How to Take A Detox Bath

I never appreciated taking baths until I moved out on my own several years ago and realized that finding a place with a good (and clean) bathtub in the city is quite difficult to find.  Fortunately, my current apartment has a decent sized tub which I use to relax after a long or stressful day (literally, the Craigslist rental ad only had a picture of the tub and that was enough to win me over).  Recently, I stumbled across a recipe for what’s called a detox bath, which helps you not only relax, but can also rid toxins from your body.  I compared my findings with a few other sites, just to make sure it was legitimate, and all of them pretty much offered the same instructions.  Then I decided to try it out myself, and I was definitely pleased with the results!

Here’s what I used:

• 2 cups of Epsom salts (unscented or scented)

• 1.5 cups baking soda

• 1-2 tablespoons ground ginger or 2 bags of ginger tea

• 20 drops of an aromatherapy/essential oil, or a handful of fresh herbs if the Epsom salts are unscented (I used unscented salts and tea trea oil to aid in the detoxification process)

• Purified drinking water to stay hydrated

Make sure the water in the bath is warm and not hot.  Add all of the ingredients and sit in the water for 40 minutes.  This site reported that the first 20 minutes are meant for detoxification and the second 20 minutes are for the body to absorb the minerals.  You’ll begin to feel your body become heated and a lot of sweating is common.  After only about 8 minutes I began to feel like I had been thrown in a boiling pot of water and was being cooked for dinner, even though my water was only lukewarm.  Ginger apparently causes many people to heat up and may even cause the skin to flush, so if that happens, don’t be alarmed.*  To help the time go by faster you may want to grab a book to read or put on some calming music and light candles to increase relaxation.  When the 40 minutes is over and you’re ready to stand up, do so slowly; A feeling of lightheadedness may occur.  Also, if you wrap up tightly in a blanket after the bath you may continue to perspire.  I did this the second time around because I was trying to get rid of a cold and it actually helped a lot.  Afterward you should feel refreshed, relaxed, and clean – inside and out.  Just remember to stay hydrated by drinking lots of water during and after the bath.


Aromatherapy has been used for centuries to treat anything from minor skin rashes to serious illness.1  Some common essential oils are chamomile (stress reliever), lavender (muscle pain, skin ailments), patchouli (anti-inflammatory for skin), tea tree (antifungal, antiviral), and ylan ylan (relaxant, stabilize mood swings).*

Baking soda is useful by removing toxins from water and helping keep the body alkalized.  It also softens the skin and may clear up blemishes.2

Ginger is an anti-oxident and anti-inflammatory.  Although there is no scientific evidence to support it, it is believed to help with signs of aging and is used in some cellulite-reducing treatments.3

Epsom salts are made of magnesium and sulfate and help regulate the activity of 300+ enzymes in the body.  Many athletes take epsom salt baths to decrease joint and muscle pain.4

The next time you feel a cold coming on or just feel in need of a nice, relaxing, body detox, try this out – Then let me know how it went! Feel free to comment with your questions, thoughts, or experiences!

* A little pink flush is normal but red and burning is not. If you get too hot or your skin becomes too red, exit the bath immediately or rinse off with cool water.
*Essential oils are highly concentrated and should not be used directly on the skin.  Some essential oils are not recommended for women who are pregnant or individuals with asthma or epilepsy.  If you are unsure whether or not you can safely use essential oils, check with a holistic practitioner, naturopath, or a reputable aromatherapy expert before using. 
1 Mindell, E. & Mundis, H (2004). The Vitamin Bible. Grand Central Publishing: NY, NY.

4 thoughts on “How to Take A Detox Bath

  1. I tried this (without essential oils) as a detox along with my Whole30 project…and because I, too, love a nice relaxing bath! Let’s just say it was heavenly…and I loved the ginger aroma! Thanks so much for sharing!!

  2. ooooo! i usually take an epsom salt/essential oil bath a few times a week. sometimes i’ll add baking soda, if it’s nearby. never thought to use ginger as well! i’m going to try this out tonight!!! 😀

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