If you’re anything like me, the holiday stress is already starting to build. Each year I have to work hard to get everything accomplished, but at the same time, allow a few moments to decompress so I can enjoy everything the holidays have to offer.
With this busy time of year upon us – and my muscles still sore from our recent move – I thought a long soak in an herbal bath sounded perfect for relaxation. Herbal bath salt formulas are comprised of only a few basic ingredients that I always keep on hand. Bath time, here I come!
Homemade Bath Salts
- 1 cup Epsom salt
- ½ cup natural sea salt
- 20-30 drops essential oils. I used a combination of lavender, juniper, and rosemary. (where to find 100% pure essential oils)
- (Optional) 2-3 tablespoons dried herbs or botanicals. I used dried rosemary leaves. (where to find fresh organic herbs & botanicals)
Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Transfer to a glass container with a tight-fitting lid.
Add approximately ½ cup of bath salts to warm running bath water.
Benefits of the ingredients
- Epsom salt (magnesium sulfate): This main ingredient helps relax mind and body. Soaking in Epsom salt can help provide soothing relief from stress, sore muscles, and stiffness. Many people are deficient in magnesium, and it can be easily absorbed by the body during a warm bath. Epsom salt is widely available at grocery stores, pharmacies, or online.
- Mineral rich sea salts: Real sea salt contains many trace minerals that can be absorbed by the skin, helping detoxify the body. Bathing with sea salt can also help revitalize and hydrate the skin, thus improving the appearance. Unrefined sea salt can be found at most health food stores, some grocery stores, or online.
- Essential oils: Pure essential oils are highly concentrated plant extracts. Certain oils can have healing properties for skin, while others offer mood-boosting benefits when used for aromatherapy. Pure essential oils can be purchased from health food stores or online at Mountain Rose Herbs. (If you are pregnant or nursing, consult your health care provider before using essential oils. Lavender and a few others are generally regarded as safe during pregnancy.)
- Dried herbs or botanicals (optional): Many dried herbs and flowers possess the same lovely scents and healing properties of their essential oil counterparts. They’re a beautiful addition to homemade bath salts. The only drawback is they can create a mess in the tub. If adding dried herbs or flowers to your salts, it is best to use a muslin bag (like this) for your salts. Creating a re-usable “tea bag” like this will allow the salts to dissolve in the bathtub, and once the bag is dried, the herbs can be easily emptied.
Enjoying your homemade bath salts
Play around with some different scent combinations for different therapeutic and aromatic benefits. Try eucalyptus and spearmint essential oil for an uplifting, relieving soak. Or lavender and chamomile for a calming, relaxing, pre-bedtime bath. Peppermint would make a wonderful revitalizing bath salt for the holidays when you need to be refreshed after all your hard work.
After you’ve had a chance to sneak away and enjoy a long soak with your homemade bath salts, you’ll want to start sharing this fun DIY project with others. It can be mixed up in minutes, put into glass jars, and given as a fun gift. Homemade bath salts are a simple project even your kids can get involved in! (With supervision for the essential oils, of course.)
Bath salts make great teacher gifts, holiday gifts, or the perfect hostess gift if you’re staying with friends or family. If giving as a gift, don’t forget to add a silky ribbon and a fun tag or label. Include a spoon or a seashell for scooping!
Have you ever made your own bath salts? Help build the community by sharing the creative scent combinations you’ve come up with.