Detox Baths: Recipes to Calm the Inner Beast and Whiny Children
Photo Credit: Dennis Wong
This week, we’re talking about detox baths. Lovely, healing, make-you-feel-human-again detox baths. As a holistic practitioner, I heavily recommend them for a gentle method of pulling toxins out of the skin when the detoxification system is compromised.
There are a wide variety of healing agents like herbs, salts, essential oils, and even foods that can be added to a bath to make it another healing tool in your toolbox. Let’s focus on some that provide a gentle detox, are allergen-free, and use ingredients that can do double duty in other areas of your home.
- Drink 12-16 ounces of water during the hour before to be sure you’re hydrated.
- Fill tub with very warm water (no more than body temperature for children). ‘Very warm’ should be comfortable. Let’s say a happy medium between room temperature and scalding that makes you say Ahhhh when you sink down into it.
- Add your healing agents to the water while it is filling or just before you get in.
- Empty your bladder before you get in. You just drank a bunch of water, and you’re not allowed to pee in the tub. It messes up the whole detox thing.
- Now sink down in the water as far as is comfortable, release a sign of contentment, and relax.
- Soak for 20 minutes. Take some deep, slow breaths to increase oxygen flow and relax more deeply. Don’t fall asleep. Drowning is less than relaxing.
- Rinse skin well when finished and voila! You should feel refreshed and pretty darn perky or ready for a much needed healing nap depending on what your bath was geared toward.
- Drink another 8-16 ounces of water within 30 minutes to rehydrate and help flush out residual toxins.
Follow the above instructions, but use 1/4 of the ingredients called for in the following recipes.
If you do not use any toxic personal care products in the shower, you can close the drain and let your feet soak in the water while you shower. Every little bit helps!
You may sweat profusely during the bath. That’s a good sign your body is getting rid of the bad stuff. As long as you do not feel flushed and too overheated, enjoy.
If you do feel the need to cool down, sit up and run cool water over your arms while you bring the temperature of the bath water down. I detest being hot, so I occasionally prop my feet on the edge of the tub to cool myself down.
Baths can be taken up to 3 times a day for detox relief and should be taken every day or as often as possible during acute healing. Just like you chuck all the junk food out of the house when you want to get healthy, your body goes through a similar process when you clean up your lifestyle.
Start small. If you are new to detox baths, I suggest starting with plain water or no more than 1/4 cup of any bath addition until you know how you respond to it.
For those with serious health conditions and those who are pregnant, drop the temperature to a more comfortable level and consult your health professional about what is appropriate for your particular sensitivity.
Filtered water is really important when you’re trying to remove the toxins from your body. The pharmaceuticals and dangerous synthetic chemicals found in tap water are extremely harmful to our health and should be filtered out as much as possible. We use a 2-stage shower filter and use the detachable head to fill the tub (where to buy).
That said, I do believe a detox bath in unfiltered water is still beneficial unless you are using abnormally toxic water. I know many people cannot afford another strain on their budget, so a shower/bath filter should at least be put on your to-do-later list.
Learn how to use Vitamin C to remove the chlorine from your water here.
Detox Bath Recipes
Many of the ingredients listed below contains affiliate links to help you easily find the products online and all are products I use myself. You can read my full advertising disclosure here.
Whine Buster – buh-bye cranky kiddos!
- 1/4 cup Epsom salt or magnesium chloride (magnesium chloride is a form of magnesium more easily retained by the body)
- 1-3 drops lavender essential oil* to add to the calming qualities of magnesium (oils I use); for very small children, diffuse a couple drops in a bowl of warm water and place near tub instead of in the water
- a full belly and a bath are my secret weapons against whininess
Relaxation For the Rest of Us
- up to 2 cups of Epsom salt or magnesium chloride
- 3-5 drops of a soothing essential oil* (oils I use) such as lavender, chamomile, orange, frankincense, or even patchouli stirred or shaken into the magnesium before adding to the water to emulsify.
Here’s a great bath blend that keeps me from selling my small humans to the zoo: Revitalizing Essential Oils Soak for Moms (and the rest of us)
Itch Be Gone – good for skin conditions such as yeast infections, rashes, sunburns (cool water bath only), and body acne
- 1 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- I occasionally sub with home-brewed kombucha that has turned into vinegar
A Little Pick-Me-Up
- 1/2 cup organic apple cider vinegar
- 3-5 drops of non-phototoxic citrus essential oils* to uplift your mood (oils I use). Distilled lemon or lime, furocoumarin-free bergamot, and/or orange are great choices.
Sensitive Skin Soak
- water, preferably filtered
Secondary Allergic Reactions
- up to 1 cup of food-grade Bentonite clay [use cheesecloth or similar item to filter clay when draining tub]
Beat the Blahs
- This will be your personal preference. Experiment with the different ‘ingredients’ listed and write down which ones make you feel the best. Any time you feel less than ideal, grab the list and soak your way to happy thoughts.
- My go-to bath is 1 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup clay.
Add up to 2 cups from any combination of the following:
- food-grade clay such as Bentonite clay
- organic apple cider or kombucha vinegar
- unrefined salt
- Epsom salt
- baking soda
- ginger or ginger tea
- 3-5 drops of uplifting essential oil* (oils I use)
*Be sure to check cautions for any essential oils before using them.
This is not a comprehensive list. Please share in the comments what your favorite detox baths are to help out our readers who are new to it!
Jennifer Nervo is a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, Reiki Master Practitioner & teacher, and Aromatherapist. Her focus is on digestive, nervous, and immune system dysfunction and the fields of functional nutrition & psychoneuroimmunology. She works with all conditions and diseases including environmental and food allergies, autoimmune diseases, multiple chemical sensitivity, diabetes, eczema, anxiety, weight loss as a symptom of dis-ease, and gut-brain disorders like autism.
When she’s not herding her small troupe of monkeys or seeing clients, her free time is packed with researching and perfecting new wellness techniques (her not-so-secret passion). Jennifer is currently a group leader for the newest class of Nutritional Therapy Practitioners out of Ann Arbor, MI, studying for the national board exam in holistic nutrition, and running a combined distance and brick and mortar practice in metro Detroit. She’s also a homeschooling suburbanite, foodie, and mama to two littles and a schnoodle.