Baths are a wonderful way to help the body detox or said another way, to help the body move and remove metabolic waste from the fluid in between cells in our body. The water in the bath is usually hot and this increase in temperature has an effect on our body’s processes. The heat from the water dilates our blood vessel, opens the pores in our skin, our heart rate increases and we perspire a little bit. This helps the body move ‘things’ out through our skin.
One of the many Masters from which I have learned my skills as a herbalist, once told me – the skin is like a second kidney. Meaning – when the skin is troubled – the body is struggling to eliminate some source of toxic assault and as we all know, if the body cannot get rid of ‘junk’, ‘rubbish’, cellular waste sometimes called ‘toxins’ – our body can become a toxic dumping ground that our cells struggle to survive in and create exact copies of themselves. This is one of the precursors to the development of cancer.
So … helping the body move stuff out that is in, is a good idea. Besides who doesn’t love to chill out in a bath from time to time. Nothing to do but submerge the everyday self and descend in to the underworld, where no one can find you. So peaceful there. And quiet!
How to Prepare a Bath for a Detox?
1. Run you Bath as hot as you can stand it
You need about 40 minutes for bathing. After which time, the heat is normally gone anyway and also you are risking becoming a prune. The first 20 mins your body will be moving junk out or trying to whilst the second 20 mins, you body can, if you give it the opportunity, absorb and minerals you put in the bath water. Before you get in, maybe give the body a brush first. This will improve circulation and help the detoxification process.
2. Add some Epsom Salts
Otherwise known as Magnesium Sulphate. Tis an old trick but a good one. My Grandmother had the best deep bath, old school. Not these shallow water saving doggie paddle pools we are in to now. She called the box of Epsom Salts, Bath Salts, and they were known as the go to cure all legacy from before the turn of last century.
Turns out, there is some science behind this practice. Soaking the body in warm to hot water doused with a healthy dose of Epsom Salts actually helps replenish the body magnesium levels which in turn helps manage hypertension. There is more. The sulfate flushes toxins and helps form proteins in brain tissue and joints. This helps reduce muscle and join pain and maintain flexibility, for longer.
How much is enough … so for Adults, about 2 cups or 500g, more or less the box.
3. Add some Bicarb of Soda
Sodium Bicarbonate, traditionally used to make baked goods rise and hence also called “Baking Soda” – is another before the turn of last century multi purpose health and wellbeing ‘thingey’. Baking soda was used and still is used as a safe cleaning agent and it also demonstrates anti-fungal properties. Taking it internally is an effective solution for an acidic stomach. A small bowl of it in the fridge or in the shoe cupboard will soak up smells My Grandmother used Bicarb to clean teeth but putting it in a bath will make your skin will feel very smooth and soft after bathing in Bicarb.
How much is enough … so for Adults, about 1 to 2 cups or between 250 and 500g, more or less the box.
4. Add some Ginger
I would make a cup of Ginger Tea with fresh Ginger. Yes the slice and steep method, but why? Because Ginger has stimulating properties and will help your body heat up, open your skin pores and sweat. This is good if you are keen to move out some ‘junk’, from the ‘trunk’. Your skin may turn pink, so no need to go over board. Some Ginger, not mountains of Ginger.
The Ginger will increase your body’s ability to sweat, if you want to continue this for some hours after you exit the bath, just wrap yourself in a blanket and you’d better keep drinking some water. Ginger in the bath is very helpful if you are trying to help the body conquer a bug or a virus. As always, use your best judgement and listen to your body and what it is telling you about what is needed.
5. Add Aromatherapy Oils
This stage is a personal choice, but Aromatherapy Oils draw on the power of scent to create a particular mood or feeling. So, say … Lavender is relaxing but Rosemary would be more stimulating. Tea Tree or Eucalyptus Oil would assist the detox process. Choose depending on the need of the hour. You don’t absolutely need to add Aromatherapy Oils, but … they can add another dimension to the experience. Fresh aromatic herbs can take the place of oils because the oils are preserved in the just picked plant leaf and or flower.
6. Leave Gently, Leave Slowly
I often feel a little light headed and sometimes even dizzy when leaving a bath. Blood pressure can drop slightly because the blood vessels have become dilated due to the heat of the water. Also, the body has been working hard, though perhaps the mind has been doing ‘nothing’. Be careful exiting the bath. The salts can make the tub slippery. Last but not least, have some water to replace the fluids you have lost in the experience.
Jádore. Bliss. Peace.