Detox baths play a big role in our family’s health.
Our bodies have natural detox pathways — we eliminate junk through urine, feces, sweating, and breathing. Our kidneys and liver process what we are exposed to and deliver the junk to those elimination pathways. Our mucus membranes protect us against bacteria and other germs from getting in to make us sick.
Sometimes in our modern world, our systems become overtaxed. We are exposed to so much more junk through contaminated air, water, pesticides on foods, processed foods, and so on. Some of this we can control, but some of it we can’t. This means that sometimes, our detox pathways can become blocked. When that happens, we feel tired, sluggish, and can get sick more often. So! It’s important to keep that from happening.
Eating plenty of fresh fruits and veggies helps. Drinking kombucha helps. Drinking lemon water helps (or add apple cider vinegar to water). I do most of these things daily. Detox baths are gentle and helpful, too.
What is a detox bath?
A detox bath is a warm or hot bath with some type of addition — salt, clay, etc. — that helps to draw toxins out through the skin. It basically helps the perspiration pathway work more effectively. We’ve experimented and found that after a bath with these additions, we often feel more tired for a little while, and then better after rest. It works for us! So much so that when I traveled I brought boxes of baking soda with me…in case we needed.
There are several different types of detox baths, depending on your needs. I’m sharing a few of my favorites today.
Epsom salts are probably the most common type of detox bath, because they’re readily available at any store. Epsom salts are high in magnesium, which can help to soothe sore muscles (including after injury or overuse), relieve constipation, and promote restful sleep. I use this bath for sore muscles most often, or for children who aren’t sleeping well.
- 1/2 cup of Epsom salts
- Warm to very warm bath water
This bath doesn’t need to be too hot to help. Dissolve the Epsom salts in the bath water and then soak for 10 – 15 minutes. If any muscles are sore, make sure to get the affected parts in the water as much as possible.
Baking soda is another easy one since it’s also available anywhere. Baking soda is a very gentle form of detox that alkalizes the skin and anything coming out of it. It’s good after exposure to radiation (x-rays, airplanes) as well as if you are sick. This is a good one for pregnant women or younger children since it’s gentle.
- 1 cup baking soda
- Warm to very warm water
This bath is better on the very warm side, but make it comfortable for the person in it. Dissolve the baking soda in the water and fill up the tub. Soak for 10 – 15 minutes, reclining in the tub if possible. Drink water and rest after this bath.
Redmond Bath Salts
These are harder to find (easy online, but not really in stores) but one of my favorites. They’re unprocessed salts from the same mines as Real Salt, but with a lot more trace minerals. I like these much better than Epsom salts most of the time. They actually provide trace minerals to your body, that are absorbed by the skin. Plus I know people who’ve had amazing results with these! I like to use this while pregnant because it is pretty gentle too.
- 1/2 – 1 cup Redmond bath salts (where to buy)
- Warm to very warm water
This works better if the water is very warm, to open the pores and draw in the trace minerals. Dissolve the salts in the bath. There are some trace minerals, reddish-brown ones, that will not fully dissolve (they will need to be rinsed down the drain after the bath). Soak for 10 – 20 minutes, then rest after the bath.
This is another favorite. Bentonite clay has absorptive and adsorptive properties. Absorptive means that it draws junk into itself (it’s a swelling clay that absorbs a lot of water…and whatever else is in the water, like junk your body is releasing). Adsorptive means it attracts junk to itself. The molecules are like little “credit card” shapes that are negatively charged and pull junk onto them. Clay is one of the best ways to detox, and one of the strongest. I do not use it while pregnant (although some do) and rarely use it for children. I usually would use it while sick but not all the time, personally (some do it all the time as prevention).
- 1/2 – 1 cup clay (where to buy)
- Very warm water
This works best with very warm to hot water. Put the clay in the bath and give it a few minutes to absorb water, then stir it in. Soak in the tub for 10 – 20 minutes. After the bath, the clay will clump a bit and need to be rinsed down the drain (or scoop the clumps out into the trash).
Our two favorite combination baths are Redmond salts with baking soda (mine/kids), or Redmond salts with clay (my husband’s).
How to Increase the Effectiveness of Detox Baths
The adults take detox baths 2 – 3 times per week. The kids, if they are getting colds or have been exposed to colds (like if we go to an indoor playground). We also do them after vacation or if we eat a lot of “compromise” food.
It helps to consume fresh juice along with baths — greens plus lemon, ginger, and apples or pineapples. (This is the juicer I use.) Lemons squeezed into room temperature water is also excellent.
Some people like to do skin brushing before a bath. Others enjoy getting regular massages or even using a sauna (but don’t do a sauna for children or while pregnant).
Drinking lots of water is helpful, before and after baths. Some prefer ginger or dandelion tea (leaf or root; leaf is gentler — both are liver supports). Choosing to do some of these things regularly will help to keep your body healthy!