I think we all know that a warm bath is a relaxing, luxurious act of self-care—that’s not brand-new information. But what you might not know is that a good bath can also be medicinal.
An average adult has over five million (!) pores in their skin, and when we soak in the tub, our bodies act a whole lot like sponges. We suck up whatever goodness (or badness– that’s why I always soak in filtered water) that is in our tub. Herbalists and natural medicine practitioners have been using healing baths for centuries to treat all kinds of ailments. My doctor even prescribed daily medicinal baths as part of my Lyme treatment protocol.
If taking a bath seems too indulgent for your chaotic schedule, maybe it would help to reframe taking a bath as actually taking your medicine—because by adding a few affordable, easy-to-find ingredients to your soaking water, that’s exactly what you’d be doing!
There are a number of ways a bath can be medicinal, but today, we’re going to focus on the two main ways that make up these Calming Lavender Bath Salts. First, you will be basically turning your tub into a giant cup of herbal, medicinal tea. Yup, you heard me! You’re going to be soaking in tea, and your body is going to love it.
You can do this by putting medicinal herbs directly into your bath water, as we do here with the lavender in these bath salts. If you don’t like the idea of a mess to clean up (a quick post-bath shower helps rinse all the lavender flowers off your body and down the drain), you can also place your herbs in a nut milk bag, tie it to the faucet, and let the water flow through. Or, my preferred method is to actually make a strong infusion of the herbs and then pour the strained tea directly into my bath water. All three methods work beautifully, it just depends on what you prefer. We’re sticking with the whole herb version here because my gosh, do lavender flowers look (and smell!) gorgeous in this blend!
The second way these bath salts turn a bath medicinal is via the salts themselves. Did you know that it’s estimated that half of us are magnesium deficient? Magnesium deficiency can lead to headaches, anxiety, constipation, muscle cramps, and a host of other symptoms. Our body absorbs magnesium transdermally (through our skin), and some experts believe it is a healthier way to supplement magnesium (and without any of the side effects that come from oral supplementation). And did you know that Epsom salts are 100% pure magnesium sulfate?
When you combine the Epsom salts (magnesium!) with the sea salts (a whole host of other trace minerals!) and lavender (calming and relaxing!) in these bath salts, you have one heck of a healing powerhouse in a simple package that can be gifted to anyone you love this holiday season.
When it comes to affordable handmade holiday gifts, these bath salts top the charts. Even including the jars, you could make six of these babies for about $5 a piece—making these perfect teacher gifts, girlfriend gifts, or gifts for anyone who deserves a little pampering. They are simple enough to make with kids and thoughtful enough to give to even your closest friends. Bath salts are a holiday gift giving win!
For the pretty factor, I do recommend investing in some dried lavender flowers—you’ll end up finding a million uses for them in your house—but from a cash-saving standpoint, they aren’t necessary if you use a high-quality lavender essential oil. Some people also prefer not to use the flowers because they do collect in your tub. I find no issues with just running a quick shower afterward to send the flowers down the drain, but that might not be your thing—if not, leave the flowers out!
I created a fun gift tag label for you to print out and use on these bath salts, too. Print it on pretty kraft paper– then you can fold it in half, tie it on with a bit of twine and a dried lavender sprig, and head out and spread your holiday cheer. Enjoy!