Herbal Bath Salts combine the ease of fragrant bath salts with the healing benefits of herbs. I like bath salts for many reasons. I have one son who has eczema flares in the winter - and salt/herb/eo baths have helped keep those to minimum for the past few years (along with a rich body butter). My other son has mast cell issues and severe food allergies and we have found that the mineral rich epsom salts help keep him from having as many skin reactions. As he is older he prefers to shower now, but still has a soak when he has been having a rough week health-wise.
Herbal Bath Salts are easy to make and very customizable. Many places sell dried herbs - or you can use what you grew/dried from your own garden (bonus!). Here is a base recipe using herbs known for their calming and healing properties - plus a few ideas of how you can customize your own.
Sleepy Time Bath Blend
Approx. 4-6 baths
Mix the salts together in a large bowl with the dried herbs. In a small vial or cup mix your carrier oil with the essential oils. Drop a bit at a time into the salt/herb blend as you stir well.
Store in an airtight container. To use, scoop ¼ to ½ cup per bath into a re-usable muslin pouch, and steep in the tub as you fill it. Soak and enjoy!
Optional add-ins or substitutions: dried plantain, lemon balm, lemon verbena, coconut milk powder, dried orange peel, or rolled oats. If you collect your own garden herbs, just be sure to dry fully and remove from stems before weighing. Also, you can use just the salt & herbs and skip the essential oils.
Other essential oil and herb combos that are nice (just blend into the carrier oil and add to the salt mix) as alternates::
To make as a gift, put your blended batch into a nice glass jar and attach instructions and a muslin bag or scoop. Attach instructions - use 1/4 cup or more per bath - and gift away!
You can also make individual tub bags - measure 1/4 cup portions into unbleached biodegradable large empty tea bags. I really like the x-large natural iced tea bags because they strain finely so no bits end up in your bath and they are compostable. You can simply sew or sticker them shut at the top and put into a pretty box with instructions. Craft stores also sell wedding favor bags which are a good size - and they can be cleaned and re-used. The key is to store the pre-filled bags in an airtight container so that they don’t start to dissolve from the moisture in the bathroom.
The salts will sink to the bottom and settle if you use a single large jar, so be sure to stir or shake before scooping into the tub. Be sure to keep the lid on tight for a whole jar or store the pre-filled bags in an airtight container to keep from dissolving in the bathroom moisture.
Herbal Bath Salts
Instructions: Scoop 1/4 cup per bath.
Tip: Don't use bath salt blends for tiny ones. For toddler baths you can use a small pouch of only dried calendula or lavender – using 2 Tbsp of dried organic herb is enough for a shallow bath – and skip the salt and essential oils. Those gentle herbs will help sooth any bottom or skin rash, while remaining safe for wee ones. The easiest way to do this is pour 1 cup of almost boiling water over your herb pouch in a heat safe bowl, and let steep until room temperature. Remove the pouch and pour this *cooled* infused water in with your toddlers bath water. This way you have the full infusion added to a bath at a safe temperature.
I am a certified aromatherapist, clinical herbalist, organic gardener, plant conservationist, photographer, writer, designer, artist, nature lover, permaculture designer, health justice activist, whole foods maker, and mother of two unschooled teens in south central Wisconsin.