The Ultimate Guide To The Perfect DIY Essential Oil Salt Bath & Foot Soak
When ready to take a bath, it's hard to avoid whispering to myself “Calgon take me away” - a 1980’s bath powder company's TV slogan. The commercial was acted out by a frantic mother with kids running wild around her, I'm sure many of us can relate. The product was full of ingredients difficult to pronounce, including Sodium Laurel Sulfate, which has been found to be an eye and respiratory tract irritant along with being toxic to aquatic organisms.
Consumer awareness has alerted about the toxicity of certain ingredients in body products and given rise to the use of natural plant-based ingredients and DIY products. For those of us who love baths and foot soaks and for others looking to move away from harmful ingredients, we do know that a few simple ingredients such as Epsom and Sea salts, carrier oil and essential oils can offer us peace of mind plus they have extraordinary benefits to our health.
Why Take A Salt Bath Or A Foot Bath?
Epsom and Sea Salts contain important minerals that help the body carry out many of its necessary tasks. These include Magnesium, Sulfate, Potassium, Calcium, Iron, Chloride and of course Sodium. Studies have shown that these minerals can be absorbed into the bloodstream via the skin while bathing.[2,3,4]
What’s so important about minerals? Lots. Let’s explore!
- Magnesium: It is estimated that 75% of people are magnesium deficient. This deficiency can be attributed partially to the lack of Magnesium in the soil where our food grows as well as poor eating habits. This shortcoming is responsible for a number of maladies including heart problems, circulation issues, sleep disturbances and muscle pain.[5,6]
Broken down in bath water, Epsom salts dissolve into Magnesium sulfate and when absorbed through the skin and from there into the bloodstream, not only can assist in improving mood but enables our body to build strong bones, expedite muscle contractions, sustain a steady heartbeat and keeps arteries elastic. This mineral also plays a hand in regulating blood sugar and blood pressure and is also vital in aiding nerve function. Taken orally, it can ease constipation.
- Potassium: is also found naturally in foods and is a crucial mineral used for muscle contraction and regulating blood pressure. It is known as an electrolyte due to its ability to activate cells and nerve function with its small electrical charge. Potassium is responsible for maintaining fluid levels inside our body’s cells and its correlating mineral, Sodium, is necessary to preserve fluid levels outside of cells.[8,9]
- Chloride: This mineral regulates how much fluid and what types of nutrients enter and leave the cells. Other functions it is responsible for are proper pH levels, digestive acid stimulation in the stomach, facilitating the flow of oxygen and carbon dioxide and the action of muscle and nerve cells.
When looking at the function of bath blends that include Epsom salts, Sea Salts, Baking Soda, Fractionated Coconut Oil and supported by Essential Oils in bath and in foot soaks the benefits  include:
- Reduction of pain and inflammation
- Increased circulation
- Mood enhancement, easing of stress and quelling of anxiety
- Decreased muscle pain and cramps
- Improved heart health
- Clean feet and skin which assists with issues such as athlete's foot and other fungal infections by drawing out moisture
- Softer skin and moisturizing dry skin which helps to reduce itchiness
The Epsom Salt Council recommends soaking for at least 20 minutes and employing 3-4 cups of Magnesium rich salts when you bathe. If you find you are having trouble sleeping, getting leg cramps, have muscle pain or even just feel grumpy, try a foot bath or full body bath to boost magnesium levels. Read on to learn more.
Edens Garden Salt Blends
At Edens Garden, we understand what it’s like to work long hours, attend to family needs and attempt to find a few minutes of solace. It’s our goal to make you feel like a million bucks and our salt bath blends are just the thing to give you a few moments of necessary respite.
Our five spectacular blends have their own unique aromatics and purposes. The synergistic combination of Celtic & Epsom Salts blended with Baking Soda, Fractionated Coconut oil and fortified with essential oils will soften skin, improve circulation, pamper your aches, comfort soreness and reduce pain and swelling, all the while putting a smile on your face.
Here is a list of our bath and foot soak blends:
- Ache - Yuzu Cannabliss: this delectable blend combines Grapefruit, Orange- Sweet, Hemp, Yuzu and Sandalwood and is geared toward diminishing inflammation and reducing muscle tension and achy muscles and arthritic joints.
- Relax - Lavender Magnolia: Soothing to mind and body after a long and arduous day, this Lavender & Magnolia blend will reduce inflammation, calm your senses and improve emotional temperament.
- Immune - Fighting Five: Boost the immune system while fighting germs and enable deeper breathing and break up congestion with this vital Fighting Five essential oil and salt blend.
- Detox - Grapefruit Pink Pepper: Purify and cleanse free radicals from the body by improving circulation and drawing out toxins with its combo of Salts and Detox & Cleanse essential oil blend.
- Sleep - Good Night: It's necessary to get a good night’s rest to be able to put one's best foot forward each and every day. This balancing salt blend which includes the essential oils of Good Night essential oil blend will bring peace and comfort when it's needed most with its combo of Lavender, Sweet Marjoram and Chamomile- Roman to name a few.
What Essential Oil Is Good To Soak Your Feet In?
Depending on what your needs are you can tailor essential oils to fulfill or assist with your issue at hand. For example, Peppermint essential oil is one that gives immediate relief from muscle pain and spasm as well as inflammation. Lavender essential oil is analgesic, anti-inflammatory and prized for its ability to calm skin irritations. If looking to reduce fungal problems associated with athlete’s foot, in a bowl, mix 6-10 drops of Lemongrass and Tea Tree essential oils into 1 cup of Epsom and/or Sea Salts with 2 Tablespoons of Castile soap. In a basin or foot bath, blend the salt blend into very warm but not hot water and soak for 20 minutes.
What Draws Toxins Out Of Feet?
While there is no scientific evidence to bolster the idea that toxins can be drawn out of the feet, those that propose this technique rely on a range of methods including foot baths and scrubs and even ionic cleansing. Out of the many proposed methods for a foot detox, the most credible one is the offer of relaxation, especially when essential oils are included in the bath or foot soak. Nonetheless, our detox salts blend contains the citrus oil of Grapefruit which has the potential to detox the liver due to enzymes that absorb and reduce sugar and starch in the body.
Is It OK To Use Essential Oils In Foot Baths?
It is perfectly safe to use essential oils in foot baths but we caution against their excessive use in full body baths and foot baths for safety reasons. If not blended correctly, the oils will sit on top of the water and can cause skin irritation. If blended into carriers such as Castile soap or topical skin oil with Epsom salts, they can be diluted safely. We recommend using approximately 10 drops of essential oils in a foot bath. Caution also is urged when blending carrier oils into salts for a bath. Carrier oil residue can cause people to slip so please clean out your tub thoroughly after a bath that contains carrier oils.
How Many Drops Of Essential Oil Should Be Used In A Foot Soak
To avoid sensitivity to essential oils less is always more. They are highly concentrated products that have been made from large amounts of plant material. With that being said, why use more than you need? For a full body salt bath, using 6 drops maximum of essential oils is more than enough to avoid skin irritation. For a foot bath, 6-10 drops should be more than enough to soothe your feet and bring a spring back into your step. Blend the essential oils into your favorite combination of carriers including salts, Castile soap or carrier oil, baking soda and even vegetable glycerin for a bubble bath (see recipe below).
Time To Relax
No time for a full bath? Soaking your feet can be as easy as adding salt to warm water. But if you want to optimize this method, grab a small basin or foot bath and your salt blend (which also come in bulk sizes) and follow these simple steps to relieve foot pain, reduce inflammation and relax at the end of the day. Here’s how:
Foot Bath & Foot Scrub
- In a small bowl, reserve 2 oz of Edens Garden Salt blend (for tired feet we highly recommend the Ache blend) to use as a foot scrub after soaking the feet for a few minutes.
- In a small basin or tub that your feet can fit comfortably into, place 4 oz of a Salt blend into a basin or tub and fill it with not hot, but very warm water. Mix around the water until the salts have dissolved and soak the feet for at least 20 minutes. After a few minutes take one foot at a time and use the reserved salts to scrub and soften your feet. To optimize your R&R time, dim the lights, light a candle, turn on some quiet music and close your eyes. After the allotted time, dry your feet thoroughly and moisturize afterward.
Full Bath Relaxation
Find the time you need to nourish your body and mind by filling a tub with warm but not too hot water. Mix and swirl in until dissolved up to 3 cups of your choice of Edens Garden Salt Blend. For your convenience, these blends are made with essential oils at a 1% dilution perfect for a full bath without overly stimulating or irritating the skin. Climb into the tub and relax for at least 20 minutes with lights dimmed and your favorite music streaming from your Bluetooth speaker.
DIY Bubble Bath Salt Blend
If you love DIY projects you will love this homemade bath salts recipe that doubles as a bubble bath blend. We assure you that this recipe alone will make looking forward to bathtime even more marvelous.
In a glass or ceramic bowl, combine all of the below ingredients and mix well. Run water in the tub for a very warm (but not too hot) bath and pour in the salt blend and swirl the blend to dissolve the salts. Climb in and soak for at least 20 minutes.
- ¾-1 cup Castile Soap
- ¼ cup Vegetable Glycerin*
- 2 cups Epsom Salts
- 6 drops of Essential Oils**
* Glycerin attracts moisture and when added to soap keeps the bubbles from drying out and making them last longer in a bath plus it helps to add moisture to skin and reduce skin irritation. If lacking this ingredient, it can be left out of the recipe however, the blend will not produce any sudsy delight.
** If using phototoxic citrus oils, be sure to use only one drop in a blend to avoid skin sensitivity when in direct sunlight.
- The Dirty Dozen: Sodium Laureth Sulfate https://davidsuzuki.org/living-green/dirty-dozen-sodium-laureth-sulfate/#:~:text=Sodium%20lauryl%20sulfate%20(SLS)%2C,and%20toxic%20to%20aquatic%20organisms.&text=Other%20ethoxylates%20may%20be%20contaminated,and%201%2C4%2Ddioxane
- Why Take an Epsom Salt Bath? https://www.webmd.com/a-to-z-guides/epsom-salt-bath
- Myth or Reality - Transdermal Magnesium? https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5579607/
- Report on Absorption of Magnesium Sulfate http://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/wp-content/uploads/2015/10/report_on_absorption_of_magnesium_sulfate.pdf
- Magnesium: The Nutrition Source https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/magnesium/
- Magnesium: The Invisible Deficiency https://dining.nd.edu/whats-happening/news/magnesiumthe-invisible-deficiency/#:~:text=Almost%20never%20would%20you%20hear,in%20your%20body%20requires%20magnesium
- Subclinical Magnesium Deficiency: a principal driver of cardiovascular disease and a public health crisis https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5786912/
- Potassium: The Nutrition Source https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/potassium/
- Salt and Sodium: The Nutrition Source https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/salt-and-sodium/
- Chloride: The Nutrition Source https://www.hsph.harvard.edu/nutritionsource/chloride/#:~:text=It%20helps%20to%20regulate%20the,and%20carbon%20dioxide%20within%20cells
- Epsom Salt Detox: Benefits and How it Works https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/321627#benefits-of-epsom-salt-baths
- Benefits of Epsom Salts Foot Soaks https://www.ironwoodcrc.com/benefits-of-epsom-salt-foot-soaks/#:~:text=According%20to%20the%20Epsom%20Salt,environment%20less%20inviting%20for%20fungus.
- 3 Tips to Boost Your Body’s Magnesium Levels https://www.epsomsaltcouncil.org/health/3-tips-to-boost-magnesium-levels/
- Citrus Paradisi - An Overview https://www.sciencedirect.com/topics/agricultural-and-biological-sciences/citrus-paradisi
- What is Vegetable Glycerin: Uses and Benefits and Side Effects https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/vegetable-glycerin