The absolute bliss and burst of energy you feel after a workout is something to look forward to. But, when you get home from the gym, the muscle soreness hits pretty hard. Luckily, sore muscles are a bittersweet reminder of the progress you’re making, and thankfully, you can combat sore muscles in the simplest and most relaxing way possible: take a bath using natural bath salts and essential oils.
What are bath salts?
Bath salts are pulverized minerals added to baths to enhance the overall experience. They dissolve in your bath water and can be beneficial in a many ways. They can aid in cleaning the skin, improve mood, and can even relieve muscle tension from going hard at the gym. Bath salts can also help replenish some of the minerals your body is deficient of, like magnesium and iron.
Artificial bath salts vs Natural bath salts
Artificial bath salts
The San Francisco Bath Salt Company set the record straight in 2011, recognizing good bath salts versus bad bath salts. According to a press release they put out denouncing the sale of “fake” bath salts, they mentioned that many companies create bath salts with toxic ingredients like Mephedrone and MDPV. Mephedrone and MDPV are active ingredients in typical, drug-store bath salts, and are considered “designer drugs.” For some time, we heard countless stories in the media discussing the effects of drug-store bath salts as a way for people to get high. These toxic ingredients are usually sold with the label “not for human consumption” to justify their legal sale on the market. In other words, they’re not natural mineral salts at all!
Natural bath salts
Natural bath salts, on the other hand, are a blend of soothing, mineral-rich salts, sometimes enhanced with essential oils to provide a natural healing bath experience. Some prime examples include Epsom Salt, Dead Sea Salt, and Himalayan Salt, all which contain a high mineral content and can increase health benefits.
Choosing the right natural bath salt for your needs
Himalayan pink salt
Himalayan pink salt is harvested from ancient salt beds under the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal and is considered to be the purest form of salt available in the world. It contains over 80 minerals, namely calcium, magnesium, potassium, copper, and iron. Himalayan salt is known to stimulate blood circulation, soothe sore muscles and remove toxins from the body to improve overall health.
Dead Sea salt
Dead Sea salt is found in the Dead Sea, the most saline body of water in the world, meaning it has 10 times the salt concentration of ocean water (33% vs. 3%). This salt is rich in minerals such as magnesium, potassium, calcium, chloride, and has a high concentration of bromides – organic compounds that have healing properties. It is therapeutic and helps to relieve dry skin, reduces joint and muscle pain and stabilizes fluid levels in the body. Dead Sea salt is gentle on the skin and can aid in removing toxins from the body.
Epsom salt is one of the most popular natural bath salts, containing naturally occurring minerals like magnesium and sulfate. Epsom salt helps soften skin and soothes sore muscles.
Benefits of using essential oil-infused natural bath salts
Muscle soreness and pain
Natural bath salts can help relax tense muscles and reduce inflammation. Adding essential oils like Patchouli and Black Pepper to the mix creates a holistic, aromatherapeutic feel. The magnesium found in many bath salts, such as Epsom salt, is known to relax muscles and calm soreness, as well as reduce lactic acid buildup.
Lactic acid buildup is caused by intense exercise and a lack of oxygen needed to break down the body’s sugars in the blood, leading to a burning sensation in the muscles. Magnesium is also excellent for improving mood and helps detox the body. Himalayan salt is one of the best options to use since it contains high levels of iron along with over 80 minerals your body needs to stay healthy, like magnesium, iodine, zinc, and calcium.
Soaking in a warm, natural salt bath is ideal for those dealing with symptoms of arthritis. For example, the Arthritis Foundation suggests soaking in a warm Epsom salt bath to help relieve aching joints. Epsom salt, aka magnesium sulfate, is a natural mineral compound. Adding diluted Ginger essential oil to your Epsom salt bath can be beneficial to aching joints, as ginger is anti-arthritic and protects joints. You may also use Himalayan salt to stimulate blood circulation or Dead Sea salt, which has natural healing properties that relieve joint and muscle pain.
Choosing the right essential oils for your therapeutic, muscle-soothing bath
The linalyl acetate found in Sweet Marjoram essential oil, which is a natural chemical compound found in most plants, relaxes muscles and relieves tension. The terpinene-4-ol and gamma-terpinene in the oil are both anti-inflammatory agents. Sweet Marjoram has a sweet, woodsy scent that calms the nervous system.
Spearmint essential oil has a high content of carvone and limonene, both terpenes that have anti-inflammatory and analgesic properties crucial for soothing sore muscles. Spearmint oil is also useful for soothing aching joints and muscles as a result of arthritis. Its fresh, clean aroma uplifts mood and clears the mind.
Rosemary essential oil has a high content of alpha-pinene and bornyl acetate, which allows for minor local anesthetic and analgesic activity. Rosemary oil possesses a fresh and herbaceous aroma that is rejuvenating.
Excellent for tired and aching muscles, Peppermint essential oil produces a cooling and pain-relieving effect. The menthol and menthone found in Peppermint oil are both highly effective anti-inflammatory and analgesic agents. Menthol, especially, is an effective muscle relaxant.
DIY muscle-soothing bath recipes
- For relaxing and soothing sore muscles and releasing anxiety, consider the below recipe:
- For aching feet, consider the below recipe:
- To detox, promote internal balance and soothe aching muscles, consider the below recipe:
Mix all ingredients in a container thoroughly then disperse it in bath water. Caution: do not use while pregnant or suffering from epilepsy or high blood pressure. Do not go in the sun or be exposed to UV for at least 24 hours after using.
Way of Will Muscle Soak Bath Set is perfectly infused and ready to use!
The Muscle Soak Bath Set includes the highest-quality Himalayan salt, which stimulates circulation and soothes sore muscles. The set includes a mixture of Black Pepper, Patchouli, and Atlas Cedarwood essential oils. Black Pepper has a spicy aroma and creates warmth, while Patchouli and Atlas Cedarwood carry heavy, woodsy and musky aromas. When both the bath salts and essential oils are infused, they boost sore muscle relaxation and relief. You can take a 20-30 minute bath or even longer for a relaxing experience.