandalwood helps too. Probably reduces stress hormone (cortisol) levels, so if you get a second wind at night and have trouble getting to sleep, this is your jam.
- may relieve tension headaches/migraines.
- support and boost the lymphatic system, a network that helps your body rid itself of waste and toxins.
Detox Bath: 5 Steps to Bathing Bliss
Step one: draw your bath. Make the water as hot as you can stand (but obviously not scalding).
Step two: while the water is running, do some dry skin brushing. It’s great to help your lymphatic system remove toxins; it increases circulation; may reduce cellulite; and exfoliates/makes skin soft. Watch this to learn how. I like this dry skin brush.
Step three: add your epsom salts, 2-4 cups full. Add the baking soda to neutralize the chlorine and soften your skin. You can also add powdered vitamin C. I have it on hand to use in smoothies for an antioxidant boost, for face masks (it’s great for skin), and for the bath. Very versatile! No biggie if you don’t have the baking soda or vitamin C; you’ll still reap the benefits of the epsom salts just the same.
Step four: add your essential oils. I use lavender.
Step five: soak for 15-30 minutes. I usually get out when the water gets cold or I start to prune.
For extra relaxation, light some candles and try the Yogi Bedtime tea blend if you want to sleep like a baby. Happy bathing!
Mary Vance is a Certified Nutrition Consultant and author specializing in digestive health. She combines a science-based approach with natural therapies to rebalance the body. In addition to her 1:1 coaching, she offers courses to help you heal your gut and improve your health. Mary lives in San Francisco and Lake Tahoe in Northern California. Read more about her coaching practice here and her background here.